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I Am the Cheese

Robert Cormier

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Summary

Adam tells Brint that he went down to the cellar and waited for his father, even ignoring the phone call from Amy.

A third-person narrator describes how Adam remembers sitting in darkness until his father finds him in the cellar. His father asks him several times if he is all right. Finally, Adam asks him about Grey and Martha. His father sighs with sadness and asks how much he knows. Adam's father has dreaded the day when Adam asked questions about the family's past.

In a dialogue with Brint, Adam says that his father told him that his real name was Paul Delmonte, and that there was no Adam Farmer. He says his father told him almost everything about their history. They were, indeed, running away that night on the bus. The Delmonte/Farmer family fled that day in the woods, as well, because his father thought he had seen one of "them." Adam is unsure who "they" are now.

In a third person narrative, Adam remembers back to his conversation in the cellar. His father revealed that his own real name was Anthony Delmonte, and he had been a reporter in the small town of Blount, New York, for the Blount Telegrapher. He was quickly promoted to political reporter, even covering the state capital in Albany. He won a prestigious national award for a series of articles detailing small government corruption in Blount. Anthony Delmonte then married Louise Nolan and they had a son, Paul.

Back in a dialogue with Brint, Adam questions Brint's motives. Brint tells Adam that his motives do not matter and he presses him about the bus ride.

Adam remembers his father telling him he had uncovered important documents at the State House in Albany. Adam tells Brint that the documents linked the corrupt state and federal government to organized crime. His father testified in Washington, D.C. before a closed Senate committee. In return for giving evidence to the investigators, he would be protected and his identity kept secret. For a year, he hid in hotel rooms and visited his guarded house only occasionally while Louise took care of the infant Adam.

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