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Dead End in Norvelt

Dead End in Norvelt


by Jack Gantos

Dead End in Norvelt Chapter 9 Summary

  • Now it's time for a little more background on the airplane: Jack's dad didn't win it in a card game (as he told his wife), but instead bought it for $25.00.
  • Man, we can't even buy dinner for $25.
  • Jack's father puts him to work digging for the bomb shelter, which, by the way, he has no plans to actually build. Remember? He's planning to build a runway.
  • While digging, Jack has some deep thoughts about whether past history or future history is more dangerous. He thinks about the progression of warfare technologies from caveman sticks to the atomic bomb.
  • Jack's mom heads outside and suggests that they get some help from the men down at the Norvelt Community Center. Ha! As if. Jack's father totally refuses to consider asking for help, calling the Community Center the "Communist" Center.
  • Bunny shows up with news that a dead Hells Angel has been brought to the funeral parlor, "flattened by a cement truck" (9.54).
  • Ouch.
  • Bad news for the Hells Angel, good news for Jack: he sends Bunny to tell Miss Volker about the Hells Angel, so she'll ask Jack to come over and help her record the death.
  • As Miss Volker examines the corpse, she describes the Hells Angel's injuries graphically, making Jack squirm—and his nose get that special about-to-bleed feeling.
  • Mr. Spizz was the last person to see the Hells Angel alive. (Hm, that sounds suspicious.) We learn that Mr. Spizz had been out early "poisoning rats at the dump" (9.99) when he saw the Hells Angel dancing down the road.
  • Even weirder, the guy had been dancing for miles, ever since he left a bar up the road.
  • Miss Volker signs the death certificate, and Jack arranges to be at her house the following day to help her with the obituary.
  • She has a vague memory of some medical condition that reminds her of the Hells Angel.

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