Part 3, Chapters 5-6 Summary
Trudy is going into town and asks Edgar if he would like to accompany her. He declines, and his mother, discouraged, says that someday he will be her son again. After Trudy has left, Claude approaches Edgar and asks him if he is able to drive the truck. Edgar says he cannot, and Claude thinks this is a shame. He wants to teach Edgar how to drive, but Trudy is more in favor of Edgar’s taking a Driver’s Education class. When Claude offers to give Edgar a driving lesson while Trudy is gone, Edgar agrees. As the two get into Claude’s Impala, Claude gives him some rudimentary lessons. Edgar sees this as an opportunity and floors the gas pedal. The car races off, reaching seventy-five miles an hour on the gravel road. Claude tries to get him to slow down but makes a mistake when he calls Edgar “son.” Edgar continues to drive erratically down the road with Claude trying to steer from the passenger’s side. Edgar signs to Claude, telling him that he does not want Claude calling him “son.” In fact, he does not want him in their house. Claude can read none of this and finally manages to put the car in neutral and turn off the engine. After the car slows to a stop, Edgar gets out and starts walking back to the house. Irate, Claude screams out that Edgar is just like his father.
On her way to town, Trudy wonders about the change in Edgar. She sees that he is going through some kind of rebellion, particularly in connection with Claude, but she cannot make out what is going on in his mind. She is not surprised, as she has never been able to do this, even when he was a child. In kindergarten, Edgar had put on his Christmas list that he wanted a pocket watch with a long chain. Gar and Trudy searched diligently for one and presented it to him on Christmas morning. Edgar carried it in his pocket but did not look at it for the time. One day Trudy caught him using the watch to try to hypnotize Almondine. Edgar became obsessed with hypnotism for several weeks.
At school, Edgar keeps running out of his classes. Trudy explains to the principal that he needs to let Edgar do so since it is the last couple of weeks of school anyway. Punishing Edgar at this stage would just make him more rebellious. She knows Edgar is bothered by Claude’s presence. Her relationship with Claude had not been planned; it happened one morning unexpectedly. Afterward, Trudy felt a sense of relief: now, she though, a new life could be started. She realizes, however, that her relationship with Claude is only second best. She had already had the perfect life with Gar.