Chapter 12 Summary

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Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 565

Bud and Lefty Lewis say their farewells to the Sleet family. Lefty informs Bud that on the previous evening when the boy had fallen asleep in the car, Lefty sent a telegram to Bud’s father so he would know his son was safe and on his way home.

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Bud is relatively sure that this turn of events has confused Herman E. Calloway as much as Bud himself. Lefty has errands to run, however, so they head toward Grand Rapids. Suddenly a siren sounds behind them and they see flashing lights: the police are pulling Lefty over. Bud is sure the law has caught up with him. There is a box on the seat between them, and Lefty quickly instructs Bud to place it under the seat.

Lefty leaves the car to speak to the policeman, who insists on searching the car. Meanwhile, Bud sits nervously inside, trying to ascertain what chance of success he might have if he tries to run. Lefty closes the trunk and returns, and the police officer asks about Bud’s suitcase; he assumes Bud is Lefty’s grandson. Lefty does not deny the comment and explains that he is bringing the youngster home to his family after a visit in Flint. The law enforcement officer explains that the authorities are on the lookout for labor organizers, who are causing “a lot of trouble in the factories” in Flint. The officer then lets them continue their trip.

As they drive, Bud receives a lesson regarding the need for unions to protect workers and the resistance of company management. The box contains flyers encouraging Pullman porters (who work on the railroad) to attend a meeting with the intent of organizing a union. Lefty makes Bud promise not to whisper a word of what he has learned to anyone.

Once again, as Lefty drives, Bud falls asleep. When he awakes, they are in Grand Rapids and quickly pull up in front of The Log Cabin, the nightclub where Herman E. Calloway and the Nubian Knights of the New Deal are scheduled to perform. Because Lefty is unaware of the uncertain nature of the relationship between...

(The entire section contains 565 words.)

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