Chapter 10 Summary
For Eliza’s birthday Di invites Les, Johnny, and Jude all over for dinner. As Di’s maid, Neena, prepares lamb in the kitchen, Jude and Johnny are awed by the elegant interiors, the sumptuous paintings on the wall, and the grand piano in the living room.
The room is tense as Eliza unwraps her presents, which include a Tiffany bracelet and a Burberry scarf. Di asks Johnny about his job as a tattoo artist, and when Di expresses skepticism at his career, Eliza points out that she’s “practically married to a drug dealer,” a comment that doesn’t please Di. Les enters the living room, aware that Di knows about the pregnancy through two letters which arrived at her apartment that day, a bill from the hospital and an announcement from the school that Eliza has been expelled.
Les speaks up and asks why Di won’t just come out and tell Eliza that she knows about the pregnancy. The room erupts in an argument. Di informs Eliza of her plans to send her to an institution upstate which will help her through her pregnancy and put the baby up for an adoption, a proposal that deeply offends Eliza.
When Di says that the adopted parents will be more suited to bring up the baby, Jude brings up the fact that he came to Les through adoption, and Les was hardly suited to be a father.
When Di says that it’s Les’s fault that Eliza made this mistake, that she needs a father figure and was neglected by Les, Les storms out of the apartment and Eliza hides her face in her hands. Eliza then stands up and looks out the window, mournfully. When she turns around, Johnny is kneeling before with a ring, proposing marriage.
The next morning Eliza packs a suitcase and moves out of her mother’s apartment. First she shows up at Les’s, telling him that she is on her way to Johnny’s though she knows that he is not home. Les tries to dissuade Eliza from getting married, but she is committed to this course of action. Suddenly Di calls Les, outraged that Eliza has run away. She tells Les that if he aides Eliza, she will call the police on his drug-dealing operation. Racking his brain for a solution to the group’s many problems, he discovers the perfect person to call: Harriet.
The next week Eliza and Johnny are married at the Hare Krishna temple, with Jude and Les in attendance. Les sells the remainder of his marijuana stock, gives his van to the trio of new friends, and plans to leave the country. Meanwhile Jude, Johnny, and Eliza take the van and head for Vermont, where they plan to live with Harriet.