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Plot in The Were-Wolf
Plot Examples in The Were-Wolf:
"For he did not presume that no holy water could be more holy, more potent to destroy an evil thing than the life-blood of a pure heart poured out for another in free willing devotion...." See in text (The Were-Wolf)
As established earlier in the story, one thing certain to kill a werewolf is holy water—water that has been sanctified somehow. Because of Christian’s selfless sacrifice, his blood has been made holy, powerful enough to vanquish a werewolf due to his steadfast love for his brother.
"yet a juniper bough, thrusting out, gave a handhold secure enough for one with a resolute grasp to swing past the perilous place, and pass on safe...." See in text (The Were-Wolf)
Because of the injuries to Christian’s hands, he’ll be unable to grasp the branch that would allow him to traverse the gap safely. Thus, if White Fell reaches the handhold, she’ll be able to escape.
"She stretched forward strangely aslant,..." See in text (The Were-Wolf)
Notice how wolf-like her body has become, suggesting her true nature as it gets closer to midnight, when she will be forced to transform into a wolf.
"The blow was effectual enough even so; his right arm dropped powerless, gashed, and with the lesser bone broken..." See in text (The Were-Wolf)
First Christian’s left hand and now his right have been rendered useless by White Fell’s blows. He becomes even more desperate, as it seems unlikely than ever that he will be able to keep pace with her until midnight.
"like a flash with a beastly snarl, teeth and eyes gleaming again...." See in text (The Were-Wolf)
White Fell’s animal nature is again made prominent here, her femininity given way to beastly tendencies. The tension of the race increases as White Fell manages to deal a blow to Christian, suggesting that he may not be able to keep up with her for long.
"when the woman's form made no longer a shield against a man's hand, he could slay or be slain to save Sweyn..." See in text (The Were-Wolf)
Christian is ruled by his emotions and sense of propriety. Though he is sure that White Fell is a werewolf, he cannot bring himself to be violent against a woman, having already had trouble striking his beloved brother. Now, he waits for midnight, when it is said that a werewolf must change from its human form to its true wolf shape.
"his flask..." See in text (The Were-Wolf)
Presumably, this flask is filled with holy water from the church, which explains why Christian is so desperate to get close to White Fell.
"to the far-away church, where salvation lay in the holy-water stoup at the door...." See in text (The Were-Wolf)
Christian has traveled to claim some holy water. In the Christian tradition, holy water is water that has been blessed by a priest. Used in a variety of sacramental rites, holy water is also said to ward off evil—and, according to Sweyn and Trella, kill werewolves, which is why Christian desires some so badly. The noun “stoup” refers to the container the water resides in, which is a basin along the church’s wall.
"you should watch the suspected person till midnight, when the beast's form must be resumed, and retained ever after if a human eye sees the change; or, better still, sprinkle hands and feet with holy water, which is certain death...." See in text (The Were-Wolf)
Though Sweyn suggests these ways of finding out a werewolf in a joking matter, Christian takes them to heart. That they are included in the narrative foreshadows that they will be tested against White Fell later in the story.
"Only in speed could he be surpassed, and in that only by his younger brother...." See in text (The Were-Wolf)
The two brothers are twins, but they are quite different. Sweyn is better in all physical aspects except for Christian’s running speed. Because of Sweyn’s physical superiority, Christian tends to defer to and greatly admire him. In this way and in their worldviews they are quite different, which is important as the story progresses.
"The awful truth flashed upon him: he knew what she was...." See in text (The Were-Wolf)
Christian immediately figures out White Fell’s true nature from the clues available to him: the wolf prints leading to but not away from the house and the strange woman that’s wearing fur. This sets the tone for the rest of his interactions with his family, though he will seek definitive proof of her being a werewolf before acting definitively.