Printing History
First published in the United Stated of America by Viking Penguin Inc 1938
Reissued in Penguin Books 1986
Copyright John Steinbeck, 1938
Copyright renewed John Steinbeck, 1966

Main Characters
1Henry Allen owner of foothill ranch east of Salinas
Elisa Henry's 35-year-old wife
Scotty Henry's ranch hand
a tinker unnamed visitor to the ranch

2Mary Teller designer of the garden
Harry E. Teller husband of Mary

3Mama Torres widow
Emilio her 12-year-old black boy
Rosy her 14-year-old black girl
Pepé her 19-year-old indian son

4Dr. Phillips owner of a marine laboratory in Monterey
a woman unnamed visitor to the lab

5woman nursing baby, cooking
young man cotton picker
older man cotton picker

6Root novice organizer
Dick experienced organizer
a man warns of the raid

7Peter Randall respected rancher, nearing fifty
Emma Randall Peter's eighty-seven lb wife
Mrs. Chappell their next farm neighbor
Dr. Marn their physician
Miss Jack a nurse
Ed Chappell Peter's friend
Clark DeWitt another respected rancher

8Mike part of a lynch mob
Welch a bartender
Mike's wife unnamed, petulant

9Mrs. Ratz rooming house owner
Fat Carl owner of the Buffalo Bar
Timothy Ratz landlady's husband
Mae Romero author's half-Mexican lady friend
Alex Hartnell owner of a small farm
Johnny Bear enormous half-wit
Blind Tom negro piano-player half-wit
Emalin Hawkins 50-ish community pillar
Amy Hawkins 40-ish sister of Emalin
Dr. Holmes the physician

10Jim Moore owner of Cañon del Castillo land
Jelka Sepic Jim Moore's wife
George Jim's neighbor
Will deputy sheriff

11Brother Clement monk at M—
Roark a very bad man
Katy Roark's very bad pig
Brigid Katy's sister
Rory Katy's brother
Brother Coline monk from M—
Brother Paul monk from M—
Father Benedict abbot of M—
barber decides on Katy's virginity

Why Saint Katy the Virgin?
I debated whether to include this story here since it really has nothing to do with California, the focus of this site. I decided to include it after reading about Steinbeck's own insistence on its inclusion:

Also in May, Steinbeck forwarded to his agents the manuscript of "St. Katy the Virgin," probably the most peculiar of all his published short stories, a farcical history of the religious conversion and eventual canonization of a fourteenth-century French pig. It was first written at Stanford as a verse parody, based on literary conventions and cultural practices of the Middle Ages that he had gleaned from a course in European civilization. The story's subject matter and its manner are very reminiscent of Twain, and it is filled with sly humor of the sort that Steinbeck enjoyed enormously: "Daily at four o'clock, Katy emerged from the gates and blessed the multitudes. If any were afflicted with scrofula or trichina, she touched them and they were healed."

His attachment for the story can be measured by the fact that it was one of the few things (in its preliminary form) that he kept out of the manuscript fire of the previous spring, and by his persistence in trying to get it published. After several years of submissions without a nibble, he had finally arranged with his book publisher at the time, Covici-Friede, for separate publication as a gift book. Then he insisted on including it in his story collection The Long Valley, even though it is so different in kind from the other items that the reader hardly knows what to make of it.

—J.J. Benson's John Steinbeck, p 253

white: actual locations mentioned in The Long Valley
orange: suggestion for locations, based on description

Long Valley links
Amazon Books: The Long Valley
AltaVista search: THE LONG VALLEY || Chrysanthemums || The White Quail || Flight || The Snake || Breakfast || The Raid || The Harness || The Vigilante || Johnny Bear || The Murder || Saint Katy the Virgin
Doc Ricketts - Dr. Phillips in "The Snake"

Book Blurb — Penguin 1986
"Steinbeck makes his country live and the people live as part of it."
Tne New Republic
This classic collection, first published in 1938, serves as a wonderful introduction to Steinbeck's work. Set in the beautiful Salinas Valley of California, where simple people farm the lands and struggle to find a place for themselves in the world, these stories reflect Steinbeck's characteristic interests—the tensions between town and country, laborers and owners, past and present.

"All [these stories] have one rare, creative thing: a directness of impression that makes them glow with life."

