Bud, Not Buddy Questions and Answers
by Christopher Paul Curtis

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In Bud, Not Buddy, Steady Eddie says, ". . . that's my bread and butter in there."  What does Steady Eddie mean when he says that?

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The line spoken by Steady Eddie means that his ability to earn money is in the black case.  With money, he can buy food for himself (bread and butter if desired).

The line is spoken in chapter 13.  The band is getting ready to go out to eat, and they have decided to take Bud with them.  Bud isn't along for just the ride though.  He has to work for his spot among the band members.  Steady Eddie gives Bud one of his first duties.  Carry his saxophone to the car.  Before Bud picks up the instrument case, Eddie reminds Bud to be careful with it.  

"Grab that case over there and put it in the trunk of the Buick out back."

He pointed to a long skinny black suitcase that had a leather handle on top of it and said, "And be careful, that's my bread and butter in there." 

Bud is super confused by the comment, and Bud probably thinks that Eddie has actual bread and butter in the case.  Eddie politely explains that the case holds his instrument.  

I must have looked confused because he told me, "That's my horn, my ax, my saxophone, the thing I make all my money with, so don't get butterfingers and drop it."

As a musician, Steady Eddie gets paid to play music.  Without his instrument, he can't perform.  If he can't perform, he won't get paid.  He needs his instrument to do his job and earn enough money to house and feed himself.  This is especially important considering that the book is taking place during the Great Depression.  Steady Eddie's entire livelihood is in that case.  He needs Bud to be careful with it.  

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