Chapters 9 and 10 Summary
Freak and Max travel all over the neighborhood and beyond that summer, with Freak riding high on Max’s shoulders and using his little feet to steer. As they journey, Freak makes up stories that seem so real Max sometimes forgets where he actually is. One day, as they head off “yonder,” which “always lies over the next horizon,” Freak directs Max to an especially distant destination he calls “the Fortress.” It turns out that the Fortress is a new building added to the back of a hospital; the sign over the door of this building says “MEDICAL RESEARCH.”
Swearing Max to secrecy, Freak excitedly tells him that studies are being conducted at this location “to develop a new form of bionic robot for human modification.” At “some future time as yet undetermined,” Freak declares that he will enter this facility and become “the first bionically improved human.” Freak has been coming to this place every few months for tests. He announces that he is being fitted for a bionic transplant. When the time comes, he will receive a “whole new body...only enlarged and improved.”
Although he can see how passionate Freak is, Max is skeptical about what his friend says and is actually “pretty worried about the whole deal.” He suggests to Freak that it might be dangerous to be the first subject in the experiment, but it is clear that Freak has thought a lot about this. He answers gravely, “Life is dangerous.”
During that summer, Max grows even more, and Grim comments that “carrying poor Kevin around” all the time must be stretching out Max’s legs. Max is annoyed that everyone seems to feel so sorry for Freak “just because he didn’t grow,” and he points out to Grim that the little boy is the smartest person he knows. Grim agrees that Freak is “a rather remarkable boy,” but he gives Max the feeling that there is something about Freak that Max just does not understand. Max wants to tell Grim that he is wrong about Freak but decides to keep his mouth shut instead.
One day, Freak comes to the down under with a very special quest in mind. He explains to Max that there is a treasure in the sewer and that they will have to wait until “optimum darkness” to search for it: specifically, three in the morning. Overcome with a sense...
(The entire section is 610 words.)