Study Guide

Homecoming Part 1, Chapter 6

By Cynthia Voigt

Part 1, Chapter 6

  • The next morning, the Tillerman kids wake up and see a couple police cars prowling around. Are they looking for runaways like Edie and Lou? Or maybe some food thieves?
  • Dicey gets the other kids to high tail it out of there, and soon they're back on the road again.
  • Unfortunately, once they've traveled a couple miles, Dicey realizes that she's left the map behind. Curses. What's more, they're nearly out of money… Things are not looking good.
  • Finally, they stumble across a posh little town and Dicey stops in at a gas station. A map of Connecticut costs fifty cents, though, and Dicey doesn't have the cash, so she offers to do some work for the money. The man gives her the map and another quarter for washing the front windows. Score.
  • With the map and some money in their pockets, the kids walk over to the supermarket, but everything costs more than the fifty-one cents they have.
  • Dicey suggests that Sammy go inside a bakery and try to make the woman there feel badly enough for them to sell them some old pastries and stuff. The plan works and Sammy comes out with a whole bag full of goodies that the kids devour. Of course, now they have no money left—not even a penny.
  • After eating, Dicey takes a look at the map and gets the kids to head toward the creek to fish. James and Sammy only catch two fish, though, which they eat for dinner.
  • The next morning, Dicey doesn't have any luck catching fish either, so they head out with empty bellies toward a bridge where they can cross the Connecticut River. When they get there, though, Dicey realizes that there's no way for them to cross. And the next bridge is miles away.
  • She starts to panic. This is it: They have no food, and no money. What are they going to do?
  • Then Dicey has a plan: They can earn money by carrying groceries to people's cars outside the supermarket. And the plan works—the kids earn forty cents within an hour and buy some milk to drink. Then they head back out and keep carrying groceries.
  • Eventually, they run into a man and his granddaughter who give them three bucks for carrying their bags to the car. Super score.
  • At the end of the day, they've earned five dollars and fifteen cents. Not too shabby. Dicey buys some peanut butter and bread so they can eat dinner and still have a little money left over.
  • As they sit by the side of the river and eat, Dicey starts to sing. Then, she has another brilliant idea: They can borrow a small boat and sail across the river at night. And that's exactly what they do. They row across and tie up the boat on the other side hoping that it'll be found by it's owner the next morning.
  • On the other side of the river, the kids find a quiet graveyard to sleep in.
  • James is a little freaked out about ghosts, but Dicey tells them that they'll be fine; she's more worried about real life danger rather than supernatural stuff.
  • As they fall asleep, James mentions that it doesn't really matter what they do since they're going to die one day anyway. Everyone is. He also says he was proud of Sammy for stealing that food. Dicey says she was, too, even though she didn't act like it at the time.
  • And with all those interesting thoughts hanging in the air, they fall asleep.

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