Chapter Eighteen – The Hunt

Chapter Number: Eighteen

Chapter Name: The Hunt

Page Numbers: 375 – 389 (Hardcover)

Date of Chapter: Sunday March 13th, 2005

Summary: As the visiting vampires emerge from the forest they are described in a way that makes them appear less sophisticated and more wild and animalistic than the Cullens. Although they wear normal clothes, they are barefoot and walk in a more predatory manner, always on edge and prepared to attack. To Bella their mannerisms and stance can be likened to that of cats.

The vampire in the lead introduces them. His name is Laurent, and with him are James and Victoria, who’s hair is a shocking shade of red. Although Laurent appears at this stage to be the leader, Bella notes that James is the one who seems the most vigilant.

In response to the introductions of the visiting vampires, Carlisle introduces his family, including Bella in his list. At this stage the conversation is friendly and polite.

As Carlisle and Laurent talk, it is revealed that the Forks vampires have a permanent residence and are unlike the visiting vampires who, because of their feeding habits, can have no permanent home. This shocks Laurent who nonetheless agrees to visit the Cullens’ home and to avoid hunting in the immediate area.

It is at this moment that events change dramatically. A sudden breeze catches Bella’s hair, wafting her scent over the field and alerting the visiting vampires to the fact that she’s actually a human. Although Laurent and Victoria tense at the smell, it is James who reacts the most. He immediately drops into a hunting stance  – one which is echoed by Edward in a move to protect Bella. Edward’s animalistic snarl that accompanies the changing circumstances scares Bella.

While Edward and James size each other up, Laurent expresses disbelief that the Cullens should have a human in their midst that they do not intend feeding from. Much to James’ obvious anger, Laurent agrees that Bella will not be touched by them.

As Carlisle takes the visiting vampires back to his house, accompanied by Jasper, Rosalie and Esme, Edward, Alice and Emmett take Bella off to the waiting jeep.

Once in the jeep, Edward drives extremely fast in a direction that takes them out of Forks. He is furious and ignores Bella’s irate demands to be taken home – even instructing Emmett to hold her hands to stop her trying to undo the straps holding her in the jeep.

Bella is afraid of what her dad will say or do if she fails to return from her evening with the Cullens. She worries that he might involve the police, causing the vampire family to leave Forks. As she continues to plead with Edward to pull over – supported now by Alice, Edward reveals the reason he is driving out of Forks so frantically. James is a tracker, and now that he’s got Bella’s scent he’ll stop at nothing until he catches her.

On learning this disturbing fact, Bella immediately thinks of her dad – if James has her scent it will obviously lead him to Charlie, and Bella is afraid of his safety. This fear eventually makes Edward stop the car, but he is adamant that he will not return to Forks, despite the views of Alice and Emmett. Emmett is also of the opinion that James is no match for the Forks’ vampires.

As far as Edward is concerned, if they return to Forks they will have to kill James and possibly the other vampires in his coven. At this point in the conversation, Alice interrupts to inform Edward that there is another option. What this other option is, Alice does not say, but whatever it is it causes Edward to loose his temper in a manner that seems out of proportion to both Bella and Emmett. Edwards reaction, however, does not appear to shock Alice in any way.

Bella breaks the stalemate between the vampires. She suggests that she returns to Forks briefly to tell her dad that she wishes to leave and return to Phoenix. In doing this she can protect him from James and then Edward can take her wherever he likes.

While initially reluctant to allow Bella back to Forks, Edward eventually agrees with the plan, but refuses to let Emmett and Alice come with him and Bella when they leave again. Another argument threatens to begin as Edward insists that only he accompany Bella while Alice insists that she will be going with them.

Once again, it is Bella who steps in to offer a logical solution – even if it is one Edward does not want to hear. Bella explains that if Edward is with her, Charlie will get suspicious about his links to her disappearance and James will know that they are together, further proving Bella’s disregard for her own safety when compared to Edward’s.

Eventually, Edward is persuaded to allow Bella to leave with Alice and Jasper while he remains in Forks for another few days to ensure that Charlie does not get suspicious and to lead James on a wild-goose chase. When he is certain that James is completely off Bella’s trail, Edward is to meet her in Phoenix where she will take a place of her own rather than go to her mum’s.

Emmett approves of Bella’s scheme as it gives him and Edward time to get rid of James without Bella being at risk.

As they drive back into Forks, Edward cautions Bella to be careful, warning her that he will hold her personally responsible if anything happens to her. Revealing the depth of his concern for Bella and the forthcoming situation, Edward checks firstly that Jasper can handle being so close to Bella and secondly that Alice can, too. While Alice reminds Edward that Jasper has been doing very well considering, her reply to his enquiry about her self control is a less than lady-like snarl that once again succeeds in scaring Bella as it serves as another reminder of how dangerous her new friends actually are.

The chapter finishes with Edward suddenly, and rather cryptically, telling Alice to keep her opinions to herself.

Characters involved:  Bella swan, Edward Cullen, Carlisle Cullen, Esme Cullen, Alice Cullen, Emmett Cullen, Jasper Hale, Rosalie Hale, Laurent, James, Victoria.

Characters Mentioned:  Charlie Swan

Places visited: a field near Forks, a road to the south of Forks.

Memorable quotes:
‘Their eyes were different, too. Not the gold or black I had come to expect, but a deep burgundy color that was disturbing and sinister.’
~Bella upon seeing the red eyes of James, Victoria and Laurent

‘James, suddenly whipped his head around, scrutinizing me, his nostrils flaring.’
~James when he caught Bella’s scent

“He’s a tracker, Alice, did you see that? He’s a tracker!”
~Edward to Alice about James

~Edward to Alice about Bella

“Once he commits to a hunt, he’s unshakeable. We’d have to kill him.”
~Edward about James

Important Information Learned:
Vampires who feed on humans appear less sophisticated and more wild than the Cullens – making them seem more threatening.

The eyes of Laurent, James and Victoria are a different colour to those of the Cullens’  They have red eyes.

Bella does not just smell irresistible to Edward.

James is a tracker, a vampire who can follow and catch humans over great distances.