Chapter 4 Summary
Cassie and her brothers make a pact never to tell anyone about the school bus incident. All of them, especially Cassie, remain terrified that they will be the target of revenge. Mama and Big Ma worry about the kids' subdued behavior.
A week after the incident, the kids get relief from T.J. Avery, who tells them about a black man who was tarred and feathered for calling a white man a liar. Cassie and her brothers realize that the victim of this attack was the real target on the night the line of cars passed their house; nobody knows about the Logan kids' revenge on the bus. They begin to feel safer.
The Logan kids catch T.J. rummaging through Mama’s possessions, but he claims he has done nothing wrong. Later they learn he stole the answers to a history test. He cheats on the test and pins the blame on Stacey. Mama whips Stacey in front of the whole class.
After school that day, T.J. runs to the Wallace store, thinking he will be safe there. Stacey goes after him, and Cassie and the younger boys follow. Mr. Wallace and the other white men at the store ridicule them, but Cassie and her brothers barely notice; they are busy pursuing T.J. Stacey catches T.J. and begins hitting him.
Before the fight is over, Mr. Morrison arrives and orders the four Logan kids to come away. He tells them they should not have gone to the Wallace store but that he will leave it up to them to decide whether to tell their mother. Stacey thinks it over and decides to confess.
When the kids and Mr. Morrison arrive home, they see a large, silver car in the driveway. It belongs to Harlan Granger, the white man who owns almost all the land in the area. He wants to buy the Logan land but Big Ma refuses to sell it. Big Ma tells the kids all about her husband, who struggled for years to buy the land the Logans now own. Big Ma explains that their land used to belong to the Grangers, who lost it after the Civil War. Harlan Granger has bought back all of his family's lost land except the two hundred acres that belong to the Logans. Granger resents the fact that Big Ma refuses to sell.
Stacey confesses to Mama that he went to the Wallace store, and she guesses correctly that the other kids went too. She does not whip them, but she...
(The entire section is 645 words.)