The next morning on the bus, Roy trades seats so as to be closer to the door. He keeps his backpack on his shoulders as if preparing to jump off the bus after the running boy. However, the boy doesn’t show up. The same thing happens the day after that and the day after that and Roy pretty much gives up. Then, on Friday, as he is reading an X-Men comic book, he sees the boy out of the corner of his eye. Roy jumps up to follow the boy, when suddenly he is grabbed around the neck from behind by Dana Matherson. He’s desperate to get off the bus and even though he knows it’s against the rules to fight on the bus, he clenches his right fist and brings it up blindly over his shoulder and thrust it at Dana as hard as he can. The punch lands and Dana gives out a gargled cry and lets Roy go. He edges past a tall girl with curly blonde hair and glasses as well as the bus driver who both demand to know where he’s going. But Roy doesn’t stop to answer. He just keeps going, believing he can run fast enough to at least keep the boy in sight.
Once, in his pursuit, Roy sees the boy look backwards as if he knows he’s being chased, but Roy never stops. Eventually, he finds himself on a golf course as he follows the boy down a long, lush fairway. Golfers scream angrily at him, but that doesn’t make him stop either. It’s only when he’s hit with a ball off a long drive and collapses to the ground that Roy’s pursuit finally comes to an end. As he lies there, he’s aware that there are men running up to him in a panic, but he drifts away into his own thoughts and dreams. He remembers Bozeman, Montana, where he had wanted to stay forever, and how he had cried when his parents had told him they were moving once again.
Later, Roy finds himself back at school and in the principal’s office, because he punched Dana Matherson. He explains that the act was not unprovoked as Dana said and that no one else complains about his bullying behavior because they’re afraid of him. He explains that he ran, because he’s afraid of Dana, too. He doesn’t want the principal to know the real reason he left the bus. The principal examines the knot on his head and then sees the finger marks on his neck from Dana choking him. Nonetheless, she suspends him from the bus for two weeks - something that Dana is happy about - and orders him to write a letter of apology to Dana.
At lunch, Roy is ordered to sit down by the same tall girl with the red-framed glasses. She demands to know if he had been chasing someone when he ran from the bus. Roy thinks she can identify the kid for him, but, instead, she pushes him around and orders him to “mind his own damn business.” She won’t identify the boy and just walks off, flipping him off as she goes.
This chapter helps to flesh out Roy’s character even more. The reader must wonder what makes Roy so determined to find the running boy. He is unusual for his age, seeking the answers to questions that other teens would never have sought. He even takes on a bully like Dana in his search for the answers. He is sensitive as well as he remembers the time he spent in Montana. With the principal, he is humorous and witty in his observations about what he had done to Dana, acting more mature than one would expect from a boy his age. Even when confronted by the blonde girl in the cafeteria, it isn’t her threatening attitude that Roy cares about. It’s whether or not she can answer his questions about the running boy. All of this tells the reader that Roy is someone worth knowing, a character who will present more surprises as the plot unfolds.