Walking home by the light of early morning, the two boys pray that their uncles are sleeping… but when they arrive, Francesco is waiting up for them.
Cirone starts showing off about killing an alligator and not
seeing any snakes.
This gets the boys into loads of trouble.
The uncles want to whip the boys as punishment, but since
they can't work if they've been beaten, their punishment instead is a lot of
hard work: Francesco's going to run them until they're too tired to think about
The boys go to get into bed, but Francesco makes them go
right to work instead, even though they haven't slept a wink. Each time Calo
dozes off, his uncle pinches him hard to wake him up.
By the end of the day, the boys are zombies, and Cirone
knocks over a vat of milk that they were going to use to make cheese. Instead of yelling at the boys, Carlo puts them to bed. He
asks about the alligator meat and thinks it is foolish that the boys went into
danger and got nothing for it.
Calo thinks that he will never go into the swamp
again—ever—which, for the record, Shmoop thinks is a great idea.
Poor Calo has nightmares about alligators and sleeps
Francesco punishes Calo even more by making him plow and
harvest the fields with Joe Evans. Calo is dead tired, and he's never worked so
hard before in his life.
day of rest—Calo even has to chop wood, though he bargains to go
to his tutoring lesson for a bit, too. No rest for the weary, it seems.