This chapter begins with Officer Delinko and Curly once again. Delinko has been delayed by a car accident with injuries, but Curly is not moved by this scenario. He’s just angry that Delinko is late. Once again, the survey stakes have been removed from the construction site and this time, the air has also been let out of the tires of a flatbed truck. Furthermore, when Delinko investigates the Travelin’ Johnnys for damage, he finds alligators swimming inside each one.
Once he arrives home, Roy has to explain what happened to his parents. He’s surprised to see that his Dad seems almost proud about Roy breaking Dana’s nose, he’s angry that the Dana wasn’t accused of assault. Roy is appalled that his father insists on following up on Dana’s punishment, because he knows that could land him in even bigger trouble. Nevertheless, he goes up to his room to begin the apology letter.
Roy’s room is very representative of the kind of young man he is. There are posters of cowboys riding bucking bulls and a Yellowstone flyer warning people not to go up to the buffalo, very dangerous animals. He wants to someday be a bull rider like the cowboy in the picture and the flyer reminds him of just how stupid people can be. Even Roy’s apology to Dana is a revelation of an intelligent, witty young man: he says he’s sorry and promises never to hit Roy again as long as Roy doesn’t bother him on the bus. He ends the letter by pointing out that he thinks his suggestion is a fair arrangement. His mother doesn’t like the tone, but his father thinks it’s just right.
The Police Captain is in a worried state, because the incidents at the construction site have come to the attention of all the big shots in the government of Coconut Cove. He discusses who might be doing this with Delinko and Delinko’s sergeant. He decides to send a patrol car by the site every hour to protect it and try to catch the vandals. Delinko asks if he can come in early to work the case. He swears he doesn’t want overtime. He just wants to solve the mystery.
The uncompassionate character of Curly who only wants an officer on his site immediately and the political interference of the owners of Mother Paula’s set them up as the villains of the story. They only care about the money they’re making and they foreshadow a coming battle over the owls. However, the attacks on the construction site are not without humor when the reader realizes that they put alligators in the Travelin’ Johnnys.
Roy’s room decorations and his witty letter of apology reveal again a smart, immensely interesting young man. Whatever he finds himself in as the plot unfolds will be just as interesting as he is. He is also a kind of mirror image to Delinko who also wants to solve a mystery. It makes the reader feels as if a meeting between Roy and Delinko is inevitable.