Tuck Everlasting Chapter 16 Summary

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In Chapter 16 of 'Tuck Everlasting' by Natalie Babbitt, the stranger reports Winnie's location to the constable after securing a deal with the Fosters to buy their wood.

The Stranger Plans Winnie's Rescue

While Winnie Foster plays in her yard, contemplating running away because she feels trapped in her home, a stranger in a yellow suit comes by asking about a family. Of course, Winnie doesn't know the people he is looking for because she is never allowed out of the yard. The next day, she decides to explore the wood next to her house. She happens to run across the very family that the stranger is looking for.

The Tucks have lived deep in the forest for many years so that no one will find out that they found a spring in the wood that gave them eternal life. Afraid that she would tell their secret, the Tucks kidnap Winnie for the night. They don't want to hurt her or frighten her. They just want to make sure she understands how important their secret is.

The stranger, who saw the Tucks take Winnie, overhears the Tucks tell Winnie the story of the spring. He follows them to the Tuck house. Stealing the Tucks' horse, he rides to Winnie's house to tell her family where Winnie is, but not before he manipulates them into selling the wood (and the spring) to him. In this lesson, we will learn about the stranger's rescue of Winnie in Chapter 16 of Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt.

The Stranger Reports Winnie's Kidnapping

After the Fosters sell the wood to the stranger, Mr. Foster wants to go with him to retrieve Winnie, but the stranger refuses. The stranger agrees only to take the constable to the home where Winnie is being kept. The constable questions the stranger about why he is so involved. The stranger claims that he waited to report the kidnapping because he needed to know where the criminals were taking her. ''And the Fosters are friends of mine. They've -- uh -- sold me their wood,'' he added.

The constable is surprised to hear that the Fosters were willing to part with any of their land, but assumes they must be good friends. The stranger is vague when the constable asks what his plans for the land are. ''You're kind of a close-lipped feller, ain't you?'' asks the constable.

The Stranger Travels Ahead

''It's something new for these parts, kidnapping. Never had a case like this before that I know of, and I been in charge going on fifteen years,'' remarks the constable. He is excited about getting a chance to use the new jailhouse, even though he knows that it won't be in use for long. Kidnappers will be sent to the gallows pretty quickly.

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