Fifth Business Study Guide

Part IV – Gyges and King Candaules

Even though the Depression is difficult for most people, Boy continues to live comfortably. His sugar business provided cheap food for people to snack on. He considers his vitamin-enriched bread as a public service for hungry families. Leola continues to be depressed and fails to become the wife that Boy wants her to be. She gives up and continues to become emotionally abused by her husband.

Despite remaining close to Boy, there’s still some mistrust between the two of them. Dunstan doesn’t interfere with their affairs as husband and wife, but he quietly provides as a quiet ally for Leola. One day, Boy asks Dunstan to have a roll of film developed. Dunny discovers that the photos were of Leola in the nude. Dunstan starts to think if this is Boy’s idea of a sick joke. He eventually discovers that this might be Boy’s ploy to get Leola off his back. Dunstan tells Boy about the story of Gyges and King Candaules to change Boy’s perception of his control over his wife. Nine months later, Leola welcomes a baby boy named David.


Dunstan continues to visit Mrs. Dempster and her aunt, despite Mary only knowing him a their new friend. He eventually meets Ms. Shanklin’s lawyer, Orpheus Wettenhall. Upon Aunt Shanklin’s death, Orpheus informs Dunstant that he has been assigned as Mrs. Dempster’s legal guardian. Should he accept the responsibility, he’ll annually receive $5,000 from Aunt Shanklin’s estate.

Aside from his usual routines, he continued to pursue his study of saints. Dunstan becomes involved with Bollandists, a group of Jesuits. They specialize in the study of saints, hagiography and asked Dunstan to write for their publication, Analecta Bollandiana, their official publication on all things sainthood.

Despite being a respected writer and educator, Dunstan still has regrets about his life. He is unmarried and childless and stuck at a career that Boy dubs as a dead-end. During his next Europe trip, he decides to pay a visit to the Jesuit Bollandists. He isn’t a Catholic, but he is fascinated with how like-minded Bollandists are to him. Among the Jesuits that he felt close to was an eccentric older priest named Padre Ignacio Blazon. They tend to dine out and have deep conversations about a lot of things. On their way to Vienna, they end up discussing about Mary Dempster. Dunstan points out the three miracles that Mary Dempster has already done. Padre Blazon tells him that it’s impossible for the church to consider Mrs. Dempster as a saint. He asks Dunstan why he’s worried about what the church would say. The father believes that every soul needs a teacher: he needs someone to teach him how to be an old man and Dunstan needs to discover what Mary Dempster can teach him. The father also suggested that Mary Dempster must have delivered Dunstan from the snowball, as she delivered him when his leg got injured. He believes that Mrs. Dempster is a great part of Dunstan’s humanity and that Dunstan must understand the role that she’s playing in his life before he goes mad.

Dunstan continues to be Boy’s confidant. He thinks that Boy’s sexual escapades can be compared to the Kama Sutra sculptures in India. But despite all of this, he still chooses to keep Boy’s infidelities a secret between the two of them. Leola soon discovers her husband’s infidelity. As Boy was walking out during one of their fights, Leola grabs his coat and finds concrete proof of his cheating. Boy informs Leola about how she’s already secured and that she shouldn’t expect Boy to be tied down to her. A distraught Leola runs to her room. Dunstan checks up on her when she tries to seduce him. Dunstan denied her advances, leaving her crying on the floor. Leola attempts suicide and tries to blame it on Dunstan on her suicide note. He is the first one on the scene and was able to destroy the note before anyone saw it. Leola survives and Boy just continued on with his life, not affected by any of the events.

Notes: While Dunstan is struggling with getting meaning from Mrs. Dempster, Padre Blazon was able to serve as a mentor to him and helps him decipher the rest of his life.

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Celis, Christine. "TheBestNotes on Fifth Business". TheBestNotes.com. . 09 May 2017
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