Arrietty explains the difficulties and dangers of borrowing from Her (the boy's Great-Aunt Sophy), and tells the boy that her father sometimes visits Her at night after she's had a bottle of Madeira wine.
Of course, Great-Aunt Sophy thinks Pod (and Homily, too, when she comes to visit) are just drunken hallucinations, but she looks forward to seeing them anyway.
The boy tells Arrietty that he helped her father take down the teacup, but that he can't tell the difference between "borrowing" and "stealing," according to Arrietty's definition.
At this point, Arrietty gets pretty feisty and defends her family, as well as all borrowers… until she realizes that she doesn't know where all of them went, or if they even exist anymore.
The boy jumps on this opportunity to show her that there are "thousands and millions and billions and trillions of great, big, enormous people" (10.36), but he's only seen two borrowers.
It's the borrowers that are dying out, not the humans. And one day, Arrietty will be the only borrower left in the world.
Could you pass the Kleenex please? We think Arrietty could use a whole box full of tissues to wipe up her tears. What if she does become the last borrower?
The boy promises to take a letter to the badger holes where Arrietty's Uncle Hendreary and his family emigrated, to find out once and for all if more borrowers are alive and well.