Part 1, Chapters 9–15 Summary

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Dick and Perry stop in Emporia to buy more supplies. They try to find some black stockings but have no success. They buy rope, thinking there might be as many as twelve people to deal with.

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Kenyon Clutter is more like his mother than his father. He has only one friend, from whom he has become somewhat distanced due to the latter’s newfound interest in girls. Mr. Helm, the housekeeper’s husband, asks Kenyon who is talking with Mr. Clutter. Kenyon assumes it is Mr. Johnson, the insurance salesman. Nancy comes riding up on Babe the horse. Kenyon used to have his own horse, but he rode it to death the year before. Nancy and Kenyon talk about Tracy, their nephew. They hope he will be able to talk by the big Thanksgiving reunion being held at the Clutter home. The next day, Mr. Helm will reflect that this was the last time he saw Nancy Clutter alive.

Perry suggests that they might be able to buy some black stockings from one of the nuns at the Catholic hospital. Dick ridicules the idea and Perry eventually gives it up. Perry thinks about his best friend in prison, Willie-Jay. He had waited several months after his parole until Willie-Jay was released, hoping to join up with him. Despite being ordered to stay out of Kansas as a condition of his parole, Perry returned to Lansing only to find that Willie-Jay had left town a few hours previously. Perry and Dick leave Emporia.

Mr. Johnson, the insurance salesman, seals the deal on which he has been working with Mr. Clutter for several months. Mr. Clutter tells him he has plans that will make him some “real money” in the area soon. Mr. Johnson leaves, carrying the first payment of a forty-thousand-dollar life insurance policy.

As they drive along, Dick and...

(The entire section contains 483 words.)

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