Study Guide

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Chapter 197

By Mark Haddon

Chapter 197

  • There are a lot of people on the train. Ugh, no one likes a crowded train – especially Christopher.
  • Suddenly, he hears someone call his name: it's the policeman from the station. He's breathing heavily, having just run to catch the train before it left.
  • He says Christopher's father is at the station, looking for him.
  • Uh oh.
  • Christopher realizes he's going to take him back to his father, which is totally scary and confusing. After all, policemen are supposed to do good things and Christopher's father is clearly bad. (He killed a dog – hello!)
  • So Christopher tries to run away and he screams when the policeman grabs him. Then Christopher breaks the news: he tells him his father killed a dog with a garden fork. Well, then.
  • The policeman says they can talk about that once they get back to the station, but it's too late. The train pulls away. The policeman curses, and uses his walkie-talkie to ask for someone to meet them with a car at the next train station.
  • Christopher looks out the window as the train flies through town. There's so much stuff zooming by that it makes his head hurt.
  • He closes his eyes and counts and groans and does quadratic equations in his head. (Remember those from algebra?)
  • Christopher needs to use the bathroom, but he doesn't realize that there's a bathroom on the train. So he holds it for seventeen minutes.
  • While he's waiting, he pees in his pants a little. The policeman notices and tells him to go to the toilet (after explaining that there are often toilets on trains).
  • Christopher goes into the toilet, but it's way gross: there's even poop on the seat. Gross, indeed.
  • Christopher closes his eyes and pees and it goes on the seat, on the floor, and pretty much everywhere else – he was closing his eyes, after all.
  • Walking out from the toilet, he notices there are some shelves for luggage. He thinks it would make him feel better if he climbed onto the shelves, because being in enclosed areas always makes him feel safe.
  • He pulls a piece of luggage in front of him to make it all dark and cozy and does some more quadratic equations in his head, for good measure.
  • The train starts to slow down. The policeman comes looking for him, but once again, Christopher is pretty well hidden.
  • Just then a lady comes to take her backpack off the shelves, and sees Christopher. She says that someone on the platform is looking for him, but doesn't give him away. Way to be discreet, lady.
  • The doors close and the train starts moving again.
  • Whew.