Winnie is at first skeptical, because she has never been one to believe in fairy tales. And yet, something makes her believe in these people. Jesse is exultant still about the idea that he will live forever. He is amazed at all he has seen and all he will see, but Mae cautions him and Winnie that there’s more to it than good times. She pleads with Winnie to understand that this must be kept a secret, and that they must take her home with them for at least one night to answer all her questions. The way they look at and they way they speak to her makes Winnie feel very special. Miles takes her hand and tells her it will only be for a day or two and that it’s really fine to have her along. To Winnie, then, the Tucks become the friends she’s never had and in running away, she doesn’t have to go alone. They have helped her discover the wings she’d always wished she’d had.
So, like Jesse, she runs shouting down the road in happiness that the spring story might be true. Unfortunately, in her exultation and in their exuberance, she and the rest of the Tucks do not notice the Man in the Yellow Suit in the bushes where he has heard the whole story. Nor do they notice that he begins to follow them with a slight smile above his thin, gray beard.
The telling of the secret brings yet another change in Winnie’s life. Not only is she being asked to act like an adult and keep the secret, but she has found friends who take away her fear of being alone and give her wings to fly. The appearance of the Man in the Yellow Suit brings in the evil that world must always be on guard for. The reader is left to wonder what evil he will do with the secret he has discovered.
It is a long journey to the Tucks’ home, and Miles has to carry Winnie part of the way. Eventually, they arrive, and to Winnie, it seems as if they have slipped under a giant colander. The arms of pine trees stretch out protectively and it is blessedly cool and green. Down an embankment, Winnie sees a plain, homely little house, a barn, and a tiny lake. Out of the door comes Angus Tuck with the words, “The boys say you brung along a real honest-to-goodness natural child.” Winnie is very shy around him until he tilts his head to one side, his eyes go soft, and the gentlest smile in the world creases his cheeks. He is so happy to see her that he makes Winnie feel like an unexpected present wrapped in pretty blue paper and tied with ribbons. He tells her it’s the finest thing that’s happened to them in 87 years.
This chapter reaffirms Winnie’s feeling that she is special to the Tucks and begins to make her bond with them and love them. This will be important later when she has to save Mae from the gallows. Also, the image of the spot where the house, barn, and lake sit as a colander helps the reader see how the Tucks have created their own little world where no one can discover their secret.