Ten Thousand Saints Chapter 9 Summary

Eleanor Henderson

Chapter 9 Summary

One night Jude borrows Les’s pistol and skateboards over to Johnny’s apartment. Johnny isn’t at home, so Jude sits down on the couch and looks over the book Johnny has been reading, a Hindu text called The Laws of Manu. Even after his burning, Jude has returned to the Krishna temple and devoted himself deeper to the values of cleanliness embodied by Johnny.

Eliza, Johnny and Jude start spending more and more time together, talking over the weighty secret of Eliza’s pregnancy which they now all share. Eliza hasn’t told her mother about the pregnancy because she knows Di will immediately suggest she have an abortion, and Eliza has decided she wants to keep the baby. Jude thinks Eliza should go see a doctor, but Johnny advises further patience and secrecy, that a solution will come to them if they wait for it.

When Harriet calls from Vermont, Jude tells her about how he has quit drugs and alcohol, but he lies to her about school, inventing a high school which he says he is attending and making good grades there. Although he hears it from Les instead of Harriet, Jude learns that Harriet’s studio has been vandalized recently, all of her glass pieces smashed and destroyed, and he figures the likely culprits are Tory and Hippie.

Eliza’s usual weekend routine is to be met at the train station in New York by Jude and Johnny. But one day Johnny surprises her by showing up at the train station in New Jersey, saying that he wants to hang out—just the two of them—and see the town where she goes to school. They go to dinner and a movie and afterwards, Johnny tells Eliza that he has an idea—that they should tell everyone that Eliza’s baby is his, not Teddy’s. That way Eliza’s mother will be less likely to demand an abortion, and they can raise the child together. The next morning Jude calls Eliza, worried about her since he was unaware of Johnny’s plan to meet her in New Jersey. Eliza tells him that they are going to say the baby is Johnny’s, but he doesn’t respond.

Les discovers the fact of Eliza’s pregnancy after she starts bleeding one day, and Jude asks him to take them to the hospital. Eliza does not have a miscarriage, however, and Jude is surprised how relieved he is, proving to himself how much he wants Eliza’s baby to live.

Johnny discusses his decision to become part of Eliza’s life with Rooster, his straight-edge mentor, and, as it turns out, his lover. Rooster thinks Johnny’s plan is a bad idea. Rooster says that as a homosexual, Johnny shouldn’t hide himself in a marriage and a conventional lifestyle; rather, he should be proud of who he is.