Ten Thousand Saints Chapter 4 Summary

Eleanor Henderson

Chapter 4 Summary

The day after returning from Lintonburg, Eliza wakes up in the middle of the afternoon. As she showers and gets dressed, she thinks about Teddy and realizes that Teddy differs from the other boys she’s had sex with because of one crucial detail: she likes him. She then decides to go find Teddy’s half-brother Johnny and deliver the message Teddy gave to her. Teddy wants Johnny to know that their mother has disappeared and that he needs his help.

Eliza travels by subway from where she lives on the Upper West Side to the derelict part of town where Johnny is said to reside, in Alphabet City on the Lower East Side. Eliza finds Johnny’s basement apartment. On the other side of the door she can hear loud hardcore music with lyrics that boast about refusing to touch drugs and alcohol. She knocks on the door, and Johnny, dressed only in a pair of shorts, answers. Johnny is tall and skinny with lots of tattoos and a shaved head. Eliza explains who she is and gives him her message; then she and Johnny go find a payphone. When Johnny calls Jude’s house, he gets Prudence, who tells him that Teddy has died.

After two days of searching for Queen Bea, no one can find Teddy’s mother, and so a funeral is held for Teddy. Johnny takes Les’s van up to Vermont for the service and returns with Teddy’s ashes and his most prized possessions.

The paramedics find a host of drugs in Teddy’s system and deduce that he was killed not from the cold but from his heart stopping, likely due to the cocaine. Jude survives but has to stay in the hospital for a few days. One of Jude’s doctors tells Harriet that Jude likely has fetal alcohol syndrome, which could explain Jude’s erratic behavior and troubles in school.

After he gets out of the hospital, Jude refuses to do anything or see anyone. He stays in bed all day, occasionally receiving visits from Kram and Delph, who bring him pot. After Harriet confronts Kram and Delph, however, the two boys stop bringing drugs to Jude, and Jude struggles with sobriety. Harriet tries to coax Jude into returning to school but he is adamant about not going back; of course, now that he is sixteen, Harriet cannot force him to attend. One day Harriet brings a pamphlet about fetal alcohol syndrome she got at the hospital and tries to show it to Jude, but he won’t look at it.