Study Guide

M.C. Higgins, the Great Chapter 14

By Virginia Hamilton

Chapter 14

  • M.C.'s up from his nap; it's way past midnight.
  • He's got to go find Lurhetta, so he gets dressed in a hurry.
  • Banina tells him to stay home, but he convinces her to go outside, where it's totally foggy.
  • She doesn't like the look of the fog and tells M.C. to go back to the house (M.C.'s already going away from the house and into the fog).
  • M.C. won't listen to her, though, and basically claims his independence; Banina eventually lets him go.
  • He runs down to the campsite, thinking about random stuff like how school maybe isn't for him and how Lurhetta would never make it through all the fog.
  • When he gets to her campsite, he sees that everything's gone—everything but her knife, that is, which Lurhetta stuck into the ground.
  • M.C.'s sure she left the knife for him.
  • He lets the knife speak to him—literally.
  • The knife is leading him somewhere; he just doesn't know where yet.
  • Along the way, he runs into Ben, who tells him that M.C. has a skunk caught in one of his traps (needless to say, Ben stinks).
  • M.C. nods and keeps going, with the knife leading him back home.
  • He climbs to the top of his pole with the knife and starts having a mental conversation with Lurhetta, asking her why she left the knife; he's definitely hurt by her absence.
  • Then he climbs down and over to the mountainside behind his house.
  • And he starts to dig at the soil with the knife.
  • What's he doing? He's building a wall.
  • The other kids come over and start helping him.
  • Eventually, Jones comes home and watches the kids digging; Jones even gets a shovel and starts to dig himself.
  • When Jones tries to give M.C. the shovel, though, M.C. refuses to take it from him, and even gets pretty snippy.
  • Why is he mad at Jones?
  • Because all along, M.C. could have been working for the Killburns for food, if not for Jones.
  • That leads M.C. to say flat-out to Jones that he's going to play with whomever he wants—putting his money where his mouth is, he goes and gets Ben (who, by the way, still stinks of skunk).
  • M.C. explains to Ben that he's building a wall up between the house and the spoil-heap.
  • Jones makes a nasty comment about Ben's smell, and M.C. is ready to throw the knife at Jones, even though Jones is his father.
  • But Jones gets himself together and leaves them for the house.
  • The boys smile at each other.
  • They start chatting about the knife, Lurhetta, and the fact that neither of them really cares about the skunk smell.
  • Aw. Friendship.
  • The kids all get back to making that wall.
  • Then Jones comes out, crawls under the house, and brings out a huge gravestone.
  • It's Sarah's stone.
  • He gives it to M.C. and tells him to use it for the wall.
  • M.C. carves a place for it in the wall and then covers it all up with dirt.
  • The book ends with kids building the rising wall up.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...