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Alias Grace

Margaret Atwood
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Summary

Part IX, continued

Summary Part IX, continued

Summary: Part IX, continued

Grace continues her story in another session with Dr. Jordan. She explains that Mr. Kinnear set off for Toronto, and Nancy informed Grace and McDermott that they were both to leave the property the next day. Afterward, McDermott came to Grace and explained his plan to kill Nancy and then Mr. Kinnear when he returned. Grace didn’t think McDermott was serious, so she didn’t tell anyone about his plan. Even so, she convinced McDermott to delay killing Nancy until Mr. Kinnear came back.

That afternoon Jamie Walsh came over and played his flute. They all ate dinner together, and Nancy was in a good mood. Grace hesitantly joined the festivities, but McDermott remained angry. At the end of the night Nancy, who was afraid of robbers, convinced Grace to sleep with her in Mr. Kinnear’s bed.

Grace dreamt of Mary Whitney holding a jar with a firefly trapped in it. In the dream, Mary let the firefly go, but after escaping the jar, it couldn’t get out of the room because the window was closed.

Later that same night, Grace dreamt she was walking on a gravel path. She looked down and saw dark red peonies growing between the pebbles. The buds opened, and then the petals fell to the ground. Up ahead she saw Nancy, sitting on her knees with her hair in her face and blood streaming down her forehead. When Grace approached, Nancy’s image scattered into a burst of red and white cloth petals.

The next morning, Grace rose and proceeded with her day as usual, though she tells Dr. Jordan that “everything was the same but not the same.” When she found McDermott in the kitchen, Grace asked if he planned to kill Nancy that day. He said yes, and she urged him not to kill her in the bedroom, since the mess would be difficult to clean. She went out into the garden to gather chives, and as she tried to pray, she heard a dull thudding sound from the house.

Grace tells Dr. Jordan that the sound is the last thing she remembers until Mr. Kinnear arrived home the next day. While Mr. Kinnear lay down for a nap, McDermott retrieved Mr. Kinnear’s double-barreled shotgun. When Mr. Kinnear came down from his nap, McDermott shot him in the kitchen. Grace ran into the garden, and McDermott followed and aimed a shot at her. She lost consciousness again. Grace repeatedly insists to Dr. Jordan that she cannot account for the missing time, and Dr. Jordan, feeling pity for her, has an impulse to put his arms around her.