Action takes place during several January days in 1947 in the town of Olinger, Pennsylvania
The first chapter
The novel begins with the words “Caldwell turned away, and at the same moment an ankle was pierced by an arrow.” The class laughs, and Caldwell-centaur, meanwhile, is not up to laughter, he feels a piercing pain that “shot up over the thin core of the shin, drilled the knee gyrus, and, growing, raging, poured into the stomach.” Caldwell is a biology teacher, at the moment when an arrow stuck in his leg, he wrote on the board the estimated age of the earth – 5 billion years. The class continued to laugh, not letting the centaur “remain alone with pain, measure its strength, listen to how it will die,
While the teacher is wandering along the corridor, he already feels himself completely a centaur, and the plumage of the arrow scraping the floor, taking care of the wound. He is sick, his head is spinning. From the classrooms comes the French speech, the lesson of history, singing.
He goes out into the fresh air, touching the arrow of the step. He goes to Gammel’s garage. Before Gammel was a member of the school board, and his young red-haired wife Vera still teaches physical education there to girls. Many teachers and students are customers of this garage. High school students repair their battered cars here, and younger school children pump up basketballs.
The centaur shows Gammel an arrow sticking out of his foot. The mechanic says that it is steel and went right through. He tries to
The mechanic gives the teacher an arrow, the tip Caldwell put in his pocket earlier.
The mechanic advises to tell the director of the school Zimmerman about this incident, but the teacher says “You can complain about yourself, maybe he will listen to you”.
Gammel asks to say hello to the teacher’s wife, Hussey, and asks if Caldwell has bothered every day to work from the suburbs, but the teacher is even happy about this, because on the way he has the opportunity to talk with his son, whereas when they lived in the city, he “almost did not see” son.
The Caldwells moved to a farm 10 miles from Olinger. Then the car became necessary to them, and Gammel found them an old Buick at a low price ($ 375).
Caldwell feels that he is late, offers money again, but when the mechanic refuses, the teacher thinks: “These Olingor aristocrats are always like that.” They will not accept money for anything, but they like to take an arrogant tone. They will impose a favor and feel like gods. ”
Then the apprentices-mechanics cackled, pointing to the floor, the trace from Caldwell’s boot soaked with blood. Gammel advises to go to the doctor, but Caldwell says that he descends better at the break. “The thought of poison did not leave him, the wound will be cleansed.”
He returns to school, impressively lame, to show his colleague Fole, looking out the window, why he is not in the classroom.
He chooses the path through the underground passage, afraid to walk past Zimmermann’s office. He turns around to see if there are any bloody traces left, so it is: now he will have to apologize to the cleaners. He walks through the cafeteria, where the cook waves his hand, he rejoices, waves back. He is always pleased with the company of ordinary people, such as were around him during his childhood, in New Jersey, where his father served as a poor priest in a poor parish.
Go up the stairs, go past the women’s locker room. He recalls a half-real meeting with Vera (Venus). He came out of the shower in one towel and asked Chiron to tell about all the gods, and over each she laughed, bringing down to ordinary people:
“Poseidon is the ruler of the white sea” – “The old crazy sailor.” He paints his hair in blue, his beard stinks of rotten fish, he has a trunk of African pornographic pictures, his mother was a negress – the whites of his eyes give out “
She reminded Chiron that he was conceived when Cron in the guise of guise mastered Filiro. After the birth of a half-human half-horse, Filir, ashamed of him, implored the gods to turn her into a linden. Chiron remembers how he, “a furry and slippery lump, abandoned, embarrassed by fear” lay on the islet, no more than a hundred paces in length under the open sky; as he, as a young man, came to look at the lindens, trying to recreate the image of the mother. He almost felt that in the noise and touch of the branches he feels the joy of seeing his son as an adult, he tried to somehow justify and forgive her. But still he felt sorry for her and hated it at the same time.
Then Vera threw off the towel and, despite the fact that Chiron is her nephew, offered to sleep with her. Fearing the wrath of Zeus, her father (Zimmerman), Chiron was indecisive, and she disappeared.
