Kate asks the question we're all asking: did the borrowers make it out? Well, did they?
Mrs. May says she just doesn't know. The boy, her brother, never saw them again because a cab came to take him away that same day.
But Mrs. May is confident that they made it out, walked across the fields, and joined the Hendrearys in the badger sets.
Kate and Mrs. May imagine that they "had a wonderful life—all that Arrietty had ever dreamed of [… because] badger sets are almost like villages—full of passages and chambers and storehouses. They could gather hazelnuts and beechnuts and chestnuts; they could gather corn… they had honey. They could make elderflower tea and lime tea…" (20.24).
Mrs. May says she thinks the borrowers use the badger hole as the grand entrance to their real home near the gas pipe, where they can also cook and get light.
Hmmm, Mrs. May knows an awful lot about what happened to the borrowers. It almost seems as though she knows something that we don't…
Finally, Mrs. May lets the cat out of the bag. She reveals that she went up to the house herself, where she found Homily's little teapot and Arrietty's diary near a gas pipe.
She left a bag of goodies for them out overnight. And when she returned, it was gone.
Hey. That proves the borrowers must have safely escaped, and have set up a new home in the great outdoors, right?
Mrs. May smiles and says she's not so sure; in their diary both Arrietty and her brother used to write their "e's" like little half moons with a stroke in the middle…
So do the borrowers exist? Or was it just a fantasy Mrs. May's brother created?
If you've ever lost something that you knew was right there a minute ago, you know the answer.