Yesterday the big news was the freeze. Even Grandmom and Grandpop in Ohio knew about it. Mom asked the family what warm clothes they wanted from storage. She asked Erik for his key to the storage bin. He said that it was in his locker at school and that he would get it.
When Paul went to class, he found that many of his classmates were not there. Henry D. explained to Paul the tradition at Tangerine Middle School of students from families in the citrus industry not attending classes during a freeze. Henry D. that was why Tino and Victor were not at school.
Paul felt that he too should be fighting the freeze. Henry D. explained that the real fight takes place at night. The day is used for sleeping after fighting the freeze all night. After school, Paul and Henry D. went to the orange groves in Henry D’s brother, Wayne’s truck.
When they reached the Tomas Cruz Groves, the new grove was being sprayed with water from the pond to give it a covering of slushy ice.
When they met Luis, he wondered why Paul wanted to help. It was difficult for Paul to explain. He just referred to the fact that they were War Eagles. Tino was Paul’s crew leader. He was all business. He said that crewmembers should take care of any business before they start, not after they start. Paul went into the Quonset hut to call Mom. He found that the inside was completely different. Most of what had been in there was gone. It was filled with baby trees.
On the phone, Mom said that the manager at the storage bin let her in. Paul could not fathom where she was coming from. Questioning Paul about the sudden plan, Mom told him that she trusts people until they give her a reason not to do so. The conversation ended with a conveyed message from Dad to be home in time for Erik’s last game in the morning.
Luis’ plan for the night was three-pronged. They would ice the new grove, pack the Golden Dawns, and put smudge pots in the old grove. Paul mentally compared how the orange growers were facing the freeze with how his family and neighbors were facing it.
The battle to save the orange trees went on for twelve hours. The temperature went down to twenty-four degrees by around two o’clock. The work was halted for a short time, then the decision was made that everyone except Tino’s father and uncle were to go inside the Quonset hut. Paul did what he hadn’t done while working, he collapsed. Theresa gave him some coffee with cream and sugar. Shortly, he felt better. Then the good news came that the temperatures were starting to climb. When other workers started to return to the groves, Paul started to go with them, but Tino told Theresa that Luis didn’t want Paul to return. Then Luis entered. While he had a chance, Paul told Luis that he saw what happened, he saw Arthur hit him. The conversation ended when Theresa came close.
Paul slept until those working returned at daybreak. When Tino thanked him for his help, he apologized for the incident at home. He told Tino that he wanted to be friends. Tino realistically said that they could be friends at the groves.
After mentioning that there would be take-out for breakfast, Tino told Paul that Luis wanted to see him.
Luis told Paul that the Golden Dawns had survived. Then the conversation turned to the incident with Arthur and the blackjack. Luis predicted that, on Monday, around three o’clock, Erik and Arthur would have different attitudes. Luis’ uncle interrupted the conversation.
When Mom arrived and Paul told her that he was getting sick, she said that he should go home to bed instead of to Erik’s game. Then she realized that Paul missing such an important event would not set well with Mr. Fisher.
As soon as Paul writes down all this important stuff, he does go to sleep.
Paul’s journal entry for today starts with a review of what happened yesterday. On that day, Mom said that she trusts people until she has a reason not to trust them. Later, we will learn that the day she said that was the day she found out that she could not trust someone.