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Dead End in Norvelt
by Jack Gantos
Dead End in Norvelt Chapter 27 Summary
Now that all of the old residents of the town are dead (except for Miss Volker and Mr. Spizz), Jack has nothing to do (no obituaries to write anymore). A gunshot jerks Jack from his reverie. Gee—for a town where nothing ever seems to happen, there is certainly a lot going on this summer. Jack runs outside the house, and hears his mother yelling. He immediately goes on the defensive: "I didn't fire the rifle!" (27.10). A bloody, dying deer crashes into their yard from the woods, closely trailed by a threatening man wearing a ski mask. Jack's mother sends him to get the Japanese rifle to scare off the poacher, but Jack finds that it is gone. He instead grabs the sword. In a brave move, Jack's mom swings the sword at the masked hunter and tries to get him to leave. He instead demands the deer; it's his "kill." The masked poacher turns out to be Uncle Will (remember him?), and he has the missing Japanese sniper rifle. Jack comforts the dying deer and realizes that at least one mystery is solved: Uncle Will was the one who loaded the gun. Jack, however, is still grounded (because of the corn). (And because he really shouldn't have been playing around with the gun in the first time.) Interestingly enough, Jack's nose does not bleed through all of this stress, and he's also not afraid of the dead deer. Hm, it's almost like Jack is growing up.
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