Every morning, Dicey gets up to take care of the house. On weekends, the children sometimes spend time together, and on Sundays, Maybeth goes to church with Cousin Eunice. This is their life now.
Dicey tries to talk with Sammy about his behavior. Can't he just try to be good? Even just a little? It's the only way to keep them all together.
Cousin Eunice likes talking to Dicey every night before bed. Dicey actually feels badly for her. Aunt Cilla seems like a pretty bad mom and Eunice spent all her life with her and really wanted to be a nun. Now she has to give it all up.
One day, Maybeth's teacher asks to meet with Dicey. She's concerned that Maybeth has learning disabilities and needs to be put in a special school. Dicey has to admit that Maybeth isn't like the other girls. Maybe there is something wrong with her?
When she picks up Sammy from school, Dicey sees that he's gotten in another fight. What happened to trying to be good, little guy? Apparently some of the other boys at school said he was going to go into a foster home because no one wanted him.
Dicey knows what she has to do: A bus ticket to Crisfield costs twenty-six bucks, so she can make it there and back and still have some money leftover. She just has to check out their grandmother for herself. Maybe Cousin Eunice's house is the best place for them, but this is the only way she'll really know.
Dicey buys a second hand suitcase and drops the kids off at school on a Monday morning. She leaves a note for James telling him he's in charge and is all set to head out the door when who does she see on the front porch? James.
James knows that Dicey has been planning to leave without them and he demands to go with her. Sammy comes by a minute later, too. They don't want to be separated; they just can't be.
Dicey doesn't argue with them, and instead she writes a note for Cousin Eunice (who she knows will be upset) and they quickly pack some clothes. Then they swing by Maybeth's school to pick her up.
And just like that, the Tillermans are on the road again.