Study Guide

Tangerine Part 2, Chapter 14

By Edward Bloor

Part 2, Chapter 14

Thursday, October 5

  • Joey's back at Lake Windsor Middle School, and Paul is totally cool with that.
  • In science class, Theresa tells Paul that people can't talk about Luis the way Joey did—he means too much to her and Tino. Paul tells her that he's not really friends with Joey anymore.
  • She gives him a map to get to their house, so they can meet with Luis to discuss his new tangerine.
  • Henry D. says his brother can drive him and Paul to the Cruz home after school—and guess who his brother is? Why, it's Wayne, of volunteer fire department fame!
  • They head out, driving until they see a sign saying "Tomas Cruz Groves/Nursery"
  • Wayne drops them off in front of a Quonset hut, which is a storage shed shaped like a "gigantic tin can that had been cut in half, lengthwise, and then pressed down into the ground" (2.14.32).
  • Yep, that sounds about right.
  • Luis is waiting inside.
  • Luis takes the group out to the grove, and explains that their family has been growing and selling Cleopatra tangerines for 45 years.
  • Then he brings them to another field, full of baby trees—the nursery. They also grow trees to sell to fruit groves.
  • What they do is plant a rough lemon tree first, which is called the rootstock. Then, they cut a slit into it, and graft, or place, a new bud inside, and tape it up.
  • That new bud is called a scion, and turns the rough lemon tree into something else, like an orange tree, for example.
  • All of Luis's trees have the same scion grafted onto the rootstock—the Golden Dawn tangerine.
  • Paul is totally into this stuff. Luis invites him to come back sometime, as he heads home again with Wayne and Henry D.—on the mosquito sprayer truck.
  • Looks like Wayne is a jack-of-all-trades. (Jack-of-all-trucks?)
  • Wayne comments that all the problems Lake Windsor Downs is having are like the plagues of Egypt in the Bible.
  • Hm, this sounds important.
  • Wayne knows why they're having termite problems, too. When the developers cleared the land for building, they set all the citrus trees on fire and then plowed them under. All that wood underground attracts termites. When they come to the surface to find water, they also find houses to chew on.
  • Wayne drops Paul off at home, and starts spraying the insecticide.
  • Paul sees Erik and Arthur practicing in the backyard, and they don't stop even when white clouds of pesticide start swirling around them.
  • Seeing them coming in and out of focus in the cloud sets Paul off on another one of his flashbacks.
  • The whole family was in their backyard in Huntsville, when Paul was in kindergarten. His parents were standing in front of him, and his dad was making Erik move around Paul in a circle, to test his peripheral vision.
  • Paul kept saying that he couldn't see Erik, no matter where he moved behind him to either side.
  • Suddenly, Paul felt Erik's breath on his neck, and screamed. Erik had snuck up on him.
  • Mr. Fisher yelled at Erik, but their parents both ignored Paul as he started crying.
  • They were arguing about his eyes, until finally, his mom insisted that she was taking him to get new glasses.
  • That's when Paul got his super thick glasses. Now that his flashback's over, he realizes that that was also when he started to see Erik for what he really was.

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