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Among the Hidden
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Among the Hidden Chapter 29 Summary
Jen's dad throws Luke into the closet and tells him to find the secret door in the back. Luke can hear the Population Police getting ready to huff and puff and blow the door down. But Mr. Talbot is trying to hold them off for as long as he can. That only works for so long and the Population Police bust their way into the Talbot's home. Having trouble finding that door, Luke can hear Jen's dad start berating the Population Police for their disturbance. And boy, does he sound convincing! But the Population Police are allowed to search houses that display illegal activity (like use of the Talbots' computer). Jen dad has an answer for that. Or at least pretends to. He says that he's still working undercover to catch third children. Luke hears this and wonders if he can really trust Jen's dad. Oh, and he still can't find that secret door. The Population Police aren't buying Mr. Talbot's story. So he tries a different tactic and dares them to search his place - but promising they won't find anything. And thanks to some rule that only applies to Barons, if the Population Police don't find anything, Mr. Talbot can sue them. As he says this, Jen dad opens up the closet door. That's right. The exact place Luke is hiding. Luke pulls a blanket over himself but is just as shocked as we are at Mr. Talbot's most recent actions. Luke hears some rustling and wonders if they Population Police will allow him to say goodbye to his family. But they're on their way out. When Jen's dad comes back he writes on a piece of paper that it's not safe to talk. Turns out the house and Mr. Talbot have been bugged. So now Luke and Mr. Talbot have to communicate by writing things down. Luke learns that the Population Police left after accepting a bribe from Jen's dad. But they'll find out that he was lying soon enough. The topic quickly turns to getting Luke a fake I.D. And since Mr. Talbot's power might soon be diminishing, it's now or never. Luke immediately weighs the pros and cons. He already knows the kind of life he would have hiding. But he questions if that would be wasting it. So he thinks of the kind of life he'd live with a fake I.D. And he immediately knows the answer: he'd try to help other third children, but not the way Jen did. Luke would want to work slowly and try to change the Government and their laws. Writing down his answer for Mr. Talbot, Luke says he wants the fake I.D.
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