Study Guide

Alligator Bayou Chapter 5

By Donna Jo Napoli

Chapter 5

  • At home, Carlo is making pasta for Calo when Francesco comes home with the gun—he is finally not angry anymore and is ready to let the argument go.
  • The uncles and the boys sit down to eat together, and Calo thinks they are a family at the table. They eat very well.
  • Out of the blue, Joe Evans (a hired farm hand) arrives with three goats (one Francesco invites inside to pet) and tells Francesco that Dr. Hodge sent a message asking them to keep the goats off of his porch because he can't sleep. Dr. Hodge also wants to talk about Willy Rogers.
  • Although Joe is invited to sit and eat, he declines after seeing the odd food they are eating.
  • When Francesco brings up the injustice and oppression that rich white men in their town are dishing out at anyone of color, Joe Evans mildly agrees that it isn't right. Calo recalls one meeting when black men came to their house to talk about the new voting laws.
  • It's obvious that Joe's in a hurry to get home—and that he might be uncomfortable in the Italian household—but he is given a package of okra to take as an offering of good will.
  • Thinking out loud, Carlo says that if people think that Francesco is organizing the black people, then he's afraid they'll get run out of business by the white men who fear that Francesco is out to cause trouble.
  • The other uncles think that the white men should learn to let others live their lives in peace and stop trying to control everyone as if they were slaves.
  • Waving it all off as no big deal, Francesco assures Carlo that he is friends with Dr. Hodge and he'll straighten things out in the morning—Carlo is totally doubtful of their bond, though, since they only see each other once a year, and Dr. Hodge isn't being particularly friendly right now.
  • Teasing Calo, Francesco scares him with a story about a big ol' alligator, and Carlo starts brainstorming new recipes for alligator with sauce.
  • Francesco says that the black townspeople look like they have so much fun together eating outside and laughing and singing. It's pretty clear that he misses having a tight community to hang out with.

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