Caldwell returned to class. Behind the door was an ominous silence, as he feared, in his office was the director. Zeus the Thunderer threw a look at him, like a lightning, and the silence that stood in the classroom was deafening than thunder. He ironically asked the students to applaud the teacher who deigned to come. When Caldwell lifted his trouser leg to show the wound, Zimmermann bit slyly something about the uneven socks, and released a few more remarks, to which the class responded with a friendly laugh. He did not look at the arrow either, calling it an excellent lightning rod.
The director sat on the back of the desk, because he had already broken his morning program, and once a month he had to attend Caldwell’s lesson and write a report. Usually the reports were bad, and it spoiled the mood for the teacher for weeks.
Suffering from pain, the teacher began a lesson. The director sat in the backseat, and began to flirt with Iris Osgood. Caldwell asked what the figure of 5,000,000,000, written on the board, means. Judith Langel, the daughter of a wealthy real estate broker (“upstart”, who thinks that his daughter should be the best pupil and favorite only because he is rich), as always answered incorrectly. The teacher answered his own question. He asked another question, but Judy again answered incorrectly, and the rest were silent. The teacher looked at his son with a glance, but remembered that he would be in the 7th lesson. Zimmerman winked at Iris. On the example of the national income of the country, he explains what billions are. When Judy again answered incorrectly, he began to mentally instill in her that she “did not yield to her father,” “did not climb out of the skin”, but simply left as soon as possible to get married,
While Caldwell wrote on the board astronomically huge figures and explained that this is the mass of the Earth, the Sun, etc., while Zimmerman whispered something in Iris’s ear at that time, with her eyes undressed her, the excitement passed on to the class, attention faded, the teacher began describe how the universe arose. Caldwell, for simplicity, asked to imagine that the universe exists only 3 days. Today is Thursday. On Monday, there was a great explosion. The first night protogalaxies formed, and in them gas balls, which were condensed and flashed. Towards the morning of Tuesday the stars shone. By noon on the second day, the Earth’s crust was formed. From noon Tuesday to noon Wednesday, the Earth remains barren. From noon to evening, life remained microscopic. On Thursday at 3.30 am there were already all biological species, except for chordates. By 8 o’clock amphibians already existed.
While the teacher explains, metamorphosis begins. The chalk in the hands of the teacher turns into a tadpole, the airplane that falls to the floor, blossoms with a white flower and, until the very end of the lesson, cries like a child; one of the students puts his hands on Betty’s tart and starts caressing her neck under his chin. One of the students jumps up, and from his fiery pimples the wall lights up, a fight begins, the director moves to Iris and hugs her. As soon as Caldwell mentions the trilobite, a few trilobites, similar to lice trees, are poured onto the floor. One of the girls, similar to a parrot, begins to peck trilobites under the desk. The frail boy-diabetic is thrown to the floor, and when he tries to get up, once again hit the floor. One call rang out, the duty officers rush out of the classroom, stepping on the flower-plane, which plaintively squeaks. Director unbuttoned Iris blouse and bra, and her breasts “round the desk”. A bunch of ball bearings flew into the teacher’s face. Deifendorf, one of the students, dragged Betty into the passage, and she giggled, tearing from his hairy hands. “The girl’s crumpled skirt was tucked up.” Becky bent, pressed her face to the desk, and Deifendorf furiously beaten his hooves in the narrow passage. “
Caldwell was furious, and lashed Deifendorf’s arrow on his bare back. “It’s you who broke the grille [on the machine].” “The couple broke up like a broken flower.” Deifendorf cried, the girl indifferently corrected her hair. The director was frantically chirping on a piece of paper.
Continuing the analogy about the age of the universe with 3 calendar days, Caldwell finished the lesson with the words: “A minute ago, with a refined flint, with a smoldering rod, with anticipation of death, a new animal appeared, with a tragic fate… whose name is a man.”
