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Chapter 38

Unable to sleep, Cal has taken to spending his nights wandering the streets. Although Lee is aware that the boy is out, he does not say anything because he knows there is nothing he can do about it. As Cal walks, he continually ponders and tries to piece together the tidbits of information he has overheard about his mother. He knows she is not dead but he does not know the truth.

One night, he runs into a man named Rabbit, who is in town for a semiannual drunken excursion. He sits with Rabbit while Rabbit drinks; when Rabbit’s pint of whisky runs dry, Cal procures him another. Soon Rabbit has forgotten Cal’s age and even who he truly is. He offers to take Cal to “Kate’s place” where, he promises, he will see a circus unlike any other he has seen before. Cal follows Rabbit to the whorehouse.

Later that night, Cal knocks on Lee’s bedroom door. Lee admits him and patiently waits for the questions he knows are coming. Cal tells him that he saw his mother and that he knows what she does for a living. Lee does not deny it. He simply asks the boy what he wants to know. Lee confirms that his father knows and that Cathy did, in fact, shoot...

(The entire section is 447 words.)