Chapter 2 Summary

Bud’s time in his foster home has begun much as he predicted: the Amoses’ son, Todd, is beating Bud badly. When Mrs. Amos comes into the room, she watches as Todd changes his kicking foot. Instead of stopping him, she says his name softly. Todd goes through a sudden transformation and starts to pretend he is having an asthma attack.

Between breaths, Todd lies to his mother, saying that he had only tried to wake Bud to make sure he went to the bathroom—Mrs. Amos hates bed wetters. The mark of Bud’s palm across the side of Todd’s face is enough to prove to Mrs. Amos that Todd is the victim, despite the blood flowing from Bud’s nose. Bud realizes that Todd is a very good liar.

Bud starts mentally goes over the list he has made up to keep from repeating his mistakes. He calls it Bud Caldwell’s Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself. Todd seems to know Bud’s Rule 3, which is to make sure that your lie is simple enough to remember. Bud notes that it does not count for much because Mrs. Amos is bound to listen to anything Todd tells her anyway. Bud’s perception of Mrs. Amos is quite accurate; she does not consider what she has seen at all.

For a moment, Bud pauses to recall how the problem began. Bud had been sleeping when he felt a pain in his nose. He woke up to see Todd standing over him with a pencil in his hand, congratulating Bud because the pencil had gone up his nose to the R in Ticonderoga. Without thinking, Bud smacked Todd across the face. Todd, with a wicked gleam in his eyes and diabolical smile on his face, crossed the room to retaliate. Bud quickly concludes that being brave is great in principal, but because Todd hits like a mule, Bud tires quickly of being brave and curls himself into a small ball much like a turtle with his head tucked inside his shell. This was where Mrs. Amos walked in.

Mrs. Amos helps Todd to...

(The entire section is 678 words.)