Reuben now knows that he is getting worse. He really understands it the night Swede volunteers to do dishes without him. She sends him upstairs while she makes steam. However, Reuben doesn't want to go upstairs alone and tries to get her just to talk to him. She'll have none of it and so he makes the climb to his bed, as tough a climb as any he had made in the hills with Davy. He is unable to make and falls asleep on the steps. When Swede discovers him there, she is alarmed. Dad has gone off somewhere with Roxanna and she must get Reuben under the steam alone. She manages to do so and stays with him, reading Psalms aloud against her fear. At this a dread realization occurs to Reuben: since arriving at this house, they have had no miracles what ever. He thinks, Without a miracle, exactly what chance do I have? Then Swede begins to read more of Sundown while Reuben decides to tell her about Davy. Before he can say anything, she tells how Sunny has been trailed by a posse and now the posse is trailing his bride in search of him. She hasn't written it all yet, but she tells him the plot: Sunny will take his bride into the valley, pick off the posse one by one and dynamite himself and his bride inside the Valley of Eden forever. Meanwhile, Reuben's whole body mourns for air, he is hot and sick, and he wants Dad to walk in. Besides, hearing the wonderful ending of the poem only makes Reuben mourn Davy living in the shack with its pig and the nutcase named Walzer who is awaiting the world's destruction.
Again Reuben tries to tell Swede about Davy, but they are interrupted
by Dad returning with Dr. Nickles, who tells them that the steam treatment
is worthless, because Reuben is a full-blown asthmatic. He wants to put
Reuben in the hospital, but it's full of flu victims. So, he gives Reuben
an adrenaline shot which makes him feel like.......
This chapter is one of suspense that is building to the main climax.
Dad obviously is aware that Reuben knows more about Davy than he is saying,
and that Reuben cannot stop thinking of Andreeson as the enemy even though
it's Walzer, perhaps even Davy, who is to be feared.........
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