Study Guide

Turtle in Paradise Chapter 10

By Jennifer L. Holm

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Chapter 10

The Man of the House

  • When the stock market crashed, Turtle remembers hearing about people jumping off buildings because they lost their fortunes. She doesn't get why someone would do that, but then again, she's never had a fortune to lose. 
  • She asks Beans why his dog is named Termite, and he explains it's because he followed Beans home one day. He could never get rid of him—just like termites. 
  • Turtle gets a letter in the mail from her mom telling her she misses Turtle a lot; also, her mom's been thinking about becoming an actress. Can't Turtle see her name in lights? 
  • This bugs Turtle. She doesn't care what her mom does, but she thinks her head is in the clouds. 
  • As a man in a wagon goes by, the boys chase after it, yelling things like "horse-killer" at the old guy until he stumbles and falls. They call the guy Killie. 
  • Aunt Minnie scolds the boys and tells them to come back inside. They explain to Turtle that the guy whipped a horse until it died, but she doesn't know whether to believe them or not. 
  • Back inside, some other guy walks in the house and everyone gets excited. Dad is home. 
  • Beans runs up and jumps in his arms, Aunt Minnie goes over to him, and everyone seems more relaxed. 
  • Then Uncle Vernon looks at Turtle and asks Minnie who she is, so Minnie explains and everyone catches up. 
  • It reminds Turtle of when Archie would return from a sales trip. It would be like Christmas with all the presents he would bring them, and then they would go out to a fancy meal to boot. 
  • Uncle Vernon doesn't exactly bring presents, but everyone celebrates, and Aunt Minnie even makes delicious beef soup. 
  • After three bowls of soup, Turtle and Uncle Vernon get to talking. He asks her how she likes it here, and she says she's not used to having cousins. 
  • Well, she'll get used to it. Besides, she's already got a taste for turtle. Wait, what? 
  • At dinner, she ate three bowls of turtle soup. Nothing's more filling or cheaper; Turtle feels a little queasy. 
  • Then he asks her about her name. She explains that her mom says Turtle's have a hard shell, and she herself hasn't cried since she was five, so she can handle anything.
  • Hmm… Uncle Vernon points out that turtles might have a hard shell, but their bellies are soft. Maybe she's soft on the inside, too. 
  • She's not sure how to feel about that, so she changes the subject to her mom. She tells Uncle Vernon about Archie and her mom's jobs before heading to bed.

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