Freak the Mighty Questions and Answers
by Rodman Philbrick

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How does the saying, "No good deed goes unpunished," relate to the events in chapter 11 of Freak the Mighty?

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Chapter 11, titled "The Damsel of Distress," is the story of Kevin and Max attempting to do a good deed and the terrible payment they get for their troubles.  The boys find a purse in a storm drain; when they check it for identification, they find the name of Loretta Lee.  Freak insists on going on a quest to return the purse to her, despite Max's warnings that the address in the Testaments is a dangerous location.  They find the apartment and are met by two very scary characters: Loretta and her boyfriend, Iggy Lee.  The boys try desperately to get away from Loretta and Iggy as soon as they deliver the purse; they can sense the evil surrounding the two adults, but they are trapped.  Soon Loretta and Iggy recognize Max as the son of "Killer Kane."  This is the first time Kevin has heard about this part of Max's life, and Max is terrified:

Meanwhile Freak is giving me this look like he has no idea what's going on, and that look scares me more than Iggy Lee and all his tattoos.

Then Loretta unknowingly teases Kevin in the worst possible way:  She pretends she knew his father:

"Hey, midget man? I know all about you. Your old man was a magician, did-you know that?"
Freak is scuttling around behind me, keeping out of her way, but when she says that, I can tell he wants to know about his father, if maybe he really was a magician.
"Yeah," Loretta says. "Right after you was born. He must be a magician, because as soon as he heard the magic words 'birth defect,' he disappeared."

Both boys are "rewarded" for their efforts at trying to do a good deed with cruelty and heartache from these hateful, selfish adults.

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