Study Guide

The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge Chapter 7: September 2, 1823 – Morning

By Michael Punke

Chapter 7: September 2, 1823 – Morning

  • Glass is conscious but confused. He had apparently tried to crawl around a day prior but had collapsed and hadn't moved since.
  • Glass is cold, so he crawls twenty feet to grab a nearby blanket. According to him, however, that "twenty feet felt like twenty miles" (1.7.6).
  • At some point in the future (it's hard to say) Glass watches a rattlesnake slowly crawl toward him. Seriously, God? That's just mean.
  • Glass has no chance—the snake approaches and strikes, repeatedly. So many ouches.
  • But, wait—Glass suddenly opens his eyes. What in the name of Lewis and Clark is going on here?
  • Oooh—it was just some weird fever dream. There is indeed a snake nearby, but it's relaxing lazily, having just consumed a large meal of rabbit.
  • Even better, Glass realizes that his fever has broken. Score.
  • And here comes our regularly scheduled backstory breakdown: Glass was born to a respectable British-American family from Philly. From a young age, he took a strong interest in cartography.
  • By the time he was sixteen, Glass was already working on cargo ships. By the time he was nineteen, he was engaged to a lovely lass named Elizabeth van Aartzen. Things were going swell.
  • That is, until Glass was kidnapped by Jean Lafitte's pirates. With no other choice (besides, y'know, death), Glass was forced to join their ranks.
  • (Jean Lafitte, by the way, was the most hardcore pirate of his era, and maybe of all time.)
  • Back in the present, Glass is feeling vengeful. He wants to tear Bridger and Fitzgerald limb from treacherous limb.
  • Glass takes a look at his reflection while getting a drink of water. It's nasty. He looks like Freddy Krueger after a fight with Edward Scissorhands.
  • Back in flashback land, Glass is adjusting to life as a pirate. It's not so great. He does his best to limit the amount of evil stuff he does, but we're sure the dude's hands are quite dirty by now.
  • Glass ends up at Lafitte's pirate enclave in Campeche, Mexico. He's actually there at a pretty important moment, as the U.S. Government is finally bearing down on the island.
  • With a fleet's worth of hurt heading his way, Lafitte decides to burn Campeche to the ground and disappear into the night. Sounds like a solid plan.
  • Seeing an opportunity, Glass and his buddy Alexander Greenstock make an escape. During this chaos, Glass stumbles upon (and takes) an object that will be very near and dear to him: his rifle.
  • The two men steal a skiff and head up the Texas coast. They get arrested by Spanish soldiers, but are freed under the condition that "they traveled north" and never returned (1.7.67). No arguments here, buddy.
  • The men travel for about a thousand miles before Greenstock is killed by a group of Pawnees. Because he didn't pick up his gun, Glass is merely bonked on the head and taken to their camp.
  • Glass wakes to a Pawnee chief examining him in front of a giant pyre. Guess he's going into that thing, huh?
  • Glass reaches into his pocket and grabs a container of red "cinnabar paint" which he had stolen while escaping Campeche (1.7.75). For some reason, he covers his entire face and neck with it, being sure to keep it hidden from view.
  • After night falls, and the Pawnee braves lift him up to bring him to the fire, Glass leaps into action, flailing around wildly and screaming the "Our Father" at the top of his lungs. For real.
  • The chief, utterly perplexed and worried about losing face in front of his people, walks up to Glass and places his hawk's feet necklace around his neck.
  • Glass would spend almost a year with this Pawnee tribe, and Chief Kicking Bull would eventually see him as a son. D'aww.
  • After the tribe runs into an increasing number of white men, however, Glass decides to head to St. Louis. He sends a letter to Elizabeth saying that he's finally home.
  • Sadly, all Glass gets is a response from his brother—Elizabeth is dead, along with both of his parents.
  • A few weeks later, Glass meets William Ashley and joins the Rocky Mountain Fur Company.