This chapter sounds like a disgusting viral video sensation, but it's actually about Mortenson sending off letters requesting donations for his cause.
Mortenson starts typing up letters on a typewriter to Oprah asking for money. Just twelve grand will do, please.
No, it's not 1893, it's 1993, so someone shows Mortenson this hot new gadget called a computer and he's able to print out 580 letters in a matter of minutes.
Meanwhile, he's living in his car, nicknamed La Bomba, and dating a hot doctor named Marina; they go camping on the weekends.
One day, Tom Brokaw sends Mortenson his only response: A letter wishing him luck and a check for one hundred dollars.
Later, Mortenson gets a message from a guy named Dr. Jean Hoerni (hold your giggles, please), who's a rich old climber and wants to help Mortenson with his goals.
Mortenson calls him, and Hoerni asks, "if I give you fund [sic] for your school, you're not going to piss off to some beach somewhere in Mexico, smoke dope, and screw your girlfriend, are you?" (5.43).
Mortenson says no and Hoerni sends him a check for twelve thousand dollars.
To make more money for his plane ticket, Mortenson sells all his belongings, even his beloved La Bomba, and gets ready to fly back to Pakistan.
(Hmm… "580 Letters, One Check," eh? We count two checks. Sorry, Brokaw, your measly hundred bucks don't count.)