The second chapter is
narrated from the person of Peter Caldwell, the son of a biology teacher. In his narrative there is no mythological plan.
He recalls how he was often awakened by the parents’ voices in the morning. He remembers that one day his father complained to his mother that he felt that he was mortally sick. He says that it’s all because of the children who hate him, and their hatred, like a spider, settled in his bowels. The Christmas holidays were over and my father was going to the spirit before returning to school. On the eve of the holidays, he hit the student in front of the director, and this circumstance makes his father even more nervous before returning to school.
The mother advises the father to go to the doctor.
Peter in bed remembers his meeting with Penny in the car, then presents himself with her in the woods, she turns into a tree. Peter gets up, starts dressing, describes a skin disease, psoriasis, spots from which he has around the stomach, chest, legs and hands. The disease is hereditary, transmitted through the maternal line. In the summer, the sun dried the scabs, and by September the skin was almost clean, not counting the unobtrusive points. But in the autumn and winter the disease blossomed in a magnificent color, on the elbows and on the legs at the point of contact with the socks, the skin was covered with scab. Peter believed that suffering is necessary for a man, and he considered it his curse.
His father turned 50, and he always believed that he would not live to that age.
Peter goes out into the yard, where he cope with small need and cleans his teeth, pumping water with a pump. Dog Lady, which the father does not let into the house, so as not to get used to the heat and then grabbed the pneumonia, greets the boy, wagging his tail, jumping and barking.
The boy is annoyed by the appearance of his father, the fact that he wears a ridiculous knitted cap, which he found in school, in a scrap-case, a plaid coat with colored buttons from a charity sale. Before leaving, my father said “Let’s go to the slaughterhouse,” “We went to the hat factory.” They were late.
They pushed the car, it did not start right away. The boy asked his father why he did not wear the gloves he gave him, spending almost all the money collected for training in an art school when, under the program of an agricultural club, he raised strawberries and sold berries. Then he barely had enough money for a handkerchief to his grandfather and mother on the book. Father answered that they were too good for him and that someone gave it to him in childhood, he would burst into tears. Then he said that his teeth hurt, and it would be good to poke everything up and insert artificial ones from local dentists who are all animators.
On the way, they pick up a tramp-passenger who needs to go to Olton, a neighboring city, larger than Olinger, and the father promises to take him 4 miles to school, but then drives on to Olton, despite the fact that they are late. Peter suspects that the passenger is a “boy-lover.” He evasively answers the questions of the reckless Caldwell, to the question of who he says: “uh… Cook” that he is going to work in Olton, and then to the south. Caldwell is delighted, says that he always dreamed of living like a bird, to fly to the south in winter, wander from place to place. When the father asks the passenger why he is not in the cold in the south, he answers that he lived with one guy in Albany, and he cheated him. When the father asks him whether he has lost much, because he did not travel, did not see the world, the tramp says that he did not lose anything. The father asks him if he has, what to remember, because he himself – and there is nothing to remember, only poverty and fear. Peter is hurt, because he also has a son. Then the stranger tells how he “ripped off” the dog and describes the details. Then he says that he waited all day yesterday for a passing car, but no one stopped. Caldwell says that he always stops, because he can always be in his place. Caldwell told him about his son’s psoriasis. The passenger left. The boy sawed his father all the way, that he hurried home, even did not give him coffee, and for the sake of the tramp, who did not even thank you, made such a detour. When Peter saw that the tramp had stolen his gloves, his father said that they needed him and, probably, he accidentally took them. Then the stranger tells how he “ripped off” the dog and describes the details. Then he says that he waited all day yesterday for a passing car, but no one stopped. Caldwell says that he always stops, because he can always be in his place. Caldwell told him about his son’s psoriasis. The passenger left. The boy sawed his father all the way, that he hurried home, even did not give him coffee, and for the sake of the tramp, who did not even thank you, made such a detour. When Peter saw that the tramp had stolen his gloves, his father said that they needed him and, probably, he accidentally took them. Then the stranger tells how he “ripped off” the dog and describes the details. Then he says that he waited all day yesterday for a passing car, but no one stopped. Caldwell says that he always stops, because he can always be in his place. Caldwell told him about his son’s psoriasis. The passenger left. The boy sawed his father all the way, that he hurried home, even did not give him coffee, and for the sake of the tramp, who did not even thank you, made such a detour. When Peter saw that the tramp had stolen his gloves, his father said that they needed him and, probably, he accidentally took them. because it can always be in its place. Caldwell told him about his son’s psoriasis. The passenger left. The boy sawed his father all the way, that he hurried home, even did not give him coffee, and for the sake of the tramp, who did not even thank you, made such a detour. When Peter saw that the tramp had stolen his gloves, his father said that they needed him and, probably, he accidentally took them. because it can always be in its place. Caldwell told him about his son’s psoriasis. The passenger left. The boy sawed his father all the way, that he hurried home, even did not give him coffee, and for the sake of the tramp, who did not even thank you, made such a detour. When Peter saw that the tramp had stolen his gloves, his father said that they needed him and, probably, he accidentally took them.
