Chapters 11 and 12 Summary
Freak and Max discover that Loretta Lee lives in the New Tenements, a seedy establishment irreverently dubbed the “New Testaments.” Max has specifically been forbidden to go there. Freak convinces him that since they are on a quest it will be all right to disobey in this case, so the boys venture into the neighborhood, a “big, falling-apart place with a bunch of apartments” that look “busted up” and sad.
When they find the address, Freak begins to “reconsider this particular quest” because the environment is so dismal, but Max hesitates, and the apartment door is opened by a slovenly, “scrawny, yellow-haired woman.” After cussing them out, the woman calls loudly to her companion, “Iggy, come here and see this!” A “big hairy dude” with tattoos and a huge beer gut joins her at the door, demanding to know who sent Max and Freak. The woman, staring at Max, remarks that he looks very familiar.
Max realizes that the woman is Loretta Lee, and the man is Iggy Lee, the leader of a notorious motorcycle gang. When Freak says that they found Loretta’s purse and tosses it to the couple, Iggy orders the boys inside, where he regards them harshly and asks for their names. Loretta suddenly realizes why Max looks familiar to her. She and Iggy had known Max’s father; with this information, they deduce that “the midget or dwarf or whatever he is” must belong to Gwen, whom they remember too.
Loretta and Iggy begin reminiscing about “Killer Kane,” recalling “what a tough hombre” he was. Loretta mentions that Kane is in prison for life, but Iggy says he might be getting out someday because “life ain’t life.”
Iggy then orders the boys to leave. Before they do, Loretta grabs Freak and rubs her knuckles on his head for luck. She then cruelly tells him that his father was a magician: “as soon as he heard the magic words ‘birth defect,’ he disappeared.”
Max runs back home with Freak as fast as he can. Later, Freak affirms that what Loretta said about his father is true. Max and Freak never talk about “good old Killer Kane.”
September arrives, and Max dreads the start of school, even though this year he will be in all the “smart classes” with Freak. Freak has made the Fair Gwen go in and talk to the administration, arguing that it would be good for him to have someone with him all day to help him get around. Grim and Gram sign papers giving their permission for this to happen; as the special classes Max has always been...
(The entire section is 663 words.)