Mr. Hiddle, Gram and Gramp's one remaining son, is a devoted father and husband who loves the outdoors and an uncomplicated life. He lives closely attuned to the simple pleasures of every day and regularly presents his wife and daughter with small gifts that reflect his perfect understanding of what makes them happy. Sal's father accepts the tragedies and challenges of life uncomplainingly and without bitterness, although he is devastated by the death of his wife. His wife's death, in fact, necessitates his departure from the farm, as he feels haunted and saddened by her memory. Even while trying to lessen the intensity of his longing for her, he clings to memories of her, as demonstrated by his attachment to Margaret Cadaver, who rightly sees his interest in her springing from the fact that she shared his wife's last days alive. Sal's father is incapacitated by his grief and is at a loss as to how he can help Sal deal with hers. Consequently, he allows Sal to withdraw from him and express her rebelliousness, although he responds lovingly and patiently to her questions and ideas. By the close of the novel, Sal's father has agreed to return to the farm. The memories of his wife, though present, no longer cause him such intense suffering.