The third chapter
Again there is a mythological plan. Chiron goes, late for the lesson, between yew, laurels, cedars. The plants and their properties are described. (“Leaves of the Dubrovnik, in olive oil, crushed, heal bone fractures and purulent wounds”). On the lawn of the centaur the disciples await: Jason, Achilles, and other mythological characters. Achilles sucked the brain from the bone of a fallow deer, to his chin they stuck a honeycomb. In his figure was female fullness. Among the disciples there is also the daughter of a centaur (Okiroi). The lesson begins with the prayers of Zeus. Chiron hesitantly joins the chanting of children. The eagle takes off. Chiron is frightened, but then realizes that, as the eagle soared to his right and up, it is a double sign of the mercy of the gods. Children are full of modesty and nobility. The sun of Arcadia warms ever hotter. The teacher begins the lesson: “In the beginning, the black-winged Night, fertilized by the wind,
The fourth chapter
The story is again on behalf of 15 year old Peter. Peter comes after classes in the office to his father, where he left after the lessons of two students: Deifendorf and Judy Langer. Deifendorf complains that he is not going to go to college, and therefore he does not need biology. Peter understands that Deipendorf-like boys are first driven to the fury of Caldwell, then they are frank with him, they seek approval, as now, and on the street, behind him, they laugh at him again.
At the same time, “this cattle” and his father were very attached to each other, and his father was more open about it than with his own son. He tells Deifendorf that if he does not study, he will become as worthless as himself, he will have to go to the teacher. He calls himself a paid overseer for public refuse and says that although Deifendorf is his worst enemy, he does not want this fate.
Already, being an adult, Peter, as if looking into the future, knows that Deifendorf has become a teacher. When Peter met him in 14 years, Deifendorf said that his father often told him about the vocation of the teacher, that this is not an easy job, but from this one gets great satisfaction.
Caldwell released Deifendorf, who was to meet him again at the swimming competitions that evening. Although Caldwell because of the hernia could not even enter the water, but Zimmerman appointed him coach swimmers. For the whole year the team of swimmers has not won a single meeting. In Olinger there was no pool, and the bottom of the river was dotted with broken bottles. Caldwell warned Deifendorf that he did not smoke, because he would be expelled again from the team, and Zimmermann, having learned that the coach covers him, “will remove his head from him.”
Judy began to ask what would be on the control. The teacher said that he can not tell her, because it will be dishonest in relation to the others. Caldwell asked her a few questions, none of which she could not answer. He answered for her, and she wrote down the answers. Peter answered several questions himself. He liked that he and his father – one team, at the same time against her. When she left, Peter realized that his father, regretting her, listed to her all the questions of the control. The teacher told her to sleep peacefully, and when the control passes, she forgot everything. He told her that she would marry and have 6 children.
