Study Guide

Alligator Bayou Chapter 11

By Donna Jo Napoli

Chapter 11

  • One morning in July, Calo wakes up at a regular time (you know, not punishingly early), and no one is there but Cirone. Um… what's going on? These two have been worked from dawn to dusk every day for a month, so this whole sleeping-in-and-waking-to-an-empty-house thing is a sudden change.
  • Calo and Cirone run to their jobs, and once they arrive, Charles walks in and says hello to Calo.
  • Calo majorly freaks out, because he doesn't want to get caught talking to the friend he got in trouble with.
  • Francesco, however, is acting all friendly with Charles, and the two seem to have some sort of arrangement.
  • Calo's confusion only grows when he is told to drive Charles and all the food he bought to the church, and to stay there and help if necessary. Say what?
  • Like the teenage boy that he is, though, Calo starts to get pumped about maybe seeing Patricia.
  • When they are in the wagon and on their way to the church, Calo asks Charles what the heck is going on, and Charles explains in a teasing kind of way that they are having a graduation party tonight for seven people, and that Patricia is one of them. Charles's family is cooking the alligator, and every black family around is invited.
  • The night before, Charles's uncle had gone to barter with Francesco, and he enjoyed talking with him so much that Calo's family is now invited to the party, too.
  • Calo helps unload all the veggies at the church, but he doesn't see Patricia anywhere, which bums him out. Charles takes him to see his classroom and tells him how much school and learning mean to him. He also says that he works just as hard during school days as during summer break.
  • Back at the market, Francesco is super excited that they have been invited to the party. He tells Calo that they've all missed having friends so much, and he appreciates that Calo made some for them.
  • And then Francesco puts two and two together, and realizes that these are the alligator-hunting friends who got the boys into so much trouble in the first place. Francesco's simmered down a bit since the boys were caught, though, so he just makes Calo swear he'll never do it again.
  • Three black customers come in, and Francesco and Calo are busy wrapping up their food for them when in walks a white man, Mr. Coleman, who demands that someone get him some strawberries now. When Francesco says they will be with him right after they take care of the customers that were there first, Mr. Coleman throws a hissy fit and starts insulting all of them.
  • Calo finally comes to help Mr. Coleman, who makes Calo look at the ground and say sir when he talks to him. Mr. Coleman tosses his money on the ground and threatens to put Francesco out of business. Ugh.
  • This whole scene ticks Francesco off and makes Calo shake with fear. Francesco sends his nephew along to Frank's place so he can see about a graduation present for Patricia.

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