Chapters 46-47 Summary

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For some reason, the lizards do not bite Stanley and Zero. They crawl everywhere—over Stanley’s closed mouth, in and out of his pocket, through his hair—but they do not bite. One leaps toward Mr. Pendanski, and Mr. Sir shoots it in the air.

While she waits for the lizards to kill the boys, the Warden makes up a plan and tells it to the counselors. When Stanley is dead, they will turn his body over to “that woman” and tell her that he tried to run away in the night. They will claim that Stanley went crazy and that is why he tried to run even though he was going to be released the following day. They will not show Zero’s body to anyone because nobody knows Zero exists. When this is decided, the Warden turns to Zero. “Why aren’t you dead yet?” she asks.

Stanley remains perfectly still, not really listening, trying to think of his mother. He thinks of a happy memory of laughing with his mother in the snow. He wants this, not the Warden and Camp Green Lake, to be in his mind when he dies. He concentrates so hard that he barely hears Mr. Sir say that a lawyer has proved Stanley innocent. A while later, he wonders what Mr. Sir could have meant. Stanley knows his family cannot afford a lawyer.

It is almost 4:30 a.m., and the campers are about to wake up. The Warden sends the counselors to tell the boys not to talk to anyone. She says none of the campers will ever have to dig holes again, but anyone who talks will be severely punished.

Stanley and Zero stay frozen through the sunrise, with the lizards still crawling on them. The Warden claims that the lizards are not hungry and tries to convince Mr. Sir to take the suitcase from Zero. Mr. Sir refuses. Later, a tarantula walks past, and one of Stanley’s lizards leaps down to kill and eat it: the lizards are definitely hungry.

As the sun gets higher, the lizards work their way down Stanley’s body, staying in the shade. He sees that Zero’s lizards are also moving toward shade, hiding underneath the suitcase. Stanley whispers to find out how Zero is doing. “Is your last name your first name backward?” Zero asks. Stanley is surprised. He wonders whether Zero spent the whole night figuring that out.

Cars approach, and soon a tall man and a short woman walk out toward Stanley and the counselors. The tall man is the Texas Attorney General. The woman, who speaks with a slight Spanish accent, says she is Stanley’s lawyer. She demands to speak to Stanley. She says she will charge Mrs. Walker—who turns out to be the Warden—and the state of Texas with child abuse, torture, and false imprisonment. Apparently she came to camp the day before to pick Stanley up, but the Warden refused to turn him over, pretending she did not believe in the authenticity of the court order that said Stanley had to be released. That is why the Attorney General is there, to prove the order is genuine.

The Warden lies to the lawyer, saying that Stanley and Zero stole her suitcase and fell into a lizard nest in an escape attempt. Stanley does not know why she is lying, but his lawyer tells him not to talk until they have had a chance to speak in private.

When the sun gets quite high, the lizards climb off of Stanley. He pulls himself out of the hole. A lizard climbs out of his pocket and down his leg, but it does not bite. Stanley helps Zero stand up, and Zero’s lizards scurry into the hole.

The Warden pretends to be relieved. She runs to Zero and hugs him, then demands her suitcase. Zero says it belongs to Stanley. He shows everyone the name, Stanley Yelnats, written on the side of the suitcase.

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Chapters 44-45 Summary


Chapters 48-49 Summary