32 pages 1 hour read

John Steinbeck

The Moon Is Down

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1942

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Chapters 4-6Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 4 Summary

As Alex’s trial proceeds in the mayor’s drawing-room, a heavy snowfall begins to fall on the town. Alex is questioned by Colonel Lanser and confesses that he meant to hit Captain Loft, who was ordering him to continue working in the mine, and he did not mean to kill either Loft or Bentick. However, Alex also confesses that he doesn’t feel guilty over the incident.

Before Alex is executed, Mayor Orden reassures him that he is not cooperating with Colonel Lanser and is instead inspired by Alex’s courage to act upon the resentment that he and the rest of the town feels towards Lanser’s troops. Orden says, “Alex, go, knowing that these men will have no rest, no rest at all until they are gone, or dead” (55). Alex is shot by a firing squad led by Lieutenant Tonder.

Directly after shots are fired, an unknown person in the town shoots a bullet through the Mayor’s window and hits Lieutenant Prackle in the shoulder. To ensure the town doesn’t fall into total revolt, Colonel Lanser holds the mayor hostage in his home and orders a search for the person who shot Prackle. All weapons in the town are to be collected and brought to the Mayor’s home.