A lynch mob comes after TJ, and it looks as though TJ is done for. Papa and Mr. Morrison go to stop the mob, then the cotton fields catch fire. The mob has to divert their attention to the fire, momentarily saving TJ from the danger of being lynched. Everyone must work together to get the fire under control. The fire is quenched, and TJ is arrested. Cassie comes to the realization that her father set the fire to distract the mob from its purpose. Unfortunately, while TJ will not be murdered by the mob, he still may not survive his sentence. There is a bittersweet resolution here -- whites and blacks end up working together to control the fire, but it does not change the reality of racism of 1930s Mississippi. Cassie undergoes a lot of character growth, and even though she is only about nine or ten years old, she comes to understand much about the world over the course of the novel.