The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Haddon
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Chapter 227 Summary
How It All Goes Down
- Christopher keeps his eyes closed for a long time and he notices that the silences between trains have become longer now.
- Finally he looks at his watch and realizes he's been sitting on the bench for five hours. Time really seems to fly for Chris.
- He also notices that Toby is no longer in his pocket. Uh oh.
- Christopher looks up and sees a small electronic sign showing when the next trains will arrive. This makes him feel a little better, knowing "everything had an order and a plan" (227.6).
- He spots Toby down by the rails, with some regular subway mice. He climbs down to get him, but someone shouts to stop him.
- Christopher ignores the shouting, and tries to grab Toby. But the rat will have none of it.
- As a train approaches, a man tries to grab Christopher off the tracks. (We're officially freaking out now.)
- Christopher is otherwise engaged: he grabs Toby with both hands and the oh-so-sweet pet rat bites him on the thumb.
- The man picks Christopher up off the tracks just as the train approaches. Whew. But instead of being grateful, Christopher screams: when the man picked him up, it hurt his shoulder.
- The man yells at Christopher for going onto the tracks, but Christopher says he was just trying to catch his pet rat. Obvi.
- A woman asks if she can help him, and Christopher tells her that he has a Swiss Army knife that can cut a person's fingers off. Hmm. We're guessing this doesn't go over well.
- Eight more trains come and go, and then Christopher decides to finally get on the next one.
- It's noisy on the train and he keeps his eyes closed. Eventually, they arrive at Willesden Junction. That's his stop!
- He doesn't want to talk to any more strangers, knowing it only becomes more and more likely that he'll meet someone dangerous. But he needs help, so he walks up to a man in a shop and asks him how to get to his mother's address.
- The man tells him that he can buy one of the maps of London he sells in the store. Perfect.
- Christopher sits on the floor of the station and looks in the book of maps.
- He figures out the way, and then walks all the way there: it takes twenty-seven minutes. Whew. He made it.
- He sits down on the ground in front of his mother's place and waits for her. In the meantime, it starts raining and he gets really cold. (It's after 11:30PM at this point, after all.)
- Finally, he hears two people approaching – a woman's voice and a man's voice. It's his mother and – you guessed it! – Mr. Shears.
- Christopher stands up and says to his mom, "You weren't in, so I waited for you" (227.82).
- His mother throws her arms around him. Christopher of course doesn't like that so he pushes her away and falls down.
- She apologizes, saying that she forgot about the "no touching" thing. Instead, she holds her hand with her fingers spread.
- She asks him where his father is and Christopher says he thinks he's at home.
- Then Christopher gives a brief summary of his trip (or, as we prefer to think of it, his wild ride). With a little prodding, he also confesses that his father killed Wellington (who, of course, was Mr. Shears' dog, too, before he left his wife).
- They all go inside, and Christopher's mom runs a bath for him. To make himself feel safer, Christopher makes a mental map of their apartment.
- She gives Toby some food and water. Meanwhile, Christopher gets into the bath, which is warm and nice.
- Christopher's mother comes into the bathroom to talk some more. In particular, she wants to know why he never wrote her any letters.
- Christopher explains that his father told him that she was dead this whole time.
- Wait for it –
- Yep! She's every bit as horrified and saddened as you can imagine she would be.
- She wants to hold Christopher's hand, but he won't let her, and she says that's okay.
- Christopher gets out of the bath, puts on some of his mother's clothes, and heats himself up some tomato soup.
- A policeman shows up at the apartment, and says he has to speak with Christopher.
- Christopher's mother argues, saying he's been through enough, but the policeman insists.
- The policeman asks Christopher why he ran away from home, and Christopher tells the honest truth: because his father killed Wellington.
- Then the policeman asks if he would like to go back to his father or stay with his mother. It's his call.
- Christopher wants to stay and his mom is fine with that: this makes Christopher really happy.
- Okay, then. The policeman says that if his father shows up, they can call the police.
- At 2:31am, Christopher wakes up because people are shouting. One of the voices is his father's. Uh oh.
- A big argument ensues between Christopher's mother, Christopher's father, and Mr. Shears.
- His mother is (obviously) really mad that his father told Christopher she was dead. But his father wants some recognition for having taken care of him all this time.
- His dad insists on speaking to him, so Christopher gets his Swiss Army knife ready. Again – just in case.
- Dad comes in the room and apologizes again and again… and again. He's crying.
- Christopher is frightened and doesn't respond at all (but at least he doesn't stab him).
- Mr. Shears calls the police and they come take his father away.
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