Study Guide

Out of the Dust Chapter 42

By Karen Hesse

Chapter 42

The Hole

  • People do all kinds of things when they're overwhelmed with grief, but usually, digging an enormous hole on the side of the house isn't one of them. That's what Daddy's doing though.
  • He asks Billie Jo to go to the train yard for old boards—she suspects that he's digging the pond Ma suggested he put in, but he doesn't say anything to explain the project.
  • The neighbors watch him dig and basically think he's gone nuts—Billie Jo admits that they're right and that the pond is sure to go dry. She thinks for a moment that she should talk to Ma about what's happening, then remembers that Ma is gone.
  • Billie Jo says that while someday she may be able to forgive him for stealing Ma's money and getting drunk, she'll never be able to forgive him for leaving the kerosene by the stove.