chapter 2 summary

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minnie tells velma to stop fighting the healing and then stops to confer with old wife, her spirit guide. old wife tells minnie that she may have finally met her match in velma. the two bicker as old friends might about belief, religion, theology, healing, other patients, and each other, belying a close relationship that began long before old wife's death and transition to spirit guide. eventually, minnie asks old wife where velma has “gone off to,” suggesting that velma’s energy seems to have changed. “she’s off dancing,” old wife replies.

minnie thinks back to her younger days, recalling her earliest awareness of her spiritual gifts and the time it took her to hone them. feeling unable to fully reach velma, she petitions old wife for more explicit direction than the banter she’s been providing. old wife dodges the request, and minnie’s mind drifts back to her origins: wandering around the hills and receiving messages, connecting with the terrain, and seeing old wife appear for the first time during a session.

back in the infirmary, some of the onlookers begin to grow restless. one observer, dr. meadows, quietly leaves.

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