Amy goes to a little amusement park with Greta and Jeff—though they’re an “odd crew,” the three of them have fun riding bumper boats and playing mini-golf. Amy notices how sad both Jeff and Greta and are—both are reeling from lost romances. Amy has decided, recently, that she’s not going to kill herself after all—it wouldn’t be fair, she thinks, for her to have to actually die at the end of all this.
Amy doesn’t quite trust Greta and Jeff—but their friendship has helped her to see that maybe there’s value to her life, and a way to move through the world even after Nick’s been locked away.
After mini-golf, Amy goes with her new friends for lunch at a hot-dog stand. She reaches into the zippered money pouch she always keeps around her waist, and Greta sees her doing it and teases her lightly, calling her “Moneybags,” but doesn’t press the issue any further. After lunch, the three return to their cabins, but even then Amy does not take off her bunchy money pouch. When Jeff and Greta come by and ask if she wants to watch Ellen Abbott, Amy begins feeling paranoid—sure that Greta and Jeff have either figured out her identity, or simply want her money. She tells them she’s feeling tired, and they leave—but Amy remains on high alert.
In this passage, Greta and Jeff become full-on threats as they realize that Amy has a ton of money on her person at all times. Amy begins fearing her new friends, and realizing that she needs to find a way out of this new and precarious situation.
That night, Jeff knocks on Amy’s door. Earlier, Amy told Dorothy at the front desk that she was strapped for cash and needed work—now, Jeff is showing up with an offer of fifty bucks for a couple hours of work fishing. Amy accepts his offer, and gets into his car with him and they drive down to the lake. At the edge there’s a restaurant called Catfish Carl’s—Jeff’s enterprise is stealing live catfish from the restaurant’s lakefront and reselling them. Amy and Jeff work hard netting and gutting the fish and placing them on ice, and at the end of the night, Amy is covered in blood and guts.
Though Jeff is a threat to Amy, she really wants try and prove to him that she honestly does need money. She perhaps feels that if she sinks to the level of gross, menial work, she’ll seem poor and desperate. Amy is an expert at creating a convincing narrative, and hopes it’ll work this time around with Jeff.
Jeff suggests the two of them take a quick dip in the lake to get all of the catfish detritus off of them—Amy, not wanting to seem suspicious, agrees. She waits until Jeff is already in the lake, and then removes her money belt from under her sundress and places it on the rocky shore. She dives into the water, but as soon as she’s in, Jeff starts swimming quickly back up to the rocks. Amy paddles in and scoops her money bag off the ground just in time.
It’s impossible to tell whether Amy is overly suspicious—or whether Jeff really is trying to make a grab at Amy’s money, and do something terrible to her in the process. Amy has been faking danger and mutilation—but coming up against the real thing, she’s unprepared to handle it.