One last time, we're back in Green Lake in the time of Sam the onion man.
There were no yellow-spotted lizards in the town then, the narrator tells us, but they did live in the hills beyond the town.
One afternoon, three men come to Sam and ask for some of his "lizard juice" – they're going rattlesnake hunting in the morning, and they know that Sam's juice will keep the lizards away.
The lizard juice, it turns out, is made from pure onion juice – if the men drink it, they'll be protected from lizard bites. Lizards, Sam tells them, "don't like onion blood" (49.13).
Aha! Now it makes sense.
Back to Stanley's story: as they drive away from Camp Green Lake, Ms. Morengo explains that she's a patent attorney (a lawyer who works with inventors). She's helping Stanley's father patent a new product he's invented, and when she heard about Stanley's arrest, she started looking into it.
Her investigation uncovered evidence that proved that Stanley couldn't have stolen the sneakers.
That's when Zero tells Ms. Morengo that <em>he</em> was the one who stole the sneakers. Earmuffs, Ms. Morengo: she tells him not to mention it to her again.
Looks like everyone's off the hook.
We finally find out what Stanley's father's invention is: a spray that eliminates foot odor. And guess what? It smells of peaches.
The exhausted boys fall asleep in Ms. Morengo's backseat. As the car speeds away, rain falls – for the first time in over a hundred years – into the dried-out lakebed behind them.