free booknotes online

Help / FAQ




<- Previous Page | First Page | Next Page ->
MonkeyNotes-The Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version

Chapter II

Summary

The second part of the novel begins as the posse is forming to search for the murderers. Farnley is particularly excited and in a hurry. He climbs onto his horse and starts to leave by himself, but Davies stops him. He explains to Farnley that the posse does not know how many rustlers there are, which way they have gone, or how much ahead they have traveled. Osgood, the Baptist minister, comes forward and says that the posse should not be formed without the sheriff. Gil calls Osgood "gran'ma" and says that he should save his preaching until later. Osgood ignores Gil and tells everyone that they must act in a proper and legitimate manner, not as a lawless mob seeking blood instead of justice. No one seems to pay attention to Osgood's words.

Canby suggests that Sheriff Risley be summoned, and Osgood advises them to get Judge Tyler as well. The men shout that they do not want Judge Tyler. Bartlett says that if they wait for the judge, not even one head of cattle will be left by the time he dispenses his slow form of justice. He adds that he will send for his own sons, Carl and Nate, to help in catching the rustlers. Bartlett's words excite all the men, and they shout that they are ready to act together. Osgood tries to calm the crowd and stop the men, but Gil interrupts him. The minister then appeals to Davies, who states that Osgood is right. Then Davies is ridiculed for his support of Osgood. Canby, who has been watching everything, says that the men are wasting their time in arguments.


Greene, the young man who announced the murder of Kinkaid, reminds the posse that the rustlers have guns; therefore, the men all head home to get their own guns. Since Gil and Art are already armed, they stay behind and converse with each other. Gil remembers the hanging of three men by an official posse when he was staying with an old woman in Montana one winter. It makes him feel sad to remember that one of the men was young and scared of dying; he kept crying and telling the men that he had not shot the stagecoach driver, the crime for which he was hanged. Art reminds his friend that they are outsiders and should not get too involved in this posse. As they talk, they see someone coming. It is Bill Winder, who drives the stage between Reno and Bridger's Wells. Gabe Hart, his hostler, is with him; he is a very strong man who loves horses and mules and who supports Winder in everything.

Winder questions Davies about what is going on. Davies tells him about the rustlers and the formation of the posse. Worried about his stagecoach, Winder is anxious for the posse to leave and find the rustlers. When Davies wonders out loud where the rustlers have gone, Winder says that they would have gone to the "south end by the draw," for there is no other way out. When Davies talks of forming a legal posse as provided by law, Winder criticizes and ridicules the legal system of the judge and the sheriff. Davies argues that lynching is wrong; if the posse hangs two or three men, they can also be hanged for murder. He says that the men who act according to the law have three things in their favor: "time, precedent, and the consent of the majority." Davies pleads with the men against a lynching party, saying it is a "sin against society." No one, however, really listens to Davies. Saddened by his failure, he confides to Art that he has done all that he can. Art, not sure of the whole thing himself, tries to console Davies. He also says that sometimes it is necessary to change the law, and sometimes the men representing the law need to change.

Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version


<- Previous Page | First Page | Next Page ->
MonkeyNotes-The Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
Google
Web
PinkMonkey

Google
  Web PinkMonkey.com   

All Contents Copyright PinkMonkey.com
All rights reserved. Further Distribution Is Strictly Prohibited.


About Us
 | Advertising | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Home Page
This page was last updated: 5/9/2017 8:53:19 AM