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The House of Dies Drear
by Virginia Hamilton
The House of Dies Drear Chapter 12 Summary
Mrs. Small says that now they know a little about the Darrows and the Carrs. She wants to know what Mr. Pluto's "family name" is (12.2). Mr. Small tells her it's Skinner, his real name is Henry Skinner. She asks if he has other family in town, but Mr. Small doesn't know. As they pass it, Mrs. Small points out Washington Junior High, where Thomas will be going. Thomas thinks it's a nice looking school. They keep driving and the twins fall asleep. Thomas begs his dad to show him the rest of the town. It's very beautiful. In some of the yards, Thomas sees white children and black children playing together. As they drive into the country, out toward their home, Thomas breaths in the fresh air and thinks he could live here forever. When they near the house, it's almost 5:30 in the afternoon. As they cross the bridge to get to the house of Dies Drear, Thomas feels separated from the town. Mrs. Small put the twins in bed with their clothes on. She doesn't want to wake them by changing them. Thomas is bothered by the way they look, sleeping in their beds in suits – as if they are ready to get up and run away. He swears that he will not let the house scare them! Mr. Small is standing on the threshold of the kitchen. He looks weird, and Thomas and Mrs. Small come running to him to see what's wrong. Trying not to let his wife see, Mr. Small blocks her way, but she pushes past. She cries out when she sees, and she closes her eyes tight. Thomas can't believe what he sees and feels desperate and lonely. Someone – or something! – emptied a huge sack of flour on the kitchen floor and then poured apple juice and water on top of it. This was also smeared on every surface of the room. All the food and the canned goods had been emptied out too. Mr. Small explains to his wife that they are trying to scare her, so she will pressure Mr. Small to move. He says that they are too brave and strong to run! Tonight is the night he finds out what's going on! Mr. Small tells Mrs. Small to go into the bedroom with Billy and Buster, lock the door and stay there until he and Thomas get back. Holding Thomas's baseball bat, ready to hit somebody with it, she waits.
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