Study Guide

The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge Chapter 18: December 6, 1823

By Michael Punke

Chapter 18: December 6, 1823

  • Glass is naked and drying his clothes beside a small fire. He has swum about a mile downstream before finally getting out of the river and finding this sheltered spot.
  • It's getting so cold out that Glass sleeps on top of stones heated in the fire.
  • After two days of travel, Glass decides to bypass the nearby Mandan village and head straight to Fort Talbot, where he can resupply. He also decides to do some hunting.
  • Glass trails some elk, but before he can take them down he notices "three mounted Indians" who are clearly Arikara (2.18.13). Can't say we're surprised at this point.
  • Panicked, Glass runs in the opposite direction, only to find his progress halted by another mounted Indian. Seriously?
  • This new entrant carefully takes aim...and fires. But not at Glass. Instead, he takes down one of the charging Arikara's horses.
  • Glass takes down a second, and the warriors retreat. He learns that his savior's name is Mandeh-Pahchu, and he's part of the Mandan tribe—long-time enemies of the Arikara.
  • The chief of his tribe, Mato-Tope, is vehemently opposed to the Arikara's attacks, as they limit his opportunities to trade with his pale pals. Mato-Tope also happens to have a very foxy daughter who might be impressed by Mandeh-Pahchu bringing Glass to their camp.
  • Glass has no interest in that, however—he just wants to go to Fort Talbot.
  • Well, it might not be as flashy, but it still might impress Mato-Tope's daughter.
  • Mandeh-Pahchu and Glass's approach to Fort Talbot is met by a bullet whizzing inches over their heads. What a warm welcome.
  • Glass explains his sitch to the guard and asks to be let in. The guard blames his errant shot on paranoia imbued by recent Arikara attacks and demands that Mandeh-Pahchu (whom he refers to in grossly racist terms) stay outside.
  • The fort feels "like a place under siege" (2.18.39). The men regard Glass with hostility and say that they don't have many supplies to spare.
  • Glass gets some mittens, a blanket, and a skinning knife and gets out of there as quickly as possible, mid-racist tirade. These dudes are real buttheads.
  • Before setting off for Fort Union, Glass thanks Mandeh-Pahchu and gives him the skinning knife.