Tuesday, December 5
Dad reports that at the police station, Erik and Arthur are blaming each other. Paul agrees to give a statement to the police about what he witnessed. Tino calls him and says he can come work in the groves any time he wants to, when the temperature is dipping. Paul is pleased by the implicit offer of friendship.
Tuesday, December 5, later
Paul writes his statement for the police. He also adds a lot about how much Luis meant to the people around him, and he writes the same about Erik. He gives it to Mom and Dad, who read it.
Wednesday, December 6
Dad drives Paul to his first day at St. Anthony’s. They drive past the tree that was planted in memory of Mike Costello, and then through the groves. Paul rolls down the window and savors the scent, “the scent of a golden dawn.”
Paul has met every challenge thrown at him over the previous few months since he and his family moved to Florida. He has learned to stand up for himself, persist in pursuing his goals, engage in useful and purposeful work (at the citrus grove), and show loyalty to his friends. The reader is left in no doubt that he will apply the qualities of courage and determination and succeed at his new school. The novel thus ends on a note of optimism.