The cry of the owl
1. Description of the characters
· Robert Forester
Robert is a 29 year old man who lives in Langley and who also works there, at Langley Aeronautics.
He once saw Jennifer Thierolf in front of her house, and since then he can’t keep his eyes of her. At night, he can’t resist to go to her house to watch her from outside. He feels a revulsion and he can’t stop it, although he wants to. But her image has struck him and it makes him happy to see how she cooks and what she does. The only thing that bothers him a little is the fact that he might be caught by the police, but even that can’t stop him from going to her house from time to time.
While he was ‘prowling’ he sometimes made some noise and Jennifer had been scared. He didn’t want her to be scared. He always felt guilty when she was. Robert just wants her to be happy, together with her boyfriend Greg Wyncoop
Robert had come to Langley (Pensylvania) because he had felt depressed. He had gone to a psychotherapist. He had separated from Nickie (Veronica) and wanted to go to another city because he was about to quit his job and so he moved from New York to the much smaller village of Langley Now, he lives in the Camelot apartments.
· Jennifer Thierolf
.Jennifer (Jenny) is a 23 years old girl who also lives in Langley, not far from Robert. She has a smooth face, a large mouth, small eyes and her boyfriend’s Greg. She lives on her own in an old house that makes lots of scary noises. She works as a bookkeepers secretary. She’s very healthy and wants to keep the sex for after the wedding, so I can say she’s rather conservative. She has been depressed as well.
· Greg Wyncoop
Greg is Jenny’s boyfriend and just a little bit older than she is. He’s a rather jealous type and rather aggressive and he hates the house Jenny lives in.
Greg’s a salesman of pharmaceuticals.
· Nickie (Veronica)
Nickie is the hysterical ex-wife of Robert who still lives in New York. She was often angry with him and they had finished abruptly. Ralph Jurgen is Nickie’s new boyfriend and he makes lots of money.
Nickie can’t say one good word about Robert and she actually hates him and she’s very glad they’ve separated.
2. The story
So Robert prowls around Jenny’s house. One day, she sees Robert standing on her driveway. Robert had expected her to be very angry and scared, but instead of that, they introduce and she asks him if she wants to go into the house because it’s cold outside (it’s winter).
They talk and talk and Robert tells he has been depressed and Jenny tells him the same. They have a very good talk and they feel comfortable with each other.
The next day, Jenny telephones Robert and they go to a restaurant. There he tells his father had killed himself and that his mother had re-married, and that was one of the reasons why he had felt depressed.
Because of the fact Jenny and Robert have really good talks, she asks herself: Does she love Greg enough to marry him? In fact, that night she already knows she won’t marry Greg.
Jenny asks if Robert could come over from time to time, but actually Robert’s not up to it. He doesn’t want to be alone with her, he rather meet Greg also. But Jenny doesn’t want that.
One day, Greg sees that Robert’s in Jenny’s house and he’s very angry that she didn’t tell her fiancee. Greg asks Robert to leave and Jenny says Greg’s acting ridiculous. Robert feels guilty because Jenny and Greg had a fight because of him.
Robert tells Jenny he can’t see her anymore, but Jenny doesn’t want that to happen! She doesn’t know where he lives, but does know where he works and she does know his car, so she goes to his work to find his car and she finds it! She follows Robert to his house and know she knows where he lives. She goes out of her car and Robert is glad to see her again.
Robert says he’s planning to move to Philadelphia. Jenny feels ill when she thinks of the idea that Robert will be far from her. She stays with him for the night, but Robert sleeps in his bed and Jenny on the sofa. They don’t sleep together.
Jenny stays for a couple more days and one of those days, Jenny kisses Robert on the mouth. Robert wished he had never allowed her to let her sleep into his house because now Jenny really loves Robert and he doesn’t want that at all. He says to Jenny that he doesn’t know if he can love her. He doesn’t want to make any promises.
Greg had done an investigation to know more about Robert and he calls Nickie. Nickie has told all kinds of bad things about Robert: that he had wanted to kill Nickie by pointing a gun at her (which is true) and that he’s actually insane.
Greg thinks Jenny and Robert are in love (in fact Jenny loves Robert but Robert doesn’t love Jenny) and Greg wants to have her back because he loves her. So Greg drives to Langley Aeronautics to meet Robert. There, Greg threatens Robert. He says he’s going to kill Robert if he doesn’t leave Jenny alone.
Jenny invites Robert to have dinner together with the Tessers, Jenny’s neighbours. Greg has also called the Tessers and told them everything he knew about Robert, about the prowling and stuff. Robert and Jenny both feel uncomfortable. In fact, the Tessers are worried about Jenny. They don’t want her to get hurt…
Robert now definitely wants to move to Philadelphia, because then he lives much further away from Jenny and so they won’t see each other so often anymore, and that’s good.
Robert packs his things to move to Philadelphia and drives along, but is followed by Greg. Greg almost drives him off the road and they start to fight. Greg wants to murder Robert but Robert hits back and Greg falls into the river. Because
Robert doesn’t want Greg to be dead, he pulls him out of the river and lives him on the grass. Robert is sure Greg is alive.
