For the first time ever, Jack gets to drive all by himself. (Again: don't try this at home, kids. Rules were different then.) He makes a trip for Miss Volker to Mertie-Jo's to pick up some more Girl Scout cookies.
We learn more about how Jack has a thing for Mertie-Jo, but won't even admit it to himself.
Dead-end Norvelt strikes again: Mertie-Jo's family is moving to Pittsburgh because her father needs a job.
Jack takes a risk and tells Mertie-Jo that he would "eat a thousand cookies" if she could stay in Norvelt.
Um. We would eat a thousand cookies just … because they were in front of us.
Our hero makes a total fool of himself in front of his love interest when he gets freaked out by a fake plastic skeleton in Miss Volker's trunk.
Another old lady death: This time, Mrs. Hamsby (and sure enough, Mr. Huffer notices that she had "body spasms" before her death, and that she also died in her kitchen) (21.37).
Through her obituary, we learn that Mrs. Hamsby was Norvelt's first postmistress, and she saved undeliverable letters in her home, like a "tiny museum of lost history" (21.44).
On the same day as Mrs. Hamsby died (August 1, but in 1944), Anne Frank made her last entry in her famous diary before she was hauled off to a concentration camp.
It turns out that there's a sort of Norvelt connection to Anne Frank: Eleanor Roosevelt wrote the introduction to the first published American edition of the book.
Finally, someone starts to connect the dots: a Mr. Greene thinks that someone should investigate the deaths of the old women who seem to be "dropping like flies" (21.59).
Not the most sensitive metaphor, but we think he's right.