Study Guide

Water for Elephants Chapter 10

By Sara Gruen

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Chapter 10

  • August leaves, and Jacob and Marlena stay to try to get to know Rosie. She seems pretty nice. (Yes, we're talking about an elephant here.)
  • The two humans dance for a brief moment before Marlena stops them, and they go back to her part of the train.
  • August comes in and he's furious: Al paid way too much for the elephant, in his opinion, and they don't know what to do with her. Plus, Al hired more people with nowhere to put them, so everyone's going to have to crunch, and morale will be low.
  • Demoralized, they all drink a huge amount of whiskey. (Not the best coping mechanism, we'd say.)
  • Drunk, Jacob makes his way back to his room. On his way, he passes two people getting hot and heavy outside. When he gets to his car, Kinko is hosting a large, raucous party. Jacob is invited to join, and the drinking only gets worse.
  • Jacob is hammered when two women, Barbara and Nell, come over to and start hitting on him. They take him somewhere else and start undressing him and touching him. Things are getting pretty intense when Jacob throws up all over everything. Wow, way to ruin the moment (although we're kind of glad he did).
  • The next day, Jacob wakes up hurting. Kinko comes to get him – August is looking for him. Turns out, Jacob has been dressed up like a clown and shoved into a big chest. Plus, someone shaved off all his hair (down there). Talk about a circus prank. He's super embarrassed and has to leave the room looking very strange.
  • Jacob heads back to his room and can't stop thinking about how ashamed he is. He doesn't remember all the details, but he knows he made a fool of himself.
  • Kinko comes in, lectures him, and tells him to make it up to Barbara.
  • Jacob pulls himself together, despite a brutal hangover, and goes to find August.
  • August is in a pissy mood. He's trying to get Rosie to do stuff, but she won't obey. Pete comes in and August tells him to "take care of" the cat meat. (We readers don't know what that means yet.) Pete is reluctant, so August takes him away to discuss it and leaves Jacob with Rosie.
  • Jacob puts aside the weapon August was using and just pets Rosie. Now that's how you deal with an animal. They have a great moment, and then August comes back. It's very clear that Rosie doesn't like August.
  • August tells Jacob to go find Marlena and keep her away from the animal area.
  • Before he does so, Jacob discovers that there's a group of horses there that Pete has to slaughter – that's what will be feeding the cats.
  • It's graphic and terrible.
  • Jacob goes to Marlena. She's upset and tells him that August is trying to make Rosie move onto their train by beating the poor elephant. Finally, Rosie sees her own car and gets in, to everyone's relief.

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