Pete noticed that Josh seemed to want to return to Lonnie once again. Pete admitted that he’d like to help the boys, but he won’t be able to until the next six months or so. Josh knew this and told him that they could get by with the money that they have saved up. He told the boys to get back to Lonnie. Josh accepted everything now and said goodbye to Emily. She made Josh promise to write to her. Edward just asked Blegan to give a letter to the boys from him and cried to himself. Josh kept this letter in his wallet.
They went got a ride late in the afternoon. The man kept talking endlessly until he couldn’t give the boys a ride anymore. They found a group of men cooking dinner by the railways. The group invited them to share the rabbit stew that they cooked.
They were walking along the road when a black Cadillac pulled up beside them. The driver offered them a ride, something that they immediately took. Charley, the driver, didn’t want to talk about his job, but he was nice enough to let the boys relax inside the car. He finally admitted to the boys that he was carrying gallons of hooch in the car. He told Josh of how he earns big money but with big risk. By dinnertime, they stopped at a hotel. The boys could have bid him goodbye, but Charley insisted on taking them to dinner. Josh tried to pay for dinner, but Charley refused to let him. After leaving Charley, they proceeded to look for a place to stay at. After resting and eating breakfast, Josh looked for a place to buy new shoes for Joey. He paid the man with his twenty-dollar bill and was accused of stealing it. The sheriff dropped by and said that it was a counterfeit bill. The cobbler told them that he’d give them the shoes if they just left the “counterfeit” bill with him. This left them no choice but to take the shoes and leave town. They were able to feel better because they still had some food from Emily and money in Joey’s pockets. They found a schoolhouse that they could stay at for the night. It was warm and was enough for them. By the next few days, it was Joey who kept the two of them together, especially when Josh was sick.
Notes: They met another compassionate soul on the road in the form of Charley. However, because of Josh’s eagerness to show off and not have his pride stepped on, they ended up being accused of stealing and counterfeiting a bill.
They reached Nebraska by February. They received a gift of beef bones from a butcher who heard Joey’s singing. They found a gentle old man who agreed to boil the beef bones for them if he could have a share of the soup. He was kind to the boys and gave Josh a pair of grey socks. Josh was burning with fever, but Joey didn’t know. They stumbled upon a house where the woman went hysterical and turned them away. As they were leaving the street, she ran after them and apologized. She asked them to share a meal with them.
After having dinner with the lady and her family, they found a place to rest. The next morning, Joey lucked out and was given a loaf of bread. He admitted to Josh that he gave half of the loaf to the lady from the previous day. Josh yelled at Joey to take the bread back. Joey remained firm and told Josh that he could scream all night, but he won’t take it back. For the first time in his life, he struck Joey. Joey fell and told Josh that he’ll be going on his own from then on. By nighttime, Josh ventured out to search for Joey. He got lost and woke up in a warm bed. He was confused as to where he was and he overheard a girl call the name “Lonnie”. Apparently, someone found him on the side of the road and found Lonnie’s name and address on him. Lonnie drove with Janey, his niece, and picked him up immediately. Once he was able to, he told Lonnie about what happened between him and Joey. Lonnie promised Josh that they’d find Joey. The next morning, Lonnie was gone. It was Lonnie’s mother who looked after Josh. Josh discussed politics and the election with Lonnie’s mother and Janey. Josh spent the rest of the afternoon with Janey and wondered if he’d ever fall in love with her.
Notes: The conflict between the brothers started because of Josh’s pride and Joey’s compassionate nature. This event was a blessing in disguise, as it led Josh to Lonnie.