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With simple kindness and a listening ear, Hannah Tupper calms Kit's troubled soul and helps her find the answer to her problems within her own heart.
After the disaster at the dame school, Kit, "scarcely (knowing) where her feet (are) taking her", runs to the Great Meadow. Throwing herself upon the grass, she sobs until she can sob no more, after which she rolls over and is comforted by the sight of "the long grasses swish(ing) gently in the breeze...(and