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Pigs in Heaven

Barbara Kingsolver

Chapters 16–17

Chapters 13–15

Chapters 16–17, page 2

page 1 of 2
Summary

Chapter 16: Marooned

Alice is reading Taylor, Barbie, and Turtle stories from the tabloids to pass the time in the car. The four are leaving Las Vegas. One story is about three men who were "marooned" for thirty-six days when their boat overturned off the coast of Florida. Two of them ganged up on the other, using him for bait. Barbie is annoying Taylor terribly. When the four stop for lunch, Taylor and Alice comment on Barbie's habit of lugging around what looks like a very heavy purse. She also eats enormous portions always gets up to go to the bathroom right after she eats.

Taylor wishes at one point that Jax were with them. Meanwhile, Jax is in bed with Gundi, explaining that he will have to confess their sexual encounters to Taylor. He suggests that the situation is like holding a robin egg in his hand: either he gives it to Taylor or not. If he gives it to her, at least Taylor can decide what to do with it; if not, she becomes a fool. Jax then tells Gundi how much he loves Taylor. She tells him she knows their affair means nothing, and kicks him out of her house.

Chapter 17: Treasure

Alice, Taylor, Turtle, and Barbie are sharing a motel room close to Carson City where Barbie is making a fuss over sharing the beds. She wants to share with Turtle, but Turtle will not let go of Taylor. Finally, Barbie concedes, shoving her purse under her pillow before she goes to sleep.

Taylor dreams about she is being chased, and then watched by a group of horses. Alice wakes her up to show her the contents of Barbie's purse—hundreds of silver dollars. They figure Barbie has stolen it from the Delta Queen hotel in Las Vegas, and Alice suggests they call the police. Taylor does not want to draw any attention to herself and Turtle, and so refuses this option. She feels that the money was come by wrongly in the first place—that it actually should belong to all the "hard luck" cases in Las Vegas.

Alice and Taylor stop at the Laundromat in Carson City, where they talk about where they should go next. Alice keeps asking Taylor where they are going, and Taylor does not know. Taylor reaffirms that she feels frightened to talk to Annawake, and Alice understands. Taylor mentions she has gained weight in a way that suggests she is self-conscious about her figure. Alice comments that Taylor has never before been at all self-deprecating.

Taylor makes a call to Jax, and he reads her the letter from Annawake. He also tries to tell her about his affair with Gundi, but Taylor does not pursue the conversation; she cannot think of anything but Turtle. Taylor hands the phone to Alice so she can hear the letter, and while they are talking, Taylor confronts Barbie about the money in her purse—who did steal the money from the casino where they were staying. When Alice gets off the phone, she is crying. She tells Taylor that the Cherokee folks just want to talk to them; and that Annawake is just grieving her brother's loss, and not necessarily set on taking Turtle away. Alice thinks that she, Alice, should go out to the Cherokee Nation.

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