After he learns of the laundry scheme, what does the warden tell the children will happen if they get into any more trouble in Al Capone Does My Shirts?

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teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the book, Piper (the warden's daughter) has hatched a money-making scheme using the prison's laundry service. Moose doesn't really want to get involved with the specifics of the scheme, but Piper forces him to talk up the laundry-service to their classmates. Moose tells tall tales about living at Alcatraz, prompting his classmates to want to have some of their clothing laundered by the supposedly infamous convicts at the prison.

Piper makes the laundry scheme work by stuffing her classmates' clothing in other families' laundry bags.

In time, however, the warden gets wind of the scheme when Mrs. Del Peabody (Del Junior's mother) writes a scathing letter of complaint to him. When he discovers the kids made money from the scheme, he demands they put the money on his desk. After they do so, he accuses them of acting out of "greed," "silliness," and "incredibly poor judgment." For their part, Moose and Theresa aren't guilty of actual participation in the scheme, but the warden includes them in his threat to have their fathers fired (without severance pay) if they ever participate in such a scheme again.

Meanwhile, Piper (the warden's daughter) remains silent about her culpability in the laundry scheme. When the warden demands the children hand over their profits, Piper makes no move to hand over her money. Subsequently, the warden lectures Annie for disappointing her mother, and he accuses Jimmy of not considering how hard things will be if his father loses his job at Alcatraz. Next, the warden lectures Moose about getting involved in such a dishonest project.

As a last word, the warden warns the children that, if they break any more rules or even give the impression that they have done so, they and their families will be asked to leave Alcatraz.

jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The warden tells the children that, although they aren't the first kids to break the rules on the island, they will be the last. He accuses them of being greedy and having poor judgment. He says that if the children get into any more trouble, their fathers will be dismissed without severance pay. That means they will be fired, as the fathers work at the prison, and won't receive any money to support their families while they look for other jobs. The warden makes all the children feel worried and guilty about the potential for their fathers to be fired during the Great Depression, when it is unlikely their fathers will be able to find more work to support their families. The warden also tells the children he will be speaking to their parents about their laundry scheme and they must return the money they took to their classmates.