90 pages 3 hours read

Amor Towles

The Lincoln Highway

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2021

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Part 4Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 4: “Seven”

Part 4, Chapter 13 Summary: “Duchess”

Over breakfast at a Howard Johnson’s in Illinois, Duchess describes the intensity with which Woolly focuses on and pores over the extensive breakfast menu and the laborious means by which Woolly reads each item aloud twice and decides at last what he wants and places his order. Duchess is then struck by Woolly’s lack of interest in his food when it arrives. Woolly has discovered that his placemat is also a map, and it commands his attention as he locates the Lincoln Highway and marks their current location. Duchess takes in the atmosphere around him, disapproving of the décor and dismissive of the waitress and the clientele. On his way to the bathroom, Duchess places a call to Salina, feigning a British accent and assuming a false persona. He tells the receptionist at Salina that he is Warden Ackerly’s uncle from England, and he has misplaced Ackerly’s address. Lucinda provides it for him without question, learning that Warden Ackerly relocated to South Bend, Indiana. Pleased with himself, Duchess strikes up a conversation with another patron in the bathroom. Presuming him to be a salesman, Duchess demonstrates sincere interest in his craft and his product, asking questions about both and whether he served in the war.

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