I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Chapter 17
Saturday is Maya's favorite day of the week, even though she is still very busy helping out at the Store. She still feels a little aimless and out of place, as though she is waiting for something to change in her life. One Saturday, Bailey, who goes to the movies every weekend, does not return on time. It gets dark, and finally Momma and Maya go out to find him. They meet him in the road, and he will not say where he has been. Momma is furious, and Uncle Willie beats him severely, but his face remains blank. For days, he is distant. Finally, he suddenly tells Maya, "I saw Mother Dear." Chapter 17, pg. 114 Bailey has seen a movie starring Kay Francis, who he says looks just like their mother. He came home late because he had to watch the movie twice. He tells Maya he will take her to see the next movie she stars in. A few weeks later they go together, and Bailey is right, except that Kay Francis is white and Mother is prettier. On the way home, Bailey runs in front of a train, and Maya is terrified that he is dead or on the train, rushing away from her. But when the train passes, he reappears and they go home together. A year later he does try to get to his Mother Dear by train, but is stranded in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for two weeks.