The New York Times

Chapter Summary

Short stories, not given chapter numbers, are numbered here as a convenience for referencing the list of main characters. "The Red Pony" and "The Leader of the People" are given separately as The Red Pony
1. The Chrysanthemums
On Henry Allen's ranch east of Salinas Elisa plants yellow chrysanthemums as Henry is selling thirty head of cattle to agents of the Western Meat Company. After he and Scotty go to round up the cattle, a tinker shows up. He asks for work which Elisa says she hasn't. He asks for seeds for a lady on his route. Elisa gives him seedlings with instructions, and then she finds work for him which he does professionally. To celebrate the sale Henry drives her to Salinas for dinner at the Cominos Hotel and a movie; they drive past the tinker on the road and she privately weeps.
2. The White Quail
Mary has her garden designed before its lot is bought, before she's married. She picks Harry because she thinks the garden will like him. After the house is built and the garden established Harry finds her perfect though untouchable. She doesn't care for his occupation (making loans for cars); it's unfair. She routinely locks him from her tiny bedroom on the garden. He tries the lock and leaves quietly. She refuses to let him have a setter pup since it might damage her garden. After a white quail visits the cement pond she fears a cat will come and asks Harry to put out poison fish. He refuses but will try to hit such a cat with his new air rifle. Next morning he shoots the white quail then tells Mary it was the cat he buried.
3. Flight
Mama Torres makes Emilo and Rosy fish when they can. Pepé, who is beautiful but lazy, is sent to Monterey for medicine and salt. At Mrs. Rodriguez's he kills a man with his father's black switchblade knife. He returns before dawn, then rides into the high hills as his family bids him, now a man, adios. After a day's riding he sleeps and is awakened by a horse down the trail. He rides another day before his horse is shot out from under him. He exchanges shots and receives a granite splinter wound in his right hand. He runs on for several days and is finally shot dead.
4. The Snake
Young marine biologist Dr. Phillips brings a sack of starfish from the tide pool to his laboratory on the cannery street in Monterey. The lab: rattlesnakes, rats, cats; killing a cat. Arrival of a tall, lean woman just as he begins timed work making a starfish embryo series. While she waits he begins embalming the cat. She wants to buy the male rattlesnake which she wants to keep in the lab. Her snakish behavior during the feeding annoys Phillips. The starfish series is ruined. She never comes back.
5. Breakfast
A cold pre-dawn, by a country road, I see a tent with a lit campstove. A girl nurses a baby while preparing coffee, bread and bacon. A younger and an older man came from the tent. I'm asked to breakfast. They're cotton pickers, working twelve days already. They go to work. I leave.
6. The Raid
Root and Dick head out of a packing plant town on a dark night, stopping finally at an abandoned store where they put up posters. After an hour a man warns them to leave, but they have orders to hold it. Dick reminds Root: It isn't them hitting you, it's the System; it isn't you being busted but the Principle. And: when it comes, it won't hurt. Root greets the raiders as comrades and is hit with a club. He stands again and passes out. He wakes in a hospital cell. Dick says they'll probably get six months. "Forgive them" vs. "opium of the people."
7. The Harness
Randall's ranch east of Salinas and across the river is an ideal blend of bottomland and upland. After Peter's annual business trips Emma becomes sick for several weeks and the neighbors bring cakes and pies. When she dies Peter becomes hysterical. Alone with Ed, he removes his shoulder brace and girdle, gets whiskey from the barn, tells of his one week a year at San Francisco fancy houses, of his dream of filling the bottom land with sweet peas and the house with fat women. DeWitt says he's crazy to plant sweet peas, but they are so beautiful schoolbusses drive out to see them. At the Ramona Hotel in San Francisco, to meet his wife's cousin from Ohio, Ed sees Peter come in drunk from a fancy house on Van Ness Avenue. He says Emma kept him worried all year about those peas: she didn't die dead.
8. The Vigilante
Mike watches the crowd depart after a lynching. The bartender opened up thinking the boys would be thristy but only Mike comes in. Mike tells of the raid on the jail, the beating, the lynching. The bartender buys a swatch of the dead man's pants from Mike to hang up at the bar. They walk to their homes. Mike's wife accuses him of being with a woman. In the bathroom Mike realizes that's exactly how he feels.
9. Johnny Bear
I'm in Loma to drain the swamp north of town. I'm at the Buffalo Bar with Alex when Johnny Bear comes in. For whiskey he imitates a dialogue between me and Mae. Next he imitates the Hawkins sisters, neighbors of Alex. After Sunday chicken dinner at Alex's Johnny imitates the doctor asking Emalin why Amy tried to hang herself. After two weeks of trouble with the dredging, we learn that Amy has killed herself. Johnny's imitation includes Amy's pregnancy. Alex punches Johnny and explains later.
10. The Murder
Jim Moore visits the Three Star in Monterey on Saturdays. He marries Jelka Sepic who is obedient but quiet. George tells Jim, on his way to the Three Stars (he's "hunting") he's seen a calf of his dead. Jim investigates, then returns home to find a horse in his barn. He finds Jelka in bed with her grown cousin. He shoots him, then brings out the coroner and deputy sheriff, then takes a bull whip to Jelka in the barn, then ate the breakfast she made him, then went to town for lumber to build a new house down the hill.
11. Saint Katy the Virgin
In P— in the year 13— Brother Clement drowned and Roark laughed. Katy prevented Brigid and Rory from sucking; later she ate them. Then she ate chickens and possibly children. Roark grew fonder of Katy. The boar which mated with her became sterile, and she ate all her babies. As he's about to kill her, two monks ask Roark for a tithe so he gives them the pig. Katy bites Colin; he and Paul climb a tree. Paul waves a crucifix at her and screams APAGE SATANAS! As he dangles the cross in front of Katy she falls to the ground making the sign of the cross. Roark becomes a good man. Paul recites the Sermon on the Mount in Latin to the sobbing Katy. Fr. Benedict is angry because Katy, being a Christian, can't be slaughtered. Kety becomes a saint and, in the advice of a barber, a "virgin by intent" (in spite of her litter). Her relics cure female troubles and ringworm.

Stephan Steinbeck