Study Guide

Homecoming Part 1, Chapter 3

By Cynthia Voigt

Part 1, Chapter 3

  • The next morning, the Tillerman kids get up and start walking again.
  • They're short on food and money, but James suggests they might be able to find some if they look on the road. Good idea, kid.
  • The kids are frustrated because they're not really much closer to Bridgeport. Sammy and James fight over Momma—will she be waiting for them in Bridgeport? James doesn't think so, but Sammy is sure of it.
  • They walk all day, eat hardly anything, and sleep in the woods off of Route 1.
  • The next day is more of the same, except they have peanut butter sandwiches and sleep in an unfinished house in a new development.
  • On the third day, Sammy is really cranky. When it starts to rain, Dicey wants to find shelter for the night, but Sammy digs his heels in and refuses to go. This kid is stubborn.
  • Dicey has finally had enough of his nonsense and tells him that she'll leave him there. Sammy says that's fine—Momma will come for him. We wouldn't count on that, Sammy…
  • Maybeth uses her own ways to get Sammy to come along and the kids find a little covered picnic area where they cook chicken wings and potatoes that Dicey bought at the grocery store.
  • After they eat and play and sing for a while, Dicey counts their money. They're down to one dollar and fifty-six cents. Not starving yet, but not exactly rolling in cash…
  • As they drift off to sleep, the kids talk about Momma. Why did she leave?
  • Maybeth thinks that she just got a little bit lost; Sammy says she'll be back for them; James wonders if maybe they're just the kind of kids that people love to abandon. First their dad leaves them, and now their mom.
  • Dicey tells them about their dad and James talks about how the younger three would get picked on at school because Momma and their father weren't married. Kids can be such jerks.
  • But Dicey tells the kids that Momma and their father did get married when Maybeth was little. Of course, this isn't true at all—she's just trying to make them feel better.
  • Their father left when Momma was pregnant with Sammy. Dicey remembers some policemen coming by the house after he was gone for a while; it seems dear old dad might have gotten in some trouble with the law.
  • After the younger two Tillermans fall asleep, James tells Dicey he doesn't blame their father for leaving. Momma was crazy. Who would want to be around her?
  • The kids used to tease James about it all the time. Sammy, too. No one ever picked on Dicey, though, because she'd beat them up.
  • Wow, Dicey thinks, getting bullied like that would really change someone, wouldn't it? Poor Sammy.

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