Chapter 4 Summary

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Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 397

Bud re-enters the Amoses’ house to get revenge and to retrieve his suitcase. The back door is locked, so Bud checks and finds an unlocked window into the kitchen. First, he assures himself that his suitcase is there. Next, Bud finds the shotgun. Before he does anything else, he puts his suitcase on the top step outside so that he can make a swift escape if necessary.

Bud proceeds with his plan to punish the Amos family, but his sense of fair play will not allow him to blame Todd for resenting Bud’s presence in his house; Bud might resent someone else if he lived in a nice house and another kid came to stay. At the same time, Bud realizes there is a difference between being unhappy about sharing one’s personal space and torturing the kid who comes to stay.

Bud picks up the shotgun and imagines shooting an elephant or even Todd. He visualizes how it would feel to put the gun up against Todd’s nose. He knows he would have to act quickly to get away. Ironically, even as Bud reflects on these things, he knows the weapon is dangerous and must be hidden so no one gets hurt. He assumes that if he is caught in the house, he might need to worry about the Amoses using the gun on him. Bud decides to put the gun outside on the back porch where it will be hidden by the darkness until the sun comes up.

In the kitchen, Bud looks for a glass and fills it with warm water. One of the boys in the Home told Bud that if a person put someone’s hand in warm water while he was asleep, the sleeper would wet the bed. Bud quietly takes the glass to Todd’s room. The other boy does not wake, but Bud has a problem: Todd’s fingers are so big that Bud cannot get them into the glass, so he pours the water on Todd’s hand. Still nothing happens.

Finally Bud decides to pour the warm water on Todd’s pajama pants. Todd smiles and, finally, wets the bed. Bud laughs quietly then walks out of the house and picks up his suitcase, satisfied that he has exacted the perfect revenge because Mrs. Amos cannot stand bed-wetters. With that, Bud leaves the Amoses behind.

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Chapter 5 Summary