Study Guide

Out of the Dust Chapter 56

By Karen Hesse

Chapter 56

Driving the Cows

  • The Dust Bowl doesn't just mean hard times for humans—animals suffer, too. Joe De La Flor, the rancher, can't afford to feed his cattle, so County Agent Dewey comes and shoots them; Billie Jo says it's better than having to watch them die of starvation or choke on dust.
  • Joe, though, doesn't seem to want to call it quits. He goes on the range and gets thistle to feed his remaining cattle and plans to take them to the Cimarron River for water until it rains, even if they only last another week or two.