Study Guide

Belle Prater's Boy Chapter 15

By Ruth White

Chapter 15

  • Midsummer rolls around, which is a pretty great time in Coal Station. Lots of people are baking pies and cooking up all sorts of delicious foods. Love, Gypsy's mom, holds a garden party every single year.
  • So during the second week of July, Grandpa and Porter get busy moving tables and chairs down to the edge of the orchard near the tree house.
  • Gypsy and Woodrow are in charge of serving refreshments and getting all the ladies' names right for the newspaper.
  • About fifty women show up, and there are even some eighteen-year-old debutantes who are invited because they're now of marriageable age.
  • Mrs. Cooper—that mean principal's wife who grabbed Woodrow's face when he first came to Coal Station—says rude things about hillbillies and asks Woodrow what he's heard from his mother.
  • When he says that he hasn't heard anything, she tells him that she's not surprised; she never thought his mother would amount to much.
  • After Woodrow walks away, Mrs. Cooper tells Gypsy that Belle called her a cow way back in the day. No wonder she holds such a serious grudge against Belle's son.
  • Woodrow is super busy serving everyone Love's special drink, peach ice, which is a blend of peach juice and ginger ale. Gypsy watches him serving Mrs. Cooper and wonders why he's being so nice to her.
  • Everyone is in an awesome mood as the evening wears on, and then Gypsy sees Mrs. Cooper going down to the creek, pulling up her dress, and jumping in. She's shocked that she would lack so much etiquette.
  • Granny says something about how she's acting drunk, and Gypsy gets worried—she thinks that maybe Woodrow has been spiking Mrs. Cooper's drinks as revenge.
  • Some of the debutantes go into the creek, too, and Love looks totally dumbfounded. This isn't turning out to be the fancy event that she planned.
  • Gypsy goes right up to Woodrow and asks him about the Peach Ice. He tells her that he did not spike it—he just told Mrs. Cooper that her drink had some rum in it. Her mind did the rest. Ha.

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