Study Guide

The Ocean at the End of the Lane Chapter 2

By Neil Gaiman

Chapter 2

II

  • He explains that the reason they have boarders is because his parents are no longer affluent for some reason. And that's why they have to lease out his bedroom, which he's pretty bummed out about—now he has to room with his sister.
  • The opal miner isn't so bad, as far as boarders go. They've had some pretty weird customers.
  • It's the beginning of spring break, which means he has three whole weeks without school.
  • His dad always makes him burnt toast on Saturday mornings, which is forgiven because he also always brings him home the latest copy of his favorite comic book to read.
  • However, when he goes to retrieve the comic book from the car, they discover it's been stolen. The car, that is.
  • At that exact moment, the cops call to tell them their car has been reported abandoned at the end of the lane. Off they go to meet the police there.
  • When they get to the car, they find the dead body of the opal miner in the back seat.
  • While the cops start to sort everything out (its an apparent suicide), our narrator goes with a little girl back to her farmhouse, which is close by.
  • There, her grandmother is milking their cows, and they give him a glass fresh from the udders. He loves it.
  • Settling down in the kitchen to eat a more scrumptious breakfast than burnt toast, Lettie (the little girl), her grandmother, and her mother have a weirdly omniscient conversation about the note that the opal miner wrote before he died. Like they can read it, even though it's safely tucked into his breast pocket. Hmmm…
  • Lettie takes the boy down to the pond, which she calls her ocean; they find a fish floating on it, dead from swallowing a sixpence, which Lettie gives to the boy. (Yup—that means she cut the fish open to find out what killed it. Just like that.)
  • Lettie somehow knows that his father will be waiting for them back at the house, so they both go back, and the boy goes home to put his sixpence into his piggybank.