When Melba arrives home, Grandma India is concerned about her having a white boy’s car. Mother Lois comes home and is just as upset to hear that Melba has trusted Link who could be setting a trap for Melba. He calls, as he promised. He tells her to drop off the car at an ice cream place and when she asks why he helped her, he says it is because Andy is serious about killing her. Every time she sees Link thereafter, he winks at her or wears a pleasant expression.
Grandma India does not trust Link, suspecting that he could use Melba’s possession of his car to have her arrested. However, his rescue of her from his friend, Andy, results in a secret friendship between him and Melba. Link is a foil for Andy: Andy’s rabid urge to kill Melba fuels Link’s desire to protect her.
On her way to lunch, Melba goes to her locker and sees that it has been broken into and someone dumped out her books. At lunch, a group of white boys moves in close to her. She gets nervous. She sees Link among her regular attackers, behaving like a member of their group. Melba wonders about his sincerity. In the cafeteria, someone throws a golf ball wrapped in paper at her head. She tries to distract herself with a book about Mahatma Gandhi’s experience in prison when someone approaches and begins taunting her. She thanks him and her harasser slowly backs away in astonishment. Melba is pleased with herself.
Melba continues to experience harassment, particularly as others attempt to stop her from going to class or doing her schoolwork. She tries to remain indifferent, using a book about Mahatma Gandhi to distract her. The mention of Gandhi suggests an interest in nonviolence, which Melba has been exercising all along by not initiating fights or striking out, except in self-defense.