Chapters 21 and 22 Summary
Things are quite chaotic in the aftermath of Max’s kidnapping and the capture of Killer Kane. Max has to spend a great deal of time at the police station, telling his story over and over. Everyone says that this time “they’ve got Killer Kane where they want him”; the list of his latest violations is long and grave. Loretta Lee was “hurt pretty bad,” but although Kane broke a bone in her neck, her prognosis is good and it looks like she will be all right.
Gram will no longer let Max sleep in the down under, and the Fair Gwen “just about [throws] a fit” when it is all over because Freak had disobeyed a “direct order” in sneaking out to rescue Max. She feels especially anxious about the whole thing and warns her son repeatedly:
No more crazy adventures or dangerous quests...you have to be careful...extra careful.
Freak has trouble catching his breath more frequently now and has to go into “the medical research place” with greater regularity. When Max asks him when he will be getting his new “robot body,” Freak always answers evasively, “The bionic research continues...the work goes on.”
Freak seems to love the attention he and Max get at school as the result of their experience. Max, however, is completely unnerved at the thought of testifying at Killer Kane’s trial and would “just as soon forget about the whole thing.” Fortunately, Killer Kane strikes a bargain with the court, so Max does not have to testify against him. Kane pleads guilty and will serve the rest of his original sentence plus ten more years; he will be an old man when he is finally released. The incident with Killer Kane torments Max in another way as well: Max is worried that he might turn out to be like his father and is terrified at the thought of growing up.
Freak and Max are “walking high” around the neighborhood on the day school gets out. From his perch atop Max’s shoulders, Freak contrasts the lush, late spring greenery to his memories of the Ice Age, “when glaciers covered the earth.” Max points out that Freak couldn’t possibly recall what it was like then because he was not even born, but Freak, in a testimony to the power of imagination, sagely responds:
If you want to, you can remember anything, whether it happened or not...you don’t need a time machine if you know how to remember.
(The entire section is 653 words.)