But the following days, Greg’s been missing. Robert has the feeling he has to talk to the police about the fight and he calls the police. Jenny is afraid because she thinks they will get into trouble. The police comes over and they talk about the fight he and Greg had. The police will investigate the whole incident. Every time someone asks how Jenny and Robert met, they find it hard to tell and they always tell a different story…
Robert’s a bit worried… What if the police finds Greg’s body? They won’t believe him after the cops heard Nickie’s story about his insanity etc. Suddenly he thinks of Nickie: Greg and Nickie had have contact before, so why wouldn’t have Greg gone to Nickie to hide???
He goes to New York immediately to talk to Nickie. He’s very eager to investigate this whole thing and he’s sure Greg’s still alive. He wants to find Greg.
Once Robert’s in New York and talks to Nickie, he sees Nickie’s lying when she says she doesn’t know where Greg is. Of course she knows!
Ralph, Nickie’s boyfriend, is in the complot too, and he goes to the hotel where Greg is hiding under a false name. They meet and Ralph tells Greg has bothered Robert enough.
Jenny listens to the sound of a crying owl, the symbol of death. (On the cover of the book there’s an owl that represents Robert, and the owl’s behind a window, just like Robert was when he was prowling -----à meaning of the title!) Jenny realises Robert means “the death” for her, and she doesn’t want to live together with “the death”, certainly not because her younger brother died when he was still very young.
Susie has talked to Jenny and that’s why Jenny says to Robert she can’t see him anymore.
Jenny’s becoming insane. She takes loads of sleeping pills (an overdose) and goes outside. One bottle of pills she took from Robert’s bedroom and the other bottles she had gotten from Greg, because he works in a factory for Pharmaceutics.
She also has a razor blade with her. She leaves a note for Robert: “Robert, you mean death to me”. She takes the sweater she was making for Robert with her. With the razor blade, she wants to cut her wrists.
When Robert’s at home and can’t sleep, he wants to take a sleeping pill but he can’t find the bottle. It’s the bottle Jenny took to kill herself.
Jenny is found dead because of an overdose of sleeping pills. Robert feels very guilty because of Jenny committing suicide…
Greg, who is still hiding, thinks and really believes Robert is the cause of her death and now, he’s very eager to kill Robert.
On a night, Robert hears a gun shot very close to his house. He thinks it’s Greg.
He calls the police, but they don’t do anything, and they have found a body. The police thinks it’s Greg’s body and they ask Robert come over and see the body. The corpse is a mess (for example the eyes are missing).
A few nights later, Robert’s hit by something while telephoning with his mother. The shot comes from outside and has gone trough the window. Kolbe, a neighbour, has heard the shot and comes immediately. He calls a doctor and doctors and policemen come to Robert’s house.
The doctor asks if Robert want to come to his house, because it’s safer and it’s easier to take care of Robert when he’s very close to him. It was the first time the doctor had invited someone since the death of his wife and he’s pleased he’s not alone in the house now.
When Robert’s upstairs in the doctor’s house, he hears a gunshot downstairs. He rushes downstairs and sees the doctor lying against the wall. The doctor’s still alive.
The neighbours had heard the gunshot and they come over, worried of course. The doctor’s been carried to the hospital and he’s in a coma.
Robert feels he has to visit Jenny’s parents and so he does. He tells everything very honestly, but the visit hadn’t change anything for anybody. He feels better tough.
Robert’s planning to move to New Mexico. He can’t live in the same city where Jenny had killed herself and he wants to escape from Nickie and Greg…
On a night, Robert hears footsteps. At least, that’s what he thinks. He goes outside his house and there’s Greg. Robert grabs a piece of wood for his own safety and slams Greg with that piece of wood. Greg can’t move and Robert takes Greg’s gun. Kolbe has heard it and comes over. Kolbe has a gun and threatens Robert. Kolbe says Robert has to hand Greg’s gun back to Greg. Greg runs away and Robert calls the police.
Greg’s hurrying to take the train to New York because now he knows he’s in danger. The police is fast enough to catch him and he’s been interrogated. Greg doesn’t tell one lie and explains everything honestly. It seems he and Nickie had had a relationship and they even had sex twice!
Nickie would have liked it to keep that sex-story as a secret, and when she hears Greg has told the cops they have had sex, she’s so angry that she’s coming over to the police office because she definitely wants to talk to Greg!
Nickie didn’t come to the police office.
Greg’s father pays the prison bail and so Greg’s free. Greg’s father had made a huge effort to gather the money to pay that prison bail.
Alex (Greg’s boss) calls Greg and Greg’s fired. Mrs Van Vleet (the woman who owns the residence where Greg works) doesn’t want Greg in her building anymore as well. So now he hasn’t got a job, nor a place to live…
Because Nickie didn’t come over to the police office the past day, she and Greg go past Robert’s house at the moment he wants to leave for New Mexico. Robert and Greg start a fight (again) and Greg knocks him but he’s drunk. Greg takes a knife and hurts Robert in the side of his stomach. By accident, Greg also wounds Nickie in her neck. She’s bleeding heavily and Greg runs away as fast as he can.
Robert want to pick up the knife, but he realises that Greg’s the one who did it, and Greg’s fingerprints will be on the knife, and not his. So he may definitely not touch the knife.
Finally, Greg will pay for what he did!
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