Study Guide

Alligator Bayou Chapter 24

By Donna Jo Napoli

Chapter 24

  • The next morning Calo can't find Bedda or her buddy Bruttu anywhere. He is totally freaking out, because he and Cirone both forgot to tie the goats' legs.
  • Francesco questions Calo about not finding Bedda, and they go to Dr. Hodge's to see for certain if he shot them.
  • The angry doctor is waiting for them but is surprised when Francesco is sad and crying over his dead goat. He'd thought Francesco was going to stab him, not cry.
  • In a state of shock, all Francesco can say is, "You shot my goat," which just makes Hodge angry. Then Francesco says Hodge should just go ahead and shoot him, which makes the doc even angrier—so he says he will if he has to. Um… this isn't going well, Shmoopers.
  • Totally depressed, Francesco and the boys walk to the market, and Calo helps his uncle lie down on a bed in the back. Calo feels so guilty and terrible, but no one speaks after Calo says he's sorry.
  • Out front, Calo tells anyone who comes by that they are closed for the day. It turns out that no white people come, anyway, and Calo realizes that in this town, the white people are like one big family, and the family members talk to each other about everything.
  • Finally, Francesco is convinced to go home and eat. No one talks, and he is sent to bed early.
  • Carlo, Giuseppe, and Calo go to the market to sit there and explain their side of what happened if anyone asks.
  • Before they leave the house, Francesco explains his confusion: Dr. Hodge was supposed to like them, but instead he killed their goats.
  • Understandably, Francesco is stunned at being hated.
  • At the grocery market in town, the uncles are so torn up over Francesco that when Carlo (peaceful, loving Carlo) sees Dr. Hodge, he runs up to him yelling in Italian about how he broke his bro's heart. The doctor can't understand him and gets scared that Carlo is going to stab him (with an invisible knife).
  • In defense against nothing, the doctor beats Carlo over the head with his gun. Calo tries to call out and stop him, but Giuseppe pulls Calo back and runs out to help Carlo; Joe Evans is there and holds Calo inside to protect him.
  • Dr. Hodge is frightened and shoots at Giuseppe, but misses. His gun is broken. He keeps trying to shoot Giuseppe but can't, so Giuseppe shoots him in the leg and carries Carlo back into the market, totally messed up and bloody.
  • When Francesco arrives, he demands that Calo now go get Father May, so Calo again takes off. But Father May is far away, and these guys need help like, yesterday, so Calo goes for Frank Raymond instead.
  • As Calo creeps around trying not be seen, he overhears the bigwig white men of town raving about how the Sicilians are murderers and how they not only kill other white men but just murdered the doctor. Calo is totally dumbfounded since he knows Hodge is alive.
  • The saloonkeeper offers free whiskey to any men who will help him wipe all the Sicilians out. Someone gets a rope.
  • Before Calo can do anything stupid, Frank blocks him from view by squishing him up against the wall. When Calo feverishly rants that they have to stop those men and rescue his uncles and cousin, Frank snaps him back to reality.
  • He tells Calo that he must run away and that there is no way to stop a mob. But Calo is too torn up and crazy with fear to listen, so he runs off to the market to see if anyone from his family is there. There's no one in the market; apparently, the sheriff has arrested a few of his uncles.
  • In the empty market, Calo thinks about what to do next. Then he hears a man and a boy walk in and say that the show has moved to the slaughterhouse.
  • Overcome with horror, Calo thinks he might be sick, but just then, Frank runs to him offering comfort. Frank is in shock, too, but at least he can think on his feet. He tells Calo that he's got to run away right now, because he heard men talking about hunting down all the other Sicilians they can find, too.
  • Frank found Father May and he sent word to Miliken's Bend to save the two Italians there. Finally, Frank sends Calo away. He says he doesn't want to know where Calo's going—he doesn't want to spill the beans if he is tortured.

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