Study Guide

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Chapter 59

By Mark Haddon

Chapter 59

  • Christopher acknowledges the fact that his father told him not to keep thinking about who killed Wellington, but too bad: he's going to do it anyway.
  • He says that when people tell you to do something, it can be confusing because they often use metaphors or just aren't specific enough. (For example, instead of a sign reading "KEEP OFF THE GRASS," he would prefer a sign reading "KEEP OFF ALL THE GRASS IN THIS PARK" [59.2], so it's clear that he can walk on other areas of grass in the world.)
  • His teacher Siobhan understands, and always gives him very specific instructions, but no one else does. And anyway, most people break rules themselves (especially Christopher's father).
  • So Christopher always decides for himself what he's going to do: right now, that means finding out who killed Wellington.
  • That night, he goes to Mrs. Shears' house and tells her that he didn't kill Wellington: but he wants to know if she knows who did it.
  • She shuts the door in his face. So much for appreciating his fine detective skills.
  • When he's sure she isn't watching him, he goes around to her garden shed. It's locked, so he peeks in through the window, and he sees a pitchfork that looks just like the one that killed Wellington.
  • He figures it's unlikely that Mrs. Shears killed her own dog (considering how upset she was about the whole thing), so that leaves three options: (1) she left the shed unlocked, (2) she left the fork lying out, or (3) the dog was killed by someone who had the key to the shed.
  • Mrs. Shears comes outside and threatens to call the police again, so Christopher goes home. He feeds his rat Toby and feels happy about being a detective.