Study Guide

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Chapter 24

By Jamie Ford

Chapter 24

Records (1942)

  • The next day, Henry tells Keiko all about his harrowing trip back home and it makes her laugh.
  • All week long, they work together just like usual. One day, Keiko tells him that she has a surprise, and that he'll have to wait until after school to know what it is.
  • They walk to a department store and Keiko tells him to close his eyes, and then she pulls out a record on sale—Oscar Holden playing the song that he performed for the two kids. Aw.
  • Keiko tells him she saved up money to buy it just for him, in order to thank him for taking her to the Black Elks Club that night.
  • When they take the record to the counter, though, the cashier completely ignores Keiko. When Keiko tries to get her attention, the woman tells her she doesn't serve people like her.
  • Henry takes the money from Keiko and points to his "I Am Chinese" pin. Although the woman is annoyed, she lets him buy the record without shooing them out of the store.
  • Keiko is—understandably—totally dismayed and upset on the way home. She isn't excited anymore; she's just angry and baffled by how much people hate her.
  • Then they try to decide who should keep the record. Keiko thinks Henry should, but he says that she's the one with the record player, and besides, his parents don't approve of modern music.
  • So in the end, they decide that Keiko should keep it and that Henry can come over and listen to it whenever they want.
  • As they're walking by the ferry terminal, they see a bunch of Japanese people in line and Henry realizes with horror that they're evacuating Japanese people.
  • He tells Keiko they need to get her home right now.
  • They run into Sheldon on the way and Keiko asks him where they're talking all the Japanese people. He says he heard that they're building internment camps in California, and that he thinks the whole situation is so, so wrong. Us, too, Sheldon.

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