Study Guide

The Maze Runner Chapter 16

By James Dashner

Chapter 16

  • Thomas spends the morning with the Keeper of the Gardens, Zart. He's kind of like Deputy Dog, with a droopy face and smelling vaguely of sour milk. But what really sets him apart is that he's willing to answer a lot of Thomas's questions.
  • For example, a "Slopper" (Chuck's job) is the unfortunate job of someone who didn't find a different specialty. They're stuck cleaning the toilets, the showers, or the Blood House after a slaughter. It's easily one of the worst jobs in the Glade.
  • "Track-hoes" are the ones that do the heavy stuff for the Gardens, like building trenches.
  • "Baggers" take care of dead bodies, but they also act as guards and policemen. According to Zart, they're the creepy ones.
  • All of Thomas's hard work in the Gardens only further convinces him that he needs to be a Runner, despite all of the terrible things that happen to them.
  • During a mid-afternoon break, Thomas and Chuck see Newt beside himself with worry. He's preoccupied with Snow White, who keeps groaning and mumbling weird things, in addition to eating less and less. But what is worse, Alby and Minho were supposed to be back in the Glade hours ago.
  • Thomas asks why a search party doesn't go into the Maze to find them, and Newt blanches with fear. Something terrible happened to him in there, and he never wants to go back.
  • After a delicious dinner, Newt, Thomas, and Chuck are beginning to feel really anxious about the fact that the Runners have come back but Minho and Alby are still out there.
  • The doors are about to close, so once again Thomas broaches the idea of a search party. Newt gets angry and tells Thomas that there is an oath you take at your first Gathering that you never go into the Maze at night because it would just be suicide.
  • They begin to assume that the boys must be dead, and Newt sadly walks back to the Homestead.
  • As the doors begin to close Thomas sees Alby being carried by Minho, the two of them slowly making progress towards the Glade. Apparently Alby has been attacked by Grievers.
  • Thomas realizes that there is no way they will make the doors on time. Even though Newt is screaming for him not to, he runs out into the Maze just in time for the doors to slam shut.