Grapes of Wrath Chapter 13
The Joad family leaves Sallisaw, Oklahoma in their overloaded Hudson. Al drives carefully, listening for any sign of weakness in the car. Granma sleeps and Ma stares ahead. Al asks her if she is scared, and she says she feels more anxious because she has to wait without anything to do. She says it is best to deal with things as they come, and not worry about them before. "Up ahead they's a thousan' lives we might live, but when it comes it'll on'y be one." Chapter 13, pg. 157 Granma wakes up and has to go to the bathroom. They stop on the side of the road, and Grampa wakes up. He complains feebly that he is not going, but then looses interest. The family lunches on some left over pork bones, and then they discover that they have forgotten to bring the water. Al reassures them that they can get some at the next gas station.
When they arrive at the gas station, an attendant asks them if they are going to buy anything. This peeves Tom who says that they are paying customers. The man welcomes them to get some water and use the toilets, and explains that a lot of folks with no money come through his station and use the facilities and steal things. He complains that none of the rich people in big cars stop at his station. He wonders what the country is coming to. Casy says, "Ever'body is askin' that. What we comin' to? Seems to me we don't never come to nothin'. Always on the way. " Chapter 13, pg. 162 The man admits he is planning on moving west, too.
An expensive car passes on the highway, and Connie and Rose of Sharon talk about when they will buy a car and a home. As they are getting a drink of water, the dog runs out onto the highway and gets run over by a car. Rose of Sharon is disturbed, she wonders if her baby has been affected. The attendant says he will bury the dog. Getting ready to leave, Rose of Sharon finds Granma asleep on the toilet. Ruthie and Winfield run in from the fields with reptile eggs. When Winfeild sees the dead dog he vomits.
Tom drives the next leg of the trip. They pass through Oklahoma City and then they get on route 66. They decide to stop before sunset so Ma can make some dinner. They stop near the campsite of another couple, and ask if they mind company. Ivy and Sairy Wilson welcome the Joads. They are from Kansas. As everyone gets out of the truck, Noah notices that Grampa is sick. Sairy offers to let him sleep on the mattress in her tent, and he begins to cry. Ma helps Grampa into the tent, and asks Casy to try to diagnose him. Sairy and Casy think that Grampa might be having a stroke. Granma says he is just sulking, but Casy tells her it is serious. She asks him to pray, but he says he does not know what to pray. Grampa turns purple and Casy, realizing that he is suffocating, opens his mouth and pulls his tongue out of his throat. Granma demands that Casy pray. So Casy recites the Lord's prayer. Grampa dies before Casy finishes.
The family gathers to discuss the death. Pa thanks the Wilsons for their help and concern. Tom and Al promise to fix their car. The family decides to bury Grampa, despite the fact that it is illegal, because they cannot afford to pay others to do it. Ma prepares Grampa for burial, and tells Mrs. Wilson that they will bury him in her quilt and replace it with one of their own. When the men have dug the grave, they decide to bury Grampa with a letter enclosed in a fruit jar, which explains his death and identity. The letter is written on a page of Mrs. Wilson's Bible. Tom, who writes the letter, adds a verse from Psalms on the request of his mother. Pa asks Casy to say a few words for Granpa. Casy makes a little speech in which he essentially says that Granpa is dead, and has got nothing to worry about, but that the living are those who need prayer. "All that lives is holy." Chapter 13, pg. 184
During supper, the Wilsons say they have been on the road for three weeks because of car trouble. Pa says they hope to be in California in ten days, but Al warns that they may never get there if they have to get the truck over mountains. When they start talking about Grampa, Casy says "Grampa didn't die tonight. He died the minute you took 'm off the place." Chapter 13, pg. 186 He could not leave it. Mr. Wilson says he had to leave his brother, because he broke his car and would not come with them. Now they are running out of money. Mr. Wilson wishes he knew how to fix a car. Tom and Al suggest that the Wilsons travel with them. This way the truck will be less crowded and they can service the Wilsons' car when necessary. The Wilsons happily accept.