When she left, Caldwell said, “Poor thing, her father will have an old maid on her neck” and that there is nothing more terrible than an angry woman. Then he added that his mother had never been embittered. Then the teacher handed his son a sheet and said “Read and sob”. The son was frightened that this was a diagnosis of the doctor, but it was just a report of Zimmerman. Father was very worried about the recall and believed that he could be fired.
He was going to the doctor, which surprised Peter a lot, because his father never went to see a doctor. The fact that he went there, meant that with him and the truth is something wrong. My father told him to wait for him in a cafe with friends that in an hour he would go behind him. But Peter said that he has no friends, and he will go with his father. In the corridor Caldwell apologized to the cleaner for bloody tracks.
Caldwell again asked the boy to wait for him at the cafe, not to waste himself in vain, and said that he had no friends at his time. The boy agreed to a compromise, he will peep briefly in the cafe, and then catch up with his father. He was hoping to meet Penny at the cafe. She was there, he went in, asked her for a cigarette, and then, telling him that his father was unwell, and that, perhaps, he had cancer, he ran his hand under her skirt. He asked her if she was going to basketball tomorrow, and they agreed to occupy each other’s seats. He asked her to pray for his father. Penny’s classmates, a boy and a girl, sitting on the seat opposite to them, and kissing until then, suddenly turned their attention to him. All the high school students knew his father, and in vain told him about his oddities, as he used to lie in the passage between the desks and says, “Tramp, walk over me,
Peter went out and walked to Dr. Appleton’s house. Peter prays “Do not let him die, let my father be healthy.”
In the house of Dr. Peter sees a picture with some cruel antique scene, where gestures and facial expressions are extremely exaggerated, and turned away, as if seeing a pornographic picture. He remembered how in the third grade his parents quarreled, he was worried, and because of the excitement, he had a rash on his face, and was mocked at school. And how once he fell ill with a cold, and the parents called the doctor only on day 3, since there was no money. The doctor came in and in a raspy voice asked: “What did you do with the child?”.
The doctor had 2 features: a twin sister who led the Latin to Peter and psoriasis. So Appleton did not become a surgeon. Because it would be worth it to roll up the sleeves, the patient on the operating table would shout “Doctor, heal itself!”. His son went to study as a surgeon, and his wife either died, or disappeared under unknown circumstances. Another doctor did not believe in anything.
Appleton looked at Peter and said that almost nothing was visible on his face. Peter was upset, he thought, there was nothing on his face at all.
The doctor asked Peter to wait in the waiting room until he finished with his father, but Caldwell insisted that the son “hear your sentence.” The doctor said that the father does not regret his body, and that he has a nervous overexertion. And from this excess of gastric juice. Symptoms that Caldwell says can be given by ordinary colitis. It is necessary to do an x-ray. Appleton talked about how he studied with Zimmerman in one class.
He prescribed a bottle of cherry fluid to his father.
When they left, the father said that the doctor had ordered him an X-ray at 6 o’clock in the evening. When Peter asked why Appleton did not like Zimmermann, he replied that he had an affair with his wife, and that it was not known who was Skippy’s father, his son, in fact. The boy asked where his wife had gone, Caldwell said that she had left somewhere, or maybe she was no longer alive.
The father said that he would go to do an x-ray in Olton, then cross the road to the sports club, to the competitions, and Peter, while he goes to the cinema, will sit there until 8, until the end of the competition.
When the boy said that there must be a way to cure him, Caldwell replied: “Kill me.” The boy was shocked by his words.
Peter looked at the movie “The Song of My Heart” and only at the end of the film realized that he was late. He ran out of the cinema and ran to the sports club. Father and Deifendorf, wet, sat on a bench. Olinger lost with the score: Olton 37, 5 – Olinger – 18, although Deifendorf won 1 swim. The coach said that he was proud of him, and asked what the winner felt. The father told his team that he was proud of them all, that they were good fellows, because they came to the competition, because it does not bring them any fame or money.
