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I Am the Cheese

Robert Cormier

Contents

TAPE OZK013

page 1 of 3

Summary

Narrative

Adam narrates and emerges from the drugstore in Hookset to find that his bike is gone. He is scared and feels a headache coming on. Adam looks for his bike in a narrow alley. He comes out the other side into a deserted area, and on the second-floor fire escape of a nearby building, sees a large man, Arthur. Arthur calls Adam "honey" several times and responds cryptically to questions about his bike's location. Arthur refers to the fire escape as a cage, and Adam sees that the iron rungs, combined with his weight, do physically entrap the man.

Adam cries because he wants his bike back. Another man, who is inside the apartment and has a New England accent, orders Arthur to tell him who has the bike. Arthur says a ragamuffin named, Junior Varney, who lives next to the Baptist Church, took the bike. The other man calls Arthur to come in, and Arthur is upset that he never gets to "do anything." Adam thanks Arthur and, before he leaves, feels bad about his cage, and tells him that he is sorry.

TAPE OZK013

Brint says Adam is looking better this morning, and Adam says that things are clearer now. Brint presses for more specific details about the family's move to Monument, such as Anthony's testimony, and Adam says that his father did not have time to tell him about it. Adam suddenly feels panicked and threatened. Brint changes the topic, asking whether Adam and his father grew closer after the disclosure, and Adam says yes, because he was proud that his father stood up for the truth.

Adam remembers asking his father if it hurt to give up his old life. His father acknowledged that it did, especially giving up journalism for insurance, but he said that it hurt Louise even more. Anthony told Adam that Grey visited to update the Farmers and assure them they are safe. Grey also used to ask Anthony about any forgotten details about the case and bring bonus money twice a year. Anthony suspected that Grey is making sure Anthony had not been "reached by the other side." Adam asked his father if the Mafia was out to get them, but his father said that the Mafia is just one of many criminal organizations. Anthony also said that, although the evidence he provided had been used, no one really knew if he had divulged all of his information. Anthony believed that Grey checked on the family hoping that Anthony would share of his information. Anthony, however, always maintained that he had no other information.

Returning to the dialogue between Brint and Adam, Brint asks several times about Anthony's information, but Adam says he never questioned his father. Adam says the way Brint is looking at him—as if they were enemies—is similar to how his father described Grey's face when he was seeking information. Brint says it is understandable that Adam is lashing out at him, since he is the only target available, a comment that Adam does not understand. Brint asks about the information again.

A third-person narrator describes Adam's anxiety that Brint is not a doctor, and that he may even be one of his father's enemies. Still, Adam acknowledges his dependence on Brint for recovering his memory, and vows to use Brint but to be careful about dispensing the information he wants.

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