Amanda and Maniac have an argument when he determines to leave the Beale's house because he feels he is causing them problems. Maniac is white and the Beales are black, and there are some who do not approve of the Beales taking him into their family. When someone scrawls the cruel epithet "FISHBELLY GO HOME" on the Beales' wall, Maniac decides he must leave. He does not want the Beales to suffer because of him (Chapter 17).
Although Amanda has the feeling that Maniac is right, she does not want him to go. She argues that he will starve to death, or freeze, and that he won't have a place to sleep or use the bathroom, but Maniac has "an answer for everything". Frustrated, she tells him that if he should decide to come back, she will not give up her room to him again, and that he will never get a chance to see her encyclopedias. Maniac retorts that he will go to the library, and Amanda tells him he can't, because "you can't get a library card without an address". This last observation really hurts Maniac because it reminds him that he truly hasn't got a home. Although Amanda regrets her words as soon as she says them, Maniac only looks at her accusingly and leaves.
Amanda cries and rages, because she never meant to hurt Maniac. It is too late, however; the words have been said, and he is gone (Chapter 18).