Father and son went to eat in a restaurant, after a meal they bought a Italian sandwich in Italian for the last dollar. When they approached the car in a dark alley, the boy thought that they could be killed here, and no living soul would have known about it until the morning. The car did not start. They tried to get it for a long time. And then my father put his hands on the steering wheel and dropped his head on them. He used to never do this before. The boy realized that something had broken in him. Then he looked up and said that he had been with him all his life. That he’s a loser.
They got out of the car and started knocking on the door of the gas station, but it was closed. They go to another garage, which is still open at this time. The manager leaves for a long time, and when he returns, says he can not help, the tugboats are busy, and only in the morning he can repair the car. On the way back to the car they were drunk, he told Caldwell how ashamed he was to lead the boy with him, and Peter said, “Run home to my mother.” He did not believe that Caldwell was his father. The drunk told Peter that he would use it and throw it outside, and then find another boy. Then the drunk swung at Caldwell, and when Caldwell waved him back, the drunk said, “Beat a man who wants to save your soul, are you ready for death?”. The drunk came up to the boy, embraced him and said how skinny he was, and why this libertine does not feed him. Caldwell did not see this, he slowly replied: “I thought I was ready for death, but now I’m not sure.” Peter broke free and said, “Dad, come on!”. But Caldwell said, “This gentleman says business, are you ready for death?” The drunk said that he would be ready when all the debauches were put in jail and they would throw the key away. He suggested that the boy slam the child molesters or call the police. He asked Caldwell how much he would give him so that he would not call the police. He began to beg for 10 dollars and asked the boy how much this man pays to him. His father stood motionless and rubbed his warty hands under the lantern. The drunk lowered the price to $ 5. Then he agreed to 1 dollar and promised to show the hotel, where they do not ask questions. Caldwell said, that the hotel for him is a familiar matter. He was like in a trance. He gave the drunk the last 35 cents and said that he was very pleased to talk with him, because he cleared his thoughts.
They went to the hotel, the doorman hunchback said he knew Caldwell, his niece was studying with him, so he agreed to provide the room, although they did not have the money. Caldwell said that Gloria is a good girl and always keeps, like a lady.
And in the room he said, “Know this rubbish Davis, that served me well, she would be choked all night long.” He went to lock the car and call his mother.
When his father returned, Peter was almost asleep. My father said that he called my mom and Gammel, who will send a truck for their car in the morning. He said that he had been chatting in the lobby with the dearest man who traveled the states and advised shops how to set up advertising. Father explained to him that his son dreams of such a creative work, to which the consultant replied that he would like to get acquainted with Peter. But Peter did not want to go down and get acquainted. To which the father replied, “So, send him away, and? Perhaps this will be the most correct.” Such a man is ready to gnaw for a cent of a throat. ”
In the morning, Peter heard his father clearly repeat “I want to die.”
Below they found out that the porter Charlie had died of a heart attack at night. After a long explanation, the other porter agreed to take the check. (On the account of his father was only 20 cents). A small thing, which was in their pockets, went for breakfast in a mobile restaurant. When they approached the school, it was not the first time Peter had imagined that his father could soon die.
The chapter is a posthumous speech that pays tribute to the late Caldwell. The whole life of the teacher is described. He was born in the state of New York in the family of a Presbyterian priest, his mother, originally from the southern states of Tennessee, was a model of piety and true faith. During her husband’s prolonged illness, before his death at the age of 49, she replaced him at the pulpit of the church. They had 2 children, George Caldwell – junior. When the child was 3 years old, the priest and his family moved to New Jersey, as he received an invitation to the first Presbyterian church.
The boy was nicknamed the wand for his thinness, he was very capable, although from modesty later he said that the limit of his dreams was to become an apothecary.
During World War I, he patriotically joined the staff division in 1917 and nearly died during the epidemic of influenza. He was preparing to sail to Europe, when a truce was concluded, and he never left his country.
His sister got married, and he became the only support of his mother, he changed many professions: he sold encyclopedias, drove a sightseeing bus. I entered college, graduated without any financial support. He combined study with work, and successfully played for a football team. As a goalkeeper, he broke his nose, collarbone, tibia. He met and loved Hassi Kramer.
