Summary of part two and three


Part 2: The Last Hole

Chapter: 29

Part 2, 0%-1%

Setting: Camp Green Lake, in the desert near the holes.

Time: About seven weeks after Stanley's arrival at Camp Green Lake (July 7)

Characters: Stanley, Armpit, X-Ray, Zigzag

The summer weather and high humidity at Camp Green Lake have made conditions even worse for the young people who are forced to dig every day. As they dig at their holes, thunderstorms take place in the mountains on the edge of the dried-up lake. But with rain showers over the desert, the youngsters are never cooled down.

One day, several streaks of lightning suddenly flash across the sky and Stanley can spot a strange rock formation in the distance: one of the peaks looks like a giant fist with its thumb sticking up vertically. Stanley immediately thinks of the words of his great-grandfather, robbed by Kissin' Kate Barlow, who claimed to have survived in the desert only because he found refuge on the thumb of God.

Chapter: 30

Part 2, 2%-12%

Setting: Camp Green Lake

Time: A day after Stanley sees "God's Thumb." Zigzag claims it’s his birthday, which would make it July 8, but hardly anyone believes him and Stanley has long lost all sense of time

Characters: Stanley, Zigzag, Squid, Magnet, Zero, Mr. Sir, X-Ray, Armpit, Mr. Pendanski, the Warden

There is growing resentment in Group D that Zero keeps digging at Stanley's hole for an hour every day. No one thinks the deal that Stanley teaches Zero to read in return is fair. Zigzag finally loses his temper and gets Stanley into a fight. To protect his friend from Zigzag, Zero yanks him away from Stanley. In the commotion, Mr. Pendanski fires a warning shot in the air, summoning the other caregivers and the Warden.

The boys from Group D repeat their displeasure about the deal made by Stanley and Zero to the Warden. Since no one thinks it is possible for Zero to learn to read and write, the Warden forbids the deal: Zero should only dig his own hole, and Stanley should stop his reading lessons immediately.

Zero reacts to the contempt shown to him by knocking Mr. Pendanski unconscious with a metal shovel. He flees into the desert. Since the Warden does not want to attract police investigators to the camp, she refrains from putting him out of action by shooting him. Stanley thinks he knows why: the teens aren't digging the holes to improve their character, but to find Kissin' Kate Barlow's treasure for the Warden.

The Warden expects Zero to return to the camp soon anyway because it is the only place in the area where there is water. She wants to repaint her fingernails with rattlesnake venom nail polish so that she can receive Zero when he returns.

Chapter: 31

Part 2, 12%-15%

Setting: Camp Green Lake, holes in the desert

Time: Right after Zero's escape and the next day

Characters: Stanley, the Warden, Mr. Pendanski, Mr. Sir

Stanley blames himself for letting Zero dig for him. He wishes he had taught him to read without asking for anything in return. Although Stanley has been thinking about following Zero and seeking refuge with him in the mountains, he returns to camp that evening. He can't think of any way he and Zero could survive in the desert without having to return to camp sooner or later.

The next day, Stanley and all the counselors wait in vain for Zero to return to camp voluntarily, but Zero remains missing. The Warden, Mr. Pendanski, and Mr. Sir ask Stanley about Zero's whereabouts, but Stanley cannot and will not give them an answer.

Since Zero is a street kid and has no one to care for him, the Warden decides to have all the files with his name destroyed by Mr. Pendanski. She wants to pretend he was never at Camp Green Lake so she doesn't have to answer for his disappearance and possible death.

Chapter: 32

Part 2, 15%-19%

Setting: Camp Green Lake, holes in the desert

Time: Four days after Zero's escape

Characters: Stanley, Twitch (new member of Group D), Mr. Sir

Just three days after Zero's disappearance, Group D gets a new member: Twitch, who is notorious for stealing cars. Stanley takes little interest in the new group member. Every day he is tormented by the thought that Zero could be dying of thirst somewhere in the desert. The urge to rush to his friend's rescue grows stronger every day.

When Mr. Sir visits Group D the same day with his water truck, Stanley makes a quick decision: he wants to steal the truck to search for Zero in the desert. Although Stanley has never driven in his life, he manages to start the car. However, as he speeds past the holes at full throttle, he loses control, drives into a hole and is thrown out of the car. Stanley runs into the desert with his empty water bottle.

Chapter: 33

Part 2, 20%-22%

Setting: On the dry lake

Time: Just after Stanley's escape

Characters: Stanley

No one has followed Stanley in his escape from Camp Green Lake. He is alone and without water, heading in the direction in which he suspects he can find God's thumb. But he cannot see the mountains around the lake. Stanley quickly realizes that sooner or later he will have to return to Camp Green Lake if he does not want to die of thirst in the desert.

However, afraid of what the Warden would do to him if he returns, Stanley decides to go as far as he can for now, keeping an eye out for Zero. Escaping from some yellow-flecked lizards, he finds an empty sack labeled "sunflower seeds".

Chapter: 34

Part 2, 23%-26%

Setting: On the dry lake

Time: A few hours after Stanley's escape

Characters: Stanley

Stanley has almost reached the end of his rope on his way through the desert. He is deceived by mirages, is suffering from thirst, and is completely overheated. Nevertheless, he does not want to turn back yet, since he has seen the mountain range and with it the thumb of God. Both give him courage.

On his way to the still distant mountain range, he suddenly notices an overturned boat on the dried-up lake. It is called "Mary Lou" and, although Stanley has no way of knowing this, it belonged to Sam, the onion merchant who lived in Green Lake over a hundred years ago. As Stanley stops in front of the boat, Zero's hand emerges from under it.

Chapter: 35

Part 2, 27%-31%

Setting: On the dry lake

Time: A few hours after Stanley's escape

Characters: Stanley, Zero

Zero is still alive, although he looks hagga...

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