Reuven goes back to Dr. Snydman who tells him that his eyes have healed well and he will be able to read again. Reuven and his father are both so happy and in spite of all the catching up he has to do he enjoys doing his school work and taking exams again.
The chapter starts with Reuven’s own good luck and presents a stark contrast to the events to come.
Reuven is very busy with schoolwork and not able to see Danny. They talk on the phone and Danny says he will spend his summer studying the Talmud as he always does. He finishes his exams and is confident that he did very well.
The pace of the novel increases as Reuven’s life becomes busier. His everyday life interferes with his friendship. Danny’s entire life is filled with studying the Talmud.
Reuven calls Mr. Merrit, Billy’s father, to see how the operation went. Mr. Merrit tells Reuven that it was not successful. Reuven wants to come over and see Billy but they are moving to Albany.
Reuven has his first real encounter with injustice. He had good luck and Billy bad, and there is no good reason for one rather than the other.
Reuven is very disturbed by the news and can’t concentrate on anything. He wanders through the house and ends up on the porch. Here he sees a fly trapped in a spider web, struggling to get out. The spider moves towards the fly and Reuven frees the fly from the web.
Reuven sees this bad luck replicated in the natural world. He has to wrestle with the fact that there are senseless wrongs in the world in spite of his belief in God. This foreshadows the senseless violence of the Holocaust.