He worked for a telephone company in the eastern states, but in times of depression he lost his job when his wife was pregnant. Became a teacher in the Olinger school.
His professional qualities, his activity as a coach and charitable activities are described.
The sixth chapter is a
narrative on behalf of Peter. He is chained to the rock. The teacher asks him how many will be 4 + 2 * 3-6 / 2 + 4, ask to list the members of the office of Truman. Peter answers incorrectly or does not know what to say. The man bends over, picks up something, throws, Peter sees a volleyball, wants to fight off, but his wrists are chained with ice and chain.
The ball turns into Deifendorf, who folds his arms in such a way that there is a diamond-shaped gap between them and says: “You see, they just need you to be here.” Back and forth. “But this is bestiality.” “Of course, it’s crap, but there’s nothing to be done, back and forth.” And to kiss them, to hug, to say all sorts of beautiful words, everything is as useless as water from a gusher. Deifendorf clamped a pencil in his mouth and showed how it was done, dropping his face to his hands. And for Peter there was nothing in the world except this person. “And if her legs are too thick, and do not break out, understand?” Said Deifendorf. He said that with the thin, like Gloria Davis or Mrs. Gammel you feel calmer. Then he asked why he was always a yellow spot on his fly, and his laughter was picked up by the mountains of the Caucasus,
And then came to him a city painted as an Indian. Peter said to the city: “You remember us, we walked along the tram tracks, and I always hurried to keep up.” The city ran a hand over his cheek and dumped his fingers with clay and said: “I remember… so many people…” The boy begins to describe his father, all his services, but the city can not remember him. When it seems that the city saw him, a man whose pockets stick out spoiled hands, it turns out that this is just a shadow.
The bell rang. Johnny Dedman gives out cards with pornographic pictures. When Peter asks to show others, Dedman tells him that he must pay for it. But Peter says that he has no money, they even left a check in the hotel. But Dedman knows that Peter has a hidden dollar. But Peter says that his hands are tied up, he can not get it. Penny pressed herself against Peter, trying to get a dollar. Peter told her that they still need this money, eat before a basketball game. She asks why they moved to the farm, because this is so inconvenient. Peter says that now it’s easier for them to be together. Penny says that Peter does not use it anyway. Peter says that he once took advantage.
“Fuck you, Peter, look at,” Johnny tells him and shows the rest of the cards. Peter is delighted with the symmetry of bodies, the whirlpool of flesh. Then he remembers his father and asks how Johnny thinks he will show X-rays. Johnny says that the odds are equal. Penny remembers that she forgot to pray for him.
Peter is asked what his lesson is. He says that Latin, but he did not even open a textbook. Penny wonders that Esther Appleton will forgive him everything, as he compliments the changes with his father, and Peter does not see anything.
At the Latin lesson, Peter was asked to translate a verse from the Aeneid. He translates badly. Appears crying Iris in a torn blouse and bare chest. Peter comforts her that he, too, had only a thread from his shirt. Everyone looks at him and sees his scabs. One boy asks someone to give him an injection, because he touched Peter’s skin and is afraid of getting infected. He thinks it’s syphilis.
Then the father appears and writes a formula on the blackboard. He says that a person can turn into a bunch of useless chemicals. Peter screams to him: “Dad, where are you? Why can not you forgive us and stay?”
They go with their father down the street, and he keeps shouting “Wait for me, do not go away!”. He told his father that he still hoped. Father asked if he really hoped. The son replies: Yes!
A narrative from Caldwell. The evening of the same day, the teacher leaves the classroom. He meets the teacher of French Esther Appleton. They both turned 50, and she feels like they were lovers. They talk about his visit to her twin brother, a doctor. Caldwell says that he should not have married Hassi, but it should be arranged in a vaudeville and become her entrepreneur. Esther says not a few words in French, because it calms the teacher, and he reads her a poem. They thank each other, and she leaves for her class.
