Study Guide

The House of Dies Drear Chapter 12

By Virginia Hamilton

Chapter 12

  • Mrs. Small says that now they know a little about the Darrows and the Carrs. She wants to know what Mr. Pluto's "family name" is (12.2).
  • Mr. Small tells her it's Skinner, his real name is Henry Skinner.
  • She asks if he has other family in town, but Mr. Small doesn't know.
  • As they pass it, Mrs. Small points out Washington Junior High, where Thomas will be going.
  • Thomas thinks it's a nice looking school.
  • They keep driving and the twins fall asleep. Thomas begs his dad to show him the rest of the town.
  • It's very beautiful. In some of the yards, Thomas sees white children and black children playing together.
  • As they drive into the country, out toward their home, Thomas breaths in the fresh air and thinks he could live here forever.
  • When they near the house, it's almost 5:30 in the afternoon.
  • As they cross the bridge to get to the house of Dies Drear, Thomas feels separated from the town.
  • Mrs. Small put the twins in bed with their clothes on. She doesn't want to wake them by changing them.
  • Thomas is bothered by the way they look, sleeping in their beds in suits – as if they are ready to get up and run away.
  • He swears that he will not let the house scare them!
  • Mr. Small is standing on the threshold of the kitchen. He looks weird, and Thomas and Mrs. Small come running to him to see what's wrong.
  • Trying not to let his wife see, Mr. Small blocks her way, but she pushes past.
  • She cries out when she sees, and she closes her eyes tight.
  • Thomas can't believe what he sees and feels desperate and lonely.
  • Someone – or something! – emptied a huge sack of flour on the kitchen floor and then poured apple juice and water on top of it. This was also smeared on every surface of the room.
  • All the food and the canned goods had been emptied out too.
  • Mr. Small explains to his wife that they are trying to scare her, so she will pressure Mr. Small to move.
  • He says that they are too brave and strong to run!
  • Tonight is the night he finds out what's going on!
  • Mr. Small tells Mrs. Small to go into the bedroom with Billy and Buster, lock the door and stay there until he and Thomas get back.
  • Holding Thomas's baseball bat, ready to hit somebody with it, she waits.