Study Guide

Maniac Magee Chapter 9

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Chapter 9

  • Back to John McNab.
  • You didn't think he was the type of guy who would get over being humiliated by a dirty, skinny kid carrying a book, did you?
  • According to McNab, beating someone up is just as good as striking them out.
  • So McNab and his buddies (the Cobras) go looking for Maniac.
  • They find him running on the rail of the train tracks.
  • Yeah, on the rail. This is some serious gymnast stuff.
  • McNab and the Cobras chase him, and Maniac realizes that he might actually be in some danger.
  • Maniac runs and runs, and the Cobras chase and chase.
  • He runs right across Hector Street. Bam! The Cobras stop immediately.
  • What happened?
  • Hector is the border between the East and West End. The West End of Two Mills belongs to the whites and the East End to the blacks.
  • The Cobras chill on Hector, figuring if Maniac runs far enough into the East End, he'll be in "about at good shape as a bare big toe in a convention of snapping turtles" (9.17).
  • Translation? Not in good shape at all.

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