Gram and Gramps still can't fall asleep, so Sal goes right on telling Phoebe's story.
That night (after Mr. Birkway reads from Sal and Phoebe's journals), Sal goes over to Phoebe's house for dinner, and while she's there, Mr. Birkway comes to visit the Winterbottom household. Whoa. Why?
He tells them he wants to apologize for reading Phoebe's journal out loud. He tells them the truth about his sister, Mrs. Cadaver: her husband died when a drunk driver hit him while he was in a car with Mrs. Partridge. He didn't survive, but Mrs. Partridge did. Mrs. Partridge lost her sight as a result of the accident.
Mr. Birkway tells them that his sister was the nurse on duty in the emergency room the night that her husband and her mother were hit by a drunk driver. Can you imagine how horrible that must have been?
After their teacher leaves, and Phoebe has lost another lead in the case of her mother's disappearance, Sal tells Phoebe the thing she's been trying to tell her for a while now: the lunatic is in the family portrait on Sergeant Bickle's desk.
They devise a plan to track down the lunatic using this new lead.
That night, Sal can't sleep. She's thinking about Mrs. Cadaver and how horrible she must have felt the night that her husband died and her mother lost her sight.
Well wouldn't you know it, Sal has started to walk in Mrs. Cadaver's shoes.
But she's done with the story of Phoebe Winterbottom for the night. Gram is still not sleepy, but she tells Sal to go to sleep anyway, and reminds Gramps to say the thing about the marriage bed.