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Act III Summary

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 230

In act III, the following Friday evening, Mattie, Grandma, Jeff, Ann, and Dudley all sit at the dinner table. John has been gone for almost a week. Dudley informs them all that Mattie has cancer and is going to need radium treatment. Mo and Gail show up, and Mo tells Jeff and Ann that there is a "stool pigeon'' in his organization and asks Jeff to help find out who it is. Jeff and Ann both agree to help. At this point, John arrives home, obviously having been on a week-long drinking "bender," with a gash on his head from being beaten up by Mo's men. John reads aloud his poem ‘‘The River Niger,’’ which he has written for Mattie. Mo unexpectedly arrives with Skeeter, who has been injured during their botched attempt at a violent political action. Gail, Chips, and Al also arrive. The voice of Lieutenant Staples is heard announcing that the police have surrounded the house. Jeff figures out that Al is the one who betrayed them, by informing the police of the location of their attempted action. Al and John simultaneously shoot each other—Al dies immediately, while John is fatally wounded. As he is dying, John tells them to blame the entire incident on him, so that Jeff will not be implicated in the illegal activities of the organization. John then dies in Mattie's arms.

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Act II Summary