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Johnny Tremain

Esther Forbes

Chapters VIII–IX

Chapters VI–VII

Chapters VIII–IX, page 2

page 1 of 2

Summary: Chapter VIII: A World to Come

Mrs. Bessie warns the Lytes just before the Whig mob comes for them because she cannot bear to see them treated roughly. The Lytes escape from their country house and head toward Boston with only the clothing on their backs. Jonathan Lyte has an anxiety attack due to the scare, so Doctor Warren instructs Lavinia to keep him away from stress. Cilla and Johnny borrow Doctor Warren’s carriage and horse so they can return to the Lytes’ country house to fetch the precious silver left behind in the hasty departure. While in the house, Johnny pockets Jonathan Lyte’s important papers hoping that they will be of interest to Samuel Adams. He also finds a family genealogy in an old Bible and discovers that his mother’s name is scratched out. The genealogy states that she married a man named Charles Latour and that they both died of plague in Marseilles before the date of Johnny’s birth. He cuts out the genealogy, only to burn it a few moments later. Cilla suggests that he seize the opportunity to retrieve his cup from among the Lyte’s silver, but Johnny no longer wants any connection to the Lytes and leaves the valuable cup behind.

Rab is caught trying to buy a gun from a farmer who resells British muskets. The British soldiers tar and feather the farmer, but Rab is not punished because he is so young. Meanwhile, Johnny finds it difficult to think of the British as targets rather than people. Madge elopes with Sergeant Gale, so Mrs. Lapham herself marries Mr. Tweedie to keep the silver shop in the family. Johnny learns that Rab has been earnestly courting Cilla, but Cilla finally decides that she likes Johnny best. Johnny admits to himself that he likes her too.

The Observers hold their last meeting because they cannot risk the chance of being discovered. James Otis is not notified, but he arrives and delivers a rousing speech. He declares that they are fighting the British so that “a man can stand up,” meaning that they are fighting for the rights of all individuals, everywhere.

Summary: Chapter IX: The Scarlet Deluge

Paul Revere organizes a spy system made up of master artisans and their apprentices to keep a watch on the British forces in Boston. The purpose of the spy system is to alert any outlying towns if the soldiers appear to be advancing in their direction.

Lydia gives Johnny the shreds of some aborted letters that Lieutenant Stranger had drafted to Lavinia Lyte. The letters reveal valuable information about the movements of British troops. As a result of this information, the Whig forces are able to seize a store of British military supplies. Meanwhile, Stranger gives Johnny a lesson jumping hurdles. Johnny is puzzled that Stranger treats him like an equal where horses are concerned but as an inferior in all other contexts.

Johnny discovers that many of the British regulars are actually Whigs. One of them, Pumpkin, asks for Johnny’s help in deserting his post. He dreams of owning his own farm, a dream he has no chance of fulfilling in England. Johnny gives Pumpkin a farmer’s smock sewn by his mother before she died and arranges to have him smuggled out of Boston. In return, Pumpkin gives Johnny his musket and his old uniform. Johnny gives the musket to Rab. Pumpkin is caught and executed for desertion by the British.

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Beggars cannot be choosers

by DanDan0101, January 14, 2014

When you are poor, you do not have the power of choosing.

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18 out of 33 people found this helpful

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