"Bunch of gossipmongers..."The heat and steam coming from the river and stream hit Wanderer as she enters the room. Jeb warns her about the strong current in the hot spring, which carried someone away before. He also points out the area for bathing and the latrine, leaving her to her business. Meeting back up with Jeb, she listens as he recalls how beneficial the caves have been to the groups survival. Maggie and Sharon were doing well enough by themselves in Chicago, but it was difficult to hide two like that for long. He also apologizes for her accommodations, but he could not think of a safer place to hide her from Kyle and the others. Wanderer pats his elbow lightly at his words, conveying her understanding.
Walking back to her cave, Wanderer wondered if Jared would be there waiting for her. Sure enough, she spotted a figure and panic raced through her. On further inspection, the figure was too small to be Jared and Wanderer pieced together who it was before her. Jeb exclaims that no one can keep a secret, but Wanderer stands frozen at the sight of Jamie. Wanderer can feels Melanie coming forward, but pushes her back as she takes in the situation.
"Jeb," is the only word that comes from Jamie and the deepness of his voice surprises her and has a moment of guilt when she realizes his fourteenth birthday has passed. Jamie wonders why he was not told about his sister's return and condition and insists that he would like to talk "with her...with it" (165). Jeb agrees, sitting silently as Jamie appraises the situation.
"You're not Melanie." (166)