Part 1, Chapters 5–8 Summary

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Dick pulls up in his car and Perry jumps in, making sure his guitar is still in the back seat from the night before. He sees a shotgun along with an assortment of other hunting gear. Dick explains that, if stopped, they will pretend to be hunters who have become lost and need directions. Dick is wearing coveralls from his job at a body shop. He and Perry proceed to do some maintenance on the car in preparation for their trip. Dick explains that he was late because his father gave him a hard time after he explained that he and Perry were going to Fort Scott to visit Perry’s sister. Perry says he thinks Dick’s mother is a “real sweet person,” and Dick agrees.

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Nancy Clutter helps thirteen-year-old Jolene bake a cherry pie at the Clutter home. She is unable to stay to help eat the pie, however, and takes off on one of her other “missions of mercy.” Mrs. Clutter stays to entertain Jolene. She shows the girl some of the small gifts Mr. Clutter brought her from his many traveling trips. When Jolene leaves, Mrs. Clutter goes to her room. With nothing to do while the others are away, she puts on her nightgown and socks and goes to bed. She is always cold and does not open the windows, even in the summer. One day, Susan’s mother had stayed behind while most of the family and other guests went mulberry picking. She heard Mrs. Clutter sobbing in her bedroom. When she went to her, she found Mrs. Clutter locked in her stifling bedroom. She claimed she was freezing and begged her not to tell the others.

Following their automotive maintenance, Dick and Perry clean up; both are very...

(The entire section contains 449 words.)

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Part 1, Chapters 1–4 Summary


Part 1, Chapters 9–15 Summary