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The House of Dies Drear
by Virginia Hamilton
The House of Dies Drear Chapter 19 Summary
Now they are back in Mr. Pluto's cave, and Mr. Pluto is sitting at his desk, looking happy. Thomas and his dad are back in their regular clothes, and they've taken off the makeup. They are really tired. When Pesty comes in, after putting the horse to bed, Mr. Pluto congratulates her on her wonderful performance. Mayhew apologizes to Mr. Pluto for wanting to put him in the hospital. He feels warm toward his dad for the first time in a long time. Thomas tells Mr. Pluto that he scared him, and Mr. Pluto just laughs, saying he was really having fun. Mayhew feels bad for Thomas because he got scared, and Thomas starts to apologize for being a bad actor. Mr. Small assures him he was fine, and this makes Thomas mad. He starts beating himself up for being a coward. He says he'll go home and check on his mother. Mayhew says he wants to go with Thomas. Mr. Small will stay behind and talk to Mr. Pluto, then come home with Pesty, who is already sleeping. Of course, Thomas wants to walk home alone; he thinks Mayhew is trying to take care of him. Mayhew says he just wants to talk to Thomas and be friends with him. As they walk, Thomas tells him about his wood sculptures… Back in the cave, Mr. Small is lying on the floor next to Mr. Pluto's desk, on the verge of falling asleep. Mr. Pluto says that he and Mayhew are going to let Mr. Small decide whether or not to tell the foundation about the treasure. They trust him to "do the right thing" (19.33). Mr. Small asks if Dies Drear left a list of all the things in the cavern. If so, Mr. Pluto has never seen one. Mr. Small says that proves Dies Drear didn't want the stuff to be sold. He proposes that he make such a list, a catalogue of all the items in the cave. Mr. Pluto says that would take Mr. Small the rest of Mr. Pluto's life. In this way, they reach a compromise. Mr. Small won't tell the foundation about the treasure until he's finished cataloguing it. So, Mr. Pluto will be able to live out the rest of his life as usual. At Pluto's request, Mr. Small picks up Pesty to put her to bed at his house. He promises to be back in the morning to start the cataloguing. While they are having that conversation, Thomas and Mayhew are talking about acting as they walk back to the Small's house. Mayhew tells Thomas that he'll be here for another month, and he offers to give Thomas a month's worth of acting lessons. Thomas isn't convinced he has any acting talent, but he does want to learn how Mayhew can seem to disappear out of doorways. Maybe, Mayhew says, he can teach him that. Then he tells Thomas that he's glad they scared the Darrows tonight. He thinks it taught the Darrows that Mr. Small is not somebody to be fooled with. That way, they can't bother him like they did Mayhew's father. Plus, Mayhew feels more connected to his father now. Thomas understands that Mayhew never really liked Mr. Pluto. Mayhew says Thomas is right. He can tell Thomas does like his father, Mr. Small. Yes, Thomas does like his father, he tells Mayhew, even though it gets on his nerves that Mr. Small always figures everything out before anybody else. Still, Thomas admires his father's intelligence. Now Thomas asks Mayhew if he can be friends with Mac Darrow. Unfortunately, Mayhew doesn't think the Darrows will let Pesty or Mac hang out at the Small place for a while. They'll be ashamed and angry about what happened and need some time to get over it. He suggests Thomas wait until winter; when it snows, he'll find Mac outside hunting rabbits. When Mayhew talks about the beauty of the winter, Thomas realizes he loves this place, and asks Mayhew why he left. Well, Mayhew isn't prepared to answer that question. Back in the house, Thomas finds his mom sleeping on the couch. Without waking her, he goes up to his room and crashes out. In the morning, after a quick breakfast and a quick word to his mom and brothers, Thomas heads over to Mr. Pluto's cave. Mr. Pluto is welding a humongous lock for the door of his cavern. Mr. Small is already there, completely absorbed in cataloguing the treasures. Pesty is there too. She and Thomas are looking at the huge chest hanging from the ceiling. It looks really full, and Thomas is curious. But, he decides that he can just let that be a mystery for now. He and Pesty wait patiently to see if Mr. Small will need their help. And that's how the story ends.
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