Chapter 23 Summary
When Harriet wakes up, she is surprised to see Les’s van in her driveway and Jude and Eliza asleep in the bedrooms upstairs. She wakes Jude up and asks him about the cuts and bruises on his face, but Jude will say only that it doesn’t matter anymore.
Harriet doesn’t press Jude because she is so happy to have him back. She explains that he’s safe now from Tory. Tory came by with a bunch of his friends looking for Jude, but when Bob, Harriet’s new boyfriend, appeared in the living room with his pistol hanging from his holster, the boys immediately left. According to Prudence, Tory is leaving for Duke University and a football scholarship in the coming weeks.
Bob comes over for dinner, and Jude decides that he likes his mom’s new boyfriend, who knows a lot about cooking and mediation techniques. Prudence tells Jude that she’s cut down on the drinking and smoking. He invites her down to New York, tells her that she should let Les shower her with money and praise in an attempt to make up for lost time.
After dinner Jude takes Eliza out to the greenhouse which used to be Les’s pot growing facility and is now Harriet’s studio. It is also where Jude learned he was adopted. Jude lays out a sleeping bag on an old mattress, and he and Eliza lie down. Eliza wonders whether her child will hate her; Jude says it will not. They then start kissing and eventually make love. Even though Eliza is pregnant and completely bald, Jude thinks she looks absolutely beautiful. Jude is thrilled by his first time, and feels that his life has changed.
The next day Eliza and Jude go around town and spread Teddy’s ashes at some of his old haunts like the area underneath the football grandstand, the lawn in front of the high school, the mall, and the backyard of the house where Teddy used to live with Queen Bea and Johnny. Then they take a ferry across the lake to Plattsburg and scatter them along the surface of the water. When they get to the far side, all the other passengers disembark and go to tourist sights such as the Ethan Allen Homestead or Port Kent. A woman onboard asks Eliza and Jude what their plans are, and they say that they aren’t going to the other side, that they’re just taking a ride.