Study Guide

The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge Chapter 2: August 23, 1823

By Michael Punke

Chapter 2: August 23, 1823

  • We fade back in on a group of eleven men huddled up beside the Grand River, with no fire to keep them warm. The mood is tense, given the events detailed in Ashley's letter.
  • A man named William Anderson is talking to another named Hugh Glass. Anderson's older bro had died a few days prior, and he wants Glass to tell him that he didn't suffer much.
  • The guys' convo is interrupted by a dude with a "fishhook" scar on his face named Fitzgerald, who talks rudely about Anderson's brother (1.2.8). Not much of a charmer, this one.
  • This interaction ends with Anderson attacking Fitzgerald, although Fitzgerald takes him down with a well-timed low blow. Is this a historical novel or a WWE match?
  • Fitzgerald even puts a knife to Anderson's throat, though Glass is able to chill him out.
  • Immediately afterward, Captain Andrew Henry enters the scene, grabs Fitzgerald by the scruff of his neck, and threatens to kick him off the team. Way to take charge, boss.
  • Henry also needs volunteers for watch tonight. He chooses "Pig" (amazing name, by the way) and a young boy named Bridger for first watch. A boy? Hmm…
  • Second watch is Fitzgerald and Anderson. Oh, that's a great idea.
  • An hour or so later, as the rest of the men sleep, Henry finds Glass still awake. He asks him to scout tomorrow, along with a guy named Black Harris, and Glass reluctantly agrees.
  • Henry is as nervous as a fourteen-year-old at a school dance. To calm himself, he tells Glass about George Drouillard of the "Corps of Discovery," a famous compatriot of Lewis and Clark Henry had once worked with (1.2.34).
  • Drouillard's story goes like this: he and Henry had been catching beavers when their work was interrupted by attacks from the Blackfoot tribe.
  • This didn't stop Drouillard, however, and he continued to make beaver runs. The first two trips were rousing successes. And the third? Well…Let's just say it ended with Drouillard in pieces.
  • Was this supposed to reassuring? We don't know, and neither does Glass. In fact, this only increases Glass's growing skepticism of Henry's leadership.
  • Seriously, though, Glass isn't really listening. Instead, his focus lies solely on his rifle: the Anstadt. The rifle, handmade by a family of Pennsylvania craftsman, is as legit as it gets, and Glass loves it so much you'd think he were romantically involved with it.
  • There's, like, two pages of text on the rifle. That means it's a big deal, folks.
  • Suddenly, Glass hears a gunshot—it came from where Bridger was sitting watch. Uh-oh. Glass notices Anderson aiming his rifle toward the shot and knocks it out of the way as he fires, keeping the bullet from slamming into the poor kid.
  • Bridger is confused—he doesn't know what happened. Henry accuses him of falling asleep, but Glass believes that it was an accidental shot caused by his shoddy weapon.
  • Everyone worries that the Arikara may have heard for commotion, and Anderson and Fitzgerald prepare for guard duty.