In chapter four of Philbrick's Freak the Mighty, Max introduces Kevin to his room. Max calls it the "down under" because it is in the basement of his grandparents' house. Freak absolutely loves the fact that Max gets such a unique and private room—it's almost as if Max lives on his own. The boys are getting to know each other and Kevin decides to teach Max about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table as an explanation for why he calls his mother Fair Gwen of Air. Near the end of the chapter, the boys hear Gwen calling for Kevin and they emerge from the basement to see her in the backyard staring at Kevin's wagon. Max describes the scene with Gwen as follows:
"She catches sight of me coming up out of the down under and it's like somebody shot her. Like she's scared out of her mind. . . the Fair Gwen grabs Freak and puts him in the wagon and I swear, she almost runs home, like if she doesn't get away quick something really bad is going to happen. . . It's pretty simple, really. She's scared of me" (20).
This incident does not help Max feel good about himself at all. He goes back to his room and goes to a happy place in his head. The look on Gwen's face comes back to him, though, and he thinks the following:
"Gwen ran off with that look on her face, like: What was he doing with my poor little boy, stealing him away in the wagon?" (21).
Sadly, Max responds by lying on the floor under his bed to deal with the emotional pain of the situation. Fortunately, Gwen gets home, figures out the situation, calls Gram to apologize for her behavior, and invites Max over for dinner.