Study Guide

Dead End in Norvelt Chapter 15

By Jack Gantos

Chapter 15

  • Things are looking up for Jack's dad, who now has a brand-new, super-secret job. It's so super-secret that we aren't yet told what it is.
  • Mr. Spizz promises that he won't report the unauthorized runway if Jack will run an errand for him: buying poison to get rid of some rodents at the dump.
  • To sweeten the deal, Mr. Spizz also offers to take away the ticket for the weeds blocking the gutters.
  • At the hardware store, Jack finds out he needs parental permission to buy the poison. The storeowner relents, but makes Jack sign a record of his purchase. It's the law.
  • Interesting! Buffy's dad and funeral-home-owner Mr. Huffer has also recently signed the poison-purchasing form.
  • Despite Miss Volker's previous improvised nose surgery, Jack's nose starts to bleed slightly. A droplet of blood falls right onto his name as he signs the required form.
  • After Jack brings the poison back to Mr. Spizz, he (Mr. Spizz) warns Jack to not tell anyone about this transaction.
  • Um, not good. Kids, don't run secret errands, okay? It never ends up well. (Unless it's, like, buying an ice cream cake for your brother's surprise birthday party. Then it's probably okay.)
  • Jack's nose spouts more blood, and he gets the feeling that "something bad" is heading his way (15.57).
  • Epic fail! Jack's mom saw him go into the hardware store. She takes away his GET OUT OF JAIL FREE card.