Caldwell remembers that his wife did not notice psoriasis until they were married. He sees that a whole bunch of tickets for basketball is not enough. He is going to look to Gammel about the repair, call Hussey, go to the dentist, have time to start the game, go with Peter home. He is afraid to learn that he showed X-rays, he is afraid of death.
The Mainor cafe is empty. Peter is sitting there with Johnny Dedman. Peter talks with Minor about communism. Peter believes that in communism there is nothing wrong, and in 20 years he will come to the states. Minor says that it was necessary to take Moscow in the second world war, too, that the Russian soldier is the most cowardly in the world, and that the peasants would greet them with open arms. Peter says that in Leningrad the Russians did not coward. But Minor says that this is all American weapons, without him they would not have won. Johnny says that he adores Hitler that he actually lives in Argentina now.
As an adult, Peter saw a nightmare: Hitler is alive, his, half-witted old man was found in Argentina.
Minor says that Hitler is better than the old Joe Stalin. Johnny says that we need to drop the bomb on Moscow, Paris, Berlin, Italy, America, he adores the atomic fungus.
Peter comes to the father. Minor tells him that Caldwell has just declared himself atheist and communist.
Caldwell advises Johnny to go to Gammel’s garage and tells his son that he saw Mrs. Herzog coming out of Zimmermann’s office, he thinks they made love there. He thinks that now Zimmerman will not let him live peacefully.
Peter calms him down, but Caldwell tells him that if he were so sure of himself, he would have arranged a mother on the stage and Peter would never have been born. Peter is upset with such sharpness. The father asks for 10 dollars on loan from Minor and jokes that the Russians are already in Olinger, take the tram and go here. He believes that this will be the greatest success if the Russians come and shoot them.
Caldwell gives $ 5 to Peter. He calls Hussey home, asks if his father-in-law has fallen since the stairs, then hands over the receiver to his son. Mother asks how her father says that he cares for him. Peter asks about the Lady, did she catch a skunk.
The conversation between the principal and Mrs. Herzog. She tells that Caldwell saw her, worries that their relationship will be known. She asks him to fire.
Caldwell at the dentist, his former student. He feels growing pain, then he is torn out of the tooth, anesthesia does not start to act.
Caldwell talks to a colleague, Phillipomes, about the missing bundle of tickets. They talk about the X-ray, about their former student, the aviation instructor, who died because of the student’s mistake, about his death, about his colleague’s son, Caldwell’s flattery about him. Caldwell says that it dawned on him that bliss is in ignorance. He says that his father died at the age of 49, and he does not want to let his son down like that. Caldwell goes to sell tickets for the match.
Students crowd around for tickets, snatches of their conversations. Peter took Penny’s place, she makes her way to him, he admires her small stature. She asks if Peter does not shave, he has something like a razor-like foam on his ear. He says that this is his secret, and he will then show her to her if she is not afraid.
Phillus comes up to Caldwell and says that he seems to know where the tickets went. Zimmerman gave them to the Sunday school, where he teaches, for free. He advises not to make noise, but to mark it as charity in the statements.
Vera Gammel sees a young priest and starts flirting with him.
Zimmerman grabs Peter and Penny by the hand and says that the couple got caught, Peter looks like his father, but Peter accuses him of being unfair to his father in his recall, says that he is sick, but he is more worried about what – then missing tickets. When the director leaves, Peter shows Penny his skin, but she says she knew about his skin disease. He says that he loves her, that he thought she was stupid, but now she does not think so. He kneels in front of her and presses his face to her belly.
The director comes up to Caldwell and starts making excuses about tickets, but Caldwell assures him that everything is all right, that he just misunderstood. Caldwell fears that he may be fired because he learned about the director’s and the Duke’s novel. But the director tells him that he can give him leave for a year if he does not feel well. Caldwell seems that if he goes on vacation, he will not return.
Caldwell approaches the Presbyterian priest who flirts with Vera and tells him that he is embarrassed by the spirit. But the priest is not up to him and he hastily answers his questions and wants to get rid of him quickly, suggests to go to him at any time