Study Guide

Belle Prater's Boy Chapter 13

By Ruth White

Chapter 13

  • The next morning it rains early, but then the sun comes out, and the ground is all mushy. Grandpa asks Gypsy if she'll get him some worms so he can feed some baby birds she found, but she tells him no way—Woodrow can do that instead.
  • When Granny and Woodrow go to buy groceries, Gypsy comes over to watch Grandpa doing some handiwork and asks him why a person's appearance is so important.
  • He asks if someone is poking fun at Woodrow for his crossed eyes and Gypsy says yes. Then Grandpa says that being attractive shouldn't make any difference at all, but for some reason it does to most people.
  • Then Gypsy says that she doesn't understand why it matters so much to her mother that she have long, beautiful hair.
  • That's when Grandpa drops a bomb: It was her father's idea to have her hair grow out like that. And during his last few weeks of life, Amos asked Love to promise that she'd never cut Gypsy's hair.
  • This is a huge shock and revelation to Gypsy, and she feels like she's going to start crying again, just like she does whenever anybody starts talking about her father too much.
  • Grandpa says that Woodrow is a good person, and so is Aunt Belle. Maybe they aren't super physically attractive, but that doesn't make them any less than anybody else.
  • And he says that Belle only ran away with Everett because she was feeling bad about herself, like she couldn't do any better. She didn't even know him or know what she was getting into when she moved into those lonely hills.
  • He also says that Gypsy reminds him of Belle because they both play the piano so well. This pleases Gypsy because most people just compliment her on her looks, and it's nice to hear that she's actually skilled at something.
  • They stopped seeing Belle as much after she married Everett because she was embarrassed about her living situation. She visited every once in a while, but she and Love were never really close again after the whole thing with Amos.
  • At that point, Gypsy asks Grandpa if he thinks that Uncle Everett had anything to do with Aunt Belle's disappearance. Her grandpa goes silent and starts thinking…
  • But then they both hear a loud "No!" from across the yard. Woodrow is coming at them and he's livid with them both for even discussing his father like that. He runs away and Gypsy and Grandpa look at each other, both feeling seriously guilty.

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