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The Shipping News

Annie Proulx

Chapters 16–18

Chapters 13–15

Chapters 16–18, page 2

page 1 of 3

Chapter 16: Beety's Kitchen

Quoyle's daughters stay at Dennis and Beety Buggit's house during the day, and Quoyle loves picking them up, just to spend a little time at the Buggit's house. One typical day, Dennis tells a story about his friend who was attacked while fishing by a terribly strong tentacle. Dennis also talks about how his dad Jack has tried without avail to convince each and every one of his children to stay off the sea. Jack himself spends his days fishing while he tells the newspaper office he is sick. He has a kind of sixth sense about the sea, knew right away that his son Jesson had drowned, and knew where to find Dennis when he was lost at sea. At the end of Quoyle's visit, a man named Skipper Alfred comes to the door, having heard about Bunny's near fall from the roof. Knowing Bunny liked carpentry, he brought her a brass square to help her measure straight lines and cuts.

Chapter 17: The Shipping News

The chapter opens with Quoyle's article on Tough Baby, the Dutch ship made for Hitler. In the newsroom, Tert Card gives Quoyle a bad time for writing the ship profile instead of car wreck story. The next day, Jack asks to see Quoyle, and Quoyle expects that he will be in trouble for the story. Instead, Jack asks him to keep writing similar pieces; he wants Quoyle to start a shipping news column. Quoyle realizes it is the first time anyone has ever told him he did something right.

Chapter 18: Lobster Pie

Quoyle finds out that Wavey's son Herry has Down's Syndrome. Wavey has become a local advocate for Down's children, determined to help Herry reach his potential. She asks Quoyle to take her to the library twice a week, so she can check out books to read to Herry. Quoyle feels excited by the thought of seeing Wavey every Tuesday and Friday.

Wavey's father lives next door to her and has a garden of wooden sculptures. One day, Wavey invites Quoyle and his girls in for tea, but Bunny has a fit when she sees a wooden white dog, and Quoyle regretfully takes his daughters home instead. Sunshine asks why Herry does not have a father.

Quoyle takes his boat down to buy some lobsters. The aunt talks about making lots of fancy dishes with them, but Quoyle is certain she will end up resorting to the simplest idea. She decides on lobster pie, and invites Dawn Budgel, her young assistant, over for dinner. Meanwhile, Bunny is getting aggravated with her latest carpentry project, and yells at Quoyle to give her a ride in the boat. In the boat, she sees another white dog, but Quoyle dismisses her imaginative dog sightings.

Dawn comes over, and the aunt tries to prepare a nice, candlelit dinner. Dawn refuses the lobster meat, saying it reminds her of spiders. Bunny, who has always said the same, now tells Dawn that she loves "red spider meat." During the dinner, Quoyle learns that the people who owned the Hitler yacht took off without paying the aunt for the upholstery job. He also realizes that the aunt's furniture that was supposed to be shipped from Long Island still has not arrived.

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by Anki145, August 23, 2012

Why doesn't the "The Sun Clouds Over" chapter have a "Chapter 30:" in front of it like all of the rest of the chapters do?


3 out of 7 people found this helpful

Spelling mistake

by serg06, February 26, 2014

Chapter 36, second paragraph, first sentence: "diromg" instead of "during".

Spelling mistake

by serg06, February 26, 2014

Chapter 37, paragraph 3, sentence 2: "turn7"

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