Sully is walking out of science class with Gil when Cal comes up to them and tells Gil that the coach wants to see him right away. Gil and Cal are star football players on the Louisiana State University team. Together they are known as Salt and Pepper as Gil is white, a Cajun, and Cal is black. As fullback and halfback, the success of the two depends upon their interaction. Gil dreams of becoming all-American this year, but much will depend on what happens in their important football game the following day against Ole Miss. Sully is a white freckled Irish third-string quarterback who is called T.V. because he is a self-described television nut.
Cal and Sully wait outside as Gil speaks to the coach. When Gil comes out, he looks very upset. Gil tells them that his brother, Beau, has been murdered. Gil treats Cal coldly when Cal tries to comfort him, which astonishes Cal and Sully because Gil and Cal generally are best friends. Sully offers to drive Gil home and the two leave Cal standing in the hall.
Sully learns in the car that the black people at the Marshall plantation may have killed Beau, which is why Gil treated Cal in such a cold manner. Sully knows about the reputation of Gil's father, Fix, and wonders if Gil will now act in a brutal racist way. Gil directs Sully down a road and Sully realizes that they have reached the Marshall Plantation. The deputy who is blocking the road recognizes Gil and lets him in, wishing him good luck in tomorrow's football game. Sully stops his car next to that of Lou Dimes's, whom Sully recognizes as a former LSU basketball star and current journalist in Baton Rouge.
Getting out of the car, Sully and Gil halt in surprise when they see the group of old men with shotguns in the yard. Sully thinks that the scene resembles something from "the Twilight Zone." Sheriff Mapes sees Gil and tells him that his brother has already been taken to Bayonne. Mapes is friendly to Gil, but tells him that his other deputy, Russell, is keeping Gil's father Fix back on the bayou. Gil questions Mapes as to why no justice has yet been served, but Mapes explains that he knows who did it and he will bring the person in before the day's end. Gil is upset. He sees Mathu and addresses him: Mathu confesses to the murder. Gil looks confused. Candy then tells Gil her story of how she shot Beau. Gil looks stunned and tells Candy that she is lying. He tells Candy that she never liked his family and always acted like she was made of better blood than them, but that she is not. Gil tells Candy that she is pathetic and sad. As he breaks down emotionally, Sully drives him away.
Lou Dimes narrates this chapter. Everyone in the yard is still sitting around waiting for Fix to come, and it is now late afternoon. The crowd sees dust on the road indicating that a car is arriving and Lou suddenly feels nervous. The car, however, is Miss Merle's. She has brought sandwiches for everyone. The crowd is hungry and eats eagerly
Miss Merle starts criticizing Lou for his inability to control Candy. She asks him what type of husband he will be if he acts like he does. She next starts commenting to Candy about this charade that she has put on. Lou thinks about how Miss Merle and Mathu essentially raised Candy after her mother and father died. Although Miss Bea and Jack Marshall, the Major, were her aunt and uncle, Miss Merle and Mathu realized that those two were not up for the task. For this reason, Mathu took to educating her about the plantation and the people who lived on it. Miss Merle tried to teach her how to be a lady. Miss Merle essentially is Candy's surrogate mother that explains why she is acting so concerned. Miss Merle again expresses her fears about Fix coming to revenge Beau's death. Miss Merle leaves quickly. Mapes walks her to the car and talks with her. The sun is going down.
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2 out of 32 people found this helpful
You will not be able to follow this book at all. Im sorry if you have to read this
10 out of 16 people found this helpful
I recommend not over-analyzing this novel, written to meet a 1980s multiculturalist standard less tilted than today’s. Charlie appears borderline disabled intellectually, which gives Beau an opening to chase him, a thing Beau otherwise couldn’t have done without repercussions. That Candy likes “her people” (Mathu and the other Marshall farmhands) was necessary then but condemned as patronizing today. The attempted lynching and shootout are implausible after mid-1960s and holding a trial only days after a crime hasn’t been seen sinc