There is a lot going on in chapters 3 and 4. We start off by Cassie and her brothers going to school on a rainy day. They can’t afford decent rain coats, so they have to use calf skins instead. The children wear them until they are out of their grandmother’s sight. The children do this because the skins let out an awful odor that seeps through their school clothes and fills them with the awful smell. However this is not their only problem. Every morning the Jefferson Davis school bus likes to entertain its riders by trying to run over the Logan’s and other African kids. This becomes a big problem when it rains because, the white children are so anxious to splash the African children and get them dirty. To avoid this, Cassie and her brothers would wake up really early in order to avoid the reckless bus, this didn’t always work however. Little John would always ask why they didn’t have a bus like Jefferson Davis, Mama would always say that the county didn’t support it’s black children, but Little Man never really understood what that really meant. One day while they were going to school Stacey had a plan to get rid of the school bus. He told his brothers and sister to meet him at lunch time in the tool shed. When it was lunch time they all went to the tool shed as planned. Stacey ordered all of them to grab a shovel and follow him to the spot where the bus always splashed them. After they reached that spot, the Logan’s started digging until they had dug up the biggest ditch they could. As they walked home after school, they had found that their ditch was now a humongous puddle! As they walked some more, they heard the school bus coming. Just as planned the bus fell into their trap and the white kids ended up walking to school for two weeks until their bus could be fixed. That night Mr. Avery came to inform the Logan’s that the Night Men were “riding”. Mama ordered the children to go to bed, Big Ma and herself got the rifle’s ready incase anything were to happen. As the Night Men approached their house, they noticed a very tall and muscular figure (Mr. Morrison) so they backed off and left.
In chapter 4, we start off by Cassie helping her mother with the butter. She is acting unusual because of last night’s event. After she is done her Mama asks her to go play outside with her brothers. As they are playing T.J. comes and tells them disturbing news. First he keeps encouraging them to go to the Wallace store, which their parents strictly prohibit. He also says that last night the Night Men went to Mr. Sam Tatum’s house and spilled black tar all over him, then they put feathers on the tar. The next morning while walking to school, T.J. shows Stacey his cheat sheet for the Social Studies exam. Stacey snatches the paper from his hand and rips it into many pieces. After school as Cassie and her two brothers wait for Stacey they learn that T.J. made a new cheat sheet and sneaked it on Stacey’s desk. During the test Mama, found out and whipped Stacey in front of the class, he also failed the test. After Stacey came out of school he quickly went looking for T.J. after he had learned that he went to the Wallace store, Stacey ran after him without hesitation. Cassie and her brothers were not sure how to respond, but they couldn’t leave their brother so they had to follow. After Stacey gets a hold of T.J. , they are found fighting on the ground in front of the Wallace store. They fight until there is suddenly no sound, as they look over their backs they find Mr. Morrison. He takes the children home and promises not to tell their mom, and that he will leave that duty up to them. At the end, Stacey decides to tell his mom. After he tells her, Cassie and the others were expecting to get whipped; however Mama takes them to the Berry’s. They learn that the Wallace’s poured kerosene on Mr. Berry and let him afire, that is why he looked the way he did. When they get home they figure out that this was Mama’s way of punishing them.
These two chapters were full of challenges. The Logan children take their first step in making a difference with the situation of their time. I also liked the way Mama dealt with her children when she found out they went to the Wallace store.