The meaning of "Sartoris" gets an ambiguous twist at the end of "Vendee," when Uncle Buck McCaslin triumphantly proclaims that Bayard "is John Sartoris' boy" (117). The proof of that is the way, as described in the rest of the story, Bayard hunts down and kills the outlaw Grumby, who had killed his Granny in the previous short story in the series. Defending one's family by seeking private vengeance is a part of the aristocratic code that the Sartorises live by, but in this case, as Buck has seen for himself, Bayard's revenge includes the act of skinning Grumby's body and nailing the 'hide' to a wall - a practice that Bayard learned from "a book at home about Borneo" and its headhunters (115). Bayard also cuts off Grumby's hand and attaches it to Granny's headstone. Faulkner deletes the reference to headhunters in Borneo when he republishes "Vendee" in the novel The Unvanquished, but it's a jarring detail in the story: connecting the aristocratic "home" of the Sartorises with the jungles of savagery. By the way, Ringo is with Bayard every step of the journey that ends with these mutilations, and Ringo is right next to Bayard when Buck makes his declaration, but no one suggests Ringo might be a member of the family too.

Display Name: 
Sort Name: 
Sartorises in Vendee
Family Key: 

Affiliated Characters

Bayard Sartoris - "Vendee"
Rosa Millard - "Vendee"