Study Guide

Out of the Dust Chapter 38

By Karen Hesse

Chapter 38

Blame

  • Daddy's sister, Aunt Ellis (a.k.a. Billie Jo's Least Favorite Relative Ever), comes to take Billie Jo's brother back to Lubbock with her to raise as her own child. When she arrives though, she learns that the baby died—so she talks to Daddy about something presumably related to the accident, then immediately goes back home.
  • Billie Jo's neighbors come to handle the funeral arrangements for Ma and the baby, and they are buried together on the family's property. A clergyman who Billie Jo knows didn't know Ma at all attempts to lead the service; he asks Daddy to name the baby, and he chooses to call him Franklin, after the President.
  • The women clean Billie Jo's house, while she stays in her room. She overhears them talking about the accident and how she threw the pail of kerosene. They don't mention Daddy leaving it by the stove, or how he went out and got drunk after the accident, though, and Billie Jo seems to feel like they are blaming her for what happened.