Two weeks after the Ballarat Mile, Charlie meets with a group of people outside the timber yard: Mrs. Feehan, Jack, Mr. Redmond and Mrs. Redmond, Alice, Mr. Cornwall, and Nostrils and his parents, the Heaths. Nobody other than Charlie and Mr. Redmond know why they are there. Charlie calls up Nostrils, who is on crutches, and has him reveal the timber yard’s new sign. The sign reads “Heath and Feehan Timber Company.” Nostrils’s father thanks him, and Charlie answers that he has a lot to make up for.
Charlie has longed to do “something good” for his community for a long time, and here at the end of the book he finally achieves it. He has put his money into a legitimate business and so no longer has to work for criminals. He also makes Nostrils a co-owner, which means that the venture will profit the Heaths as well. Charlie is also helping the broader Richmond community by reopening a closed place of work that distributes the firewood people need to keep warm.
After Mr. Redmond gives the guests a tour of the timber yard, the group goes to the Feehans’ house for a party, where they all dance. Alice dances with Charlie, and she starts to cry when she sees her father dancing. After the party, Charlie goes out running. When Mrs. Feehan asks where he is running to, he looks at his father’s boots and says, “Who knows.”
Charlie has resolved his ambition to make his family comfortable and do something good for the community, but he still yearns for something more. Charlie looks at Mr. Feehan’s boots before he goes running, which indicates that he will hold his father’s memory with him and try to follow a path that Mr. Feehan would have approved of. The path Charlie will find, though, is very much his own, and he will only discover it by running out into the world on his own terms.