Chapter 4

Bud finds that the Amoses hadn’t locked the kitchen window. He finds his suitcase still under the kitchen table and puts it on the screened porch in case he has to make a quick getaway. He also puts the gun on the porch, because he fears that they might use it on him, if they wake up and find him, and then tell the Home it was an accident.

However, Bud can’t leave without exacting his revenge. Bud doesn’t blame Todd all the way, because he understands that Todd must feel threatened by having other boys come into his home. Nonetheless, torturing those boys is just wrong, and Bud wants to make them safe from Todd, should any other boys be brought there to live. He remembers how he had been made to sleep on a hot, uncomfortable rubber liner on his bed, because Mrs. Amos figured he’d wet the bed during the night. So, he finds a jelly jar that he had been given to drink water from and fills it with hot water from the spigot (he is amazed that they have warm running water in their home). Then, he takes the glass of hot water to Todd’s room where the bully sleeps peacefully. Bud had been told by one of the older boys at the Home that if you put a sleeping person’s hand into a glass of hot water, it will open up a valve in his guts and . . . woop, zoop, sloop . . . he wets his bed. Unfortunately, Todd’s hand is too big for the jelly jar, so Bud just pours the water over his pajama bottoms, and it works! Todd wets his bed! When his mother sees this, it will affect her impression of her son and maybe force Todd to leave other boys alone.

Bud tiptoes away with his favorite saying on his mind, “He who laughs last, laughs best.” Then, he picks up his suitcase and walks into the street. He is on the lam and if J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI see him, he’ll be in some real serious hot water!


This short chapter is one of the most delightful of the novel. Bud makes his escape, but not before leaving a message behind that might help others who come along after him. Maybe the Amoses will treat them more fairly now that they know their son is just as bad as they judged other boys who came into their home.