Story Summary for “Duffy’s Jacket”

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Story Summary for “Duffy’s Jacket”

“Duffy’s Jacket,” by Bruce Coville, is a short story that takes place in a huge, dusty cabin in the woods. The main characters include the narrator, Andrew, and his cousin Duffy, their two moms, and Andrew’s little sister, Marie. The problem that they face is that Duffy keeps forgetting things.

The two families leave for their camping trip, but have to return to get Duffy’s suitcase. Once at the cabin, they have to spend a lot of time cleaning it up. Afterwards, they find a message on the wall that says, “Beware the Sentinel.”

Later in the day, the kids go hiking in the woods. Duffy loses his jacket, and Andrew has a strange feeling that they’re being followed.

That evening, Andrew’s mom and aunt leave to get supplies, and the children are left alone. Suddenly they hear a scratching at the door. Duffy looks out the window and sees something huge. The children run to the barn and back to the house while the big creature chases them. Eventually they find themselves cornered in the house. The Sentinel comes through the door, throws Duffy his jacket, and says, “You forgot your jacket, stupid.”

The narrator tells us that this event made such an impact on Duffy that he hasn’t forgotten anything in over a year. We discover that sometimes bad habits can cause big problems.

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