PART TWO: PURSUITS
Summary of Chapters 25-28
The narrative takes up Miss Foley’s mad point of view as she is haunted by mirror images of herself and the past until she is suffocated. She realizes the nephew is fake, but he gave her a ticket for the carousel, and she wants to go. She thinks Jim and Will are trying to stop her. She calls Mr. Halloway at the library to meet her at the police station, so she can charge them with theft.
The boys agree on what they saw. Jim says no one will believe them. They see Miss Foley and Mr. Halloway at the police station, and Will rushes in to surrender, though Jim does not want to. Mr. Halloway takes the boys home with the promise they will apologize to Miss Foley in the morning. Before going in the house, Charles asks his son Will why he said to the police he took the jewels when he knew he did not. Will said because Miss Foley wanted them to be guilty. Mr. Halloway says Will can tell him anything, and Will believes his father but does not want to tell him about the circus to protect him. He asks his father if he (Will) is a good person, and if so, will that help him when things get rough? Mr. Halloway says yes. They have a philosophical talk about good and evil, life and death. Will finally dares his dad to climb up his secret ladder on the side of the house to his room, and his father does. It is a moment of bonding; suddenly they are the “same size, same weight” (Chapter 28, p. 102).
Commentary on Chapters 25-28
Chapter 28,in which father and son bond and discuss life, is an important moment in the book. Will is coming of age with his father’s help, the way it should be, Bradbury seems to say. They affirm one another. Mr. Halloway knows his son is innocent, and Will knows his father is wise. Will asks his father why he is not happy, and he tells Will that goodness is not the same as happiness. You have to choose good every day, and sometimes you feel you missed out on something. Just as Jim and Will are alter egos, so are Mr. Halloway and Will. His father is the older, sadder, wiser version of the young boy. We see what he will grow into. The father pays Will the compliment of telling him he is already both wise and good. This gives Will the confidence he needs to get through his test. He had been longing for his father’s companionship.