Uncle Pat "The Abbot" warns Frank that he needs to get a job because he can't keep feeding him out of his own pocket.
Frank can't get a job as a messenger boy until he turns fourteen so he ends up taking long walks around town, stealing bread and milk from doorsteps and apples from orchards, and "interfering with himself."
Michael comes around every once in a while and asks Frank if he'd like to come back home but Frank refuses.
Since he's still got Laman's card he goes to the library. That is, until he's caught reading a "filthy" book about love and the body and gets thrown out of the library for good.
On the day before he turns fourteen, Frank realizes that he needs to wash himself and his clothes if he wants to make a good impression at the post office. The only problem is he doesn't have anything to wear while his clothes dry.
His clothes are still wet in the evening and Frank's getting chilly and all he can find in the house is his Grandmother's old dress, so he puts it on.
That same night Aunt Aggie comes over with Pa Keating to drop off The Abbot who had too much to drink at the pub.
After they put The Abbot to sleep Aunt Aggie asks Frank why he's not living with his mother. Frank lies and says that The Abbot's house is closer to his job at the post office. He doesn't mention the problem with Angela and Laman.