It's October, and the weather turns rainy. This makes it an even bigger pain for the Logan children to walk to school.
The kids don't only have to worry about getting drenched (and wearing smelly dried calfskins to protect them from the rain), but they also have to worry about getting mud-splattered by the Jefferson Davis school bus, which won't slow down to prevent this.
Little Man is especially upset by this, since he's very picky about his appearance.
One day, the children try to "outwit" the bus: they try to tell when the bus will arrive, so they can hide in the bushes and avoid the usual mud drenching.
This plan doesn't work very well. The children are drenched more than usual, and the bus actually comes dangerously close to running them down.
Jeremy Simms (the white kid) meets up with the kids after this drenching, and Stacey takes his anger out on him.
But Jeremy makes it clear that he likes the Logans and likes being with them.
Stacey seems to have a plan...for something. He asks the others to meet him in the toolshed of the school at lunchtime.
Oh: he has a plan to stop the bus from splashing them.
But T.J. and Claude won't be invited to help out with this plan, since they wouldn't be able to keep their mouths shut about it.
At lunchtime, the kids who are in on the plan walk to where the bus forced them off the road that morning.
They dig a big hole in the middle of the road, making it look like the storm washed out the road.
After school, the kids rush out to the road to see what will happen to the bus. The hole now looks like a "twelve-foot lake" in the middle of the road (3.76).
The bus comes down the road, drives right into the watery hole and … gets stuck. Victory!
Bus driver Mr. Grimes is pretty mad. The white kids are going to have to walk home. In fact they will have to walk to and from school for about two weeks, until the bus can be fixed.
At dinner that night, Mama tells Big Ma about the bus accident. She has no idea her kids were involved, natch.
Mama's glad no one was hurt in the incident… but she's glad it happened.
For the rest of the evening, the Logan kids can't stop laughing about the bus getting stuck.
Suddenly, there is a knock at the door. Uh-oh. Are the kids going to get in trouble?
No. But it's not good news. It's Joe Avery, bringing news about a mysterious "they" who are "riding" tonight (3.135).
Mama sends the kids to bed, but Cassie sneaks into her brothers' room so she can hear what the adults are talking about.
Apparently, the "night men" are riding, and Mr. Avery doesn't know why.
Big Ma mentions that something must have happened to set them off.
Cassie thinks that these men know about the bus accident and know that the Logans had something to do with it.
The kids make a pact to never tell anyone what happened. They must keep it a secret.
Cassie goes back into her own room just as Big Ma comes in.
While Cassie pretends to sleep, she hears Stacey ask Mama if he can help with "whatever's the matter" (3.187).
Of course, Mama refuses. Whatever is going on is very serious. Plus, it sounds super dangerous.
You can tell it's serious when Big Ma takes a rifle from underneath her and Cassie's bed.
Big Ma returns and sits at a chair at the window, keeping watch.
Cassie wakes up in the middle of the night, and Big Ma is gone.
When she rushes outside to see what's going down, a whole bunch of cars roll up into their yard.
Two guys get out, and things are looking Very Not Good.
But then, suddenly, they all take off, like they got the wrong house. Whew. Crisis seems to be averted—at least for their family.
Still, Cassie's a bit more than terrified as she heads back to bed.