Study Guide

M.C. Higgins, the Great Chapter 10

By Virginia Hamilton

Chapter 10

  • Jones is like a master chef in the kitchen, plus he's a natural entertainer, so the girl is flat-out charmed and tells Jones that her name is Lurhetta Outlaw.
  • (M.C., by the way, is a little jealous of his dad's way with Lurhetta.)
  • Yeah, it's a weird name, and she knows it, which is why she doesn't like to reveal her name.
  • But Jones puts her at ease and everything at the table is hunky-dory. Lunch goes really well.
  • Then, all of a sudden, things get tense and weird, really fast.
  • That's because the icemen are coming.
  • Who are the icemen you ask? Why they're three Killburn men—Ben's dad and his two uncles—and they, um, sell ice. Not exactly monster material if you ask us, but Jones isn't too keen on these guys anyway.
  • Usually, M.C.'s the one who handles them, not Jones, so M.C.'s a little embarrassed that Jones is so clearly scared (and rude) to the men.
  • M.C. negotiates with Mr. Killburn over the ice through some kind of sign language; they even touch at one point.
  • By the way, the Killburns never seem bothered by Jones's extreme fear of them; they just kind of laugh him off.
  • When the Killburns leave, Jones forces M.C. to wash his hands and he doesn't let M.C. touch the ice—after all, M.C. did touch Mr. Killburn.
  • Lurhetta doesn't understand Jones's rudeness at all; in fact, she's kind of disgusted by his reaction to the icemen, who seem perfectly normal to her.
  • M.C. tries to explain that they're "witchy," but that just turns her off even more.
  • In fact, she challenges him to prove that he's not as bigoted as his father.
  • She even dares to bring up their bigotry at the lunch table.
  • The other kids, by the way, refuse to touch M.C. for the rest of the day.
  • Lurhetta gets M.C. thinking about things; he knows with her around that everything's changed for him.

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