Early the next morning, Ramona sees Sune walking toward the Bearskin, trailing an eager puppy. They go inside and talk about Sune’s dismissal over coffee and whisky. Sune says that Kevin’s actions were “utterly damn shameful,” but that he’s worried the town will try to blame Kevin’s actions on hockey. At that, Ramona slaps Sune across the ear and snarls, “When you are going to admit that it isn’t ‘hockey’ that raises these boys, it’s YOU LOT? […] YOU’RE the problem!” After she calms down, she says that if Holger were here, he’d tell Sune that he already knows what’s the right thing to do.
As usual, Ramona sees to the heart of things where other people might try to avoid or rationalize issues. She tells Sune that talking about these things as “hockey’s problems” is a dodge that tries to exonerate the people who built up the town’s hockey culture. Until that’s confronted, nothing will fundamentally change.
Ana is cleaning elk blood off her dad’s pickup truck. Last night they gave an injured elk a humane end. A neighbor notices Ana. He used to go hunting with her dad and was always kind to Ana. Now he “spits derisively.” A little boy down the street sees this and mimics the old man.
This cruel reaction to Ana is doubly upsetting—never having felt that she fit in to the town to begin with, now she’s being targeted for her association with Maya, even by people she trusted. It’s also significant that the little boy mimics the older neighbor, demonstrating how dehumanizing treatment of women can be passed down through generations.
Ana’s dad tries to calm her. She rages inside—girls in Beartown aren’t allowed to like hockey; only hockey players. And because hockey players spend their lives in locker rooms, they’re isolated from girls and believe that girls’ only purpose is for sex. The players are never taught that when a girl says “no,” she means it. Ana wants to scream all these things, but she stays silent, and she hates herself for that.
Someone breaks into the school early that morning. Jeannette discovers acrid-smelling solvent on the floor and later sees Zacharias’s hands covered with ink. She realizes he snuck into the school overnight to scrub the word BITCH off of Maya’s locker, because he knows how it feels to be targeted unfairly. It’s his “silent protest.”
Sometimes, acts of resistance come from people one wouldn’t expect. Zacharias has been bullied throughout the book, though, and he knows how much Maya means to Amat. It’s an example of someone pushing back against the town mentality in an unobtrusive way—suggesting that perhaps others could band together to do the same.