Life with "Arthur"
Phoebe's mother began seeing Ronald Pergman after he fled Helena to escape the consequences for his crimes, though both she and her mother knew him as Arthur, a meal delivery driver. They had an enjoyable time together until one evening, while they were eating dinner, Phoebe's aunt, Mary, came to visit unexpectedly. This was a shock to Ronald as Scarlet had told him she didn't have any other family.
One day, in the middle of the night, Ronald surprised Phoebe and Scarlet with the truck he'd just purchased. Phoebe was excited to go camping and helped talk Scarlet into it. Once they arrived at the site, Phoebe and Scarlet went to explore. When Ronald disappeared, they went looking for him and Phoebe found a leaf with blood on it. They called out to Ronald and finally found him. He claimed he'd heard a noise and thought it was a wounded animal. Then he started to explain animals eating other animals to Phoebe until Scarlet stopped him, saying he didn't need to scare Phoebe. That night, Phoebe followed Ronald out of the tent and found him burying him something. She asked him what he was doing.
Ronald claimed he'd found a dead deer and was burying it. He then told Phoebe she couldn't tell anyone what she'd seen, saying you have to protect dead things by not telling anyone where they're buried. He then suggested Phoebe say a prayer. While she did that, he held a rock above her head, but she then turned around and he put the rock down, saying it was to mark the grave. Later, Scarlet got a call that her sister was missing, so she dropped Phoebe off with a neighbor, Peg, so she and Ronald could go to Mary's house.
Phoebe noticed the next day that her mother was distracted and asked if it was because of Ronald's secret. She confessed that she'd seen Ronald burying what he said was a deer, but it didn't look like a deer. Scarlet told her that if Ronald said it was a deer, it was a deer. She then dropped Phoebe off at school.