On Thursday morning, Neely and Paul meet early in the rear of the bookstore. They have coffee with Nat and then leave when the Sheriff arrives. Mal Brown uses his lights to allow him to drive like a maniac through town and beyond. He opens the conversation first by talking about his time in Vietnam. He relates the story of how he almost died when he and his crew were patrolling the Bassac River on a PBR. They were acting like stupid 18 year olds, who believed they could shoot at anything and anyone they wanted and still survive. They thought they were immortal. Suddenly, all hell broke loose. They were taking fire from both sides of the river. Everyone but him was shot, some dying immediately. Mal dove into the water and stayed under for as long as he could, coming up for air only when he was on the verge of drowning. The Viet Cong waited on the bank patiently for him to surface and then sprayed fire at him while they laughed at his predicament. Mal says that the only thing that ultimately saved him was Eddie Rake. While he was hanging on to the boat for his life, while he listened to his friends die, he didn't think about his mother or his father or his girlfriend. He thought about Eddie Rake. He got hit in the leg with a bullet that tracked through the water which then reminded him of Rake pacing the sidelines or wandering the practice fields barking at them to never quit, to keep on hitting even when the odds were against them. He especially remembered Coach in the 4th quarter of every game telling the team to suck it up, because this was their gut check, what determined whether they would win or lose. Later, when a chopper rescued the Sheriff, they told him he'd said his name was Eddie Rake.

Soon, Mal Brown makes them stop for the best biscuits in the area, and it's here that he insists that now that Coach is dead, they need to tell what happened at half-time of the '87 championship game. So after looking at Paul for confirmation, Neely finishes the story begun in the bleachers the night before. When they entered the locker room down 31-0, they waited to............


Many pieces of information are revealed in this chapter, including the truth about halftime of the championship game, how Jesse Trapp lost his way, and the........


The complete study guide is currently available as a downloadable PDF, RTF, or MS Word DOC file from the PinkMonkey MonkeyNotes download store. The complete study guide contains summaries and notes for all of the chapters; detailed analysis of the themes, plot structure, and characters; important quotations and analysis; detailed analysis of symbolism, motifs, and imagery; a key facts summary; detailed analysis of the use of foreshadowing and irony; a multiple-choice quiz, and suggested book report ideas and essay topics.

Cite this page:

Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on A Long Way Gone".