Howie was a little bit late for their meeting, as he was busy rummaging the garbage for any scraps of food. He shared a bit of orange with Josh and heard his friend out. Josh told him about his plans and how his mother was siding with his father. Howie decided to him for this. They both decided to use their musical talents to good use and earn a living from it. They think that Chicago is far too big for their dreams and wanted to hit the small towns instead. They were both surprised when they saw Joey approaching them. Joey told his brother that he’d be joining them. Of course, Josh said no. Joey turned to Howie and pleaded. Howie looked at Josh and asked him why Joey couldn’t join them. Josh said that Joey would only be a nuisance. However, Howie argued that Joey’s voice could help them get their music out. Josh remained firm but got overturned when Howie suggested that he and Joey should be the ones running away, leaving Josh to boss people around all by himself.
Later the night, Josh and Joey crawled out of their room with a cardboard suitcase full of their belongings. They met up with Howie and slept at the nearby park for a few hours. They went to a Salvation Army kitchen that was open but with no people around. A man gave them bowls of oatmeal and told them to never come back. The meals were for unemployed men, not runaway kids. They started panhandling, with Joey and Howie taking the lead as Josh watched the two of them. Joey sang while Howie played his banjo. By the end of the afternoon, they had collected 78 cents. They bought hot dogs and a loaf of bread, with enough money left for breakfast the next day. Josh didn’t underestimate Joey today for he had done well. When it grew dark, they huddled together on a platform. Joey and Howie fell asleep, but Josh remained wide-awake. The next morning, after eating breakfast, they asked around and rode the streetcar to get to the yards. Once they reached the freight yards, there were a lot of men who were making a living for themselves there. They asked around where to find any vehicle that can take them west. A hobo pointed out to one that was headed for Iowa in the afternoon. The hobo then continued on to tell Josh about the potential dangers that might happen while jumping on a train. He thought about how Joey was too small and frail for this kind of thing. They decided to brave it out and wait for the next available train. They hid out on a train that had bags of limes and kept quiet during the remainder of the trip. They got off the freight when a bull woke them up in the middle of the night. They waited for the next one to arrive to try their luck. Just as they all got off, a group of men were there to welcome them harshly. They wanted everyone who got off the train to throw themselves on the rails. Suddenly, the hobo from earlier where right by their sides and told them that he’ll be joining them with jumping on the next train. Just as the next train was starting, the hobo carried Joey up the train, followed by Josh. Howie was supposed to go next and tossed his banjo to Josh. After that, Josh wasn’t sure what happened, but Howie’s got thrown into the tracks by the express train.
Notes: Howie was a short-lived character, but his passing would impact how Josh would go on the road with Joey. He was a generous boy that was able to handle Josh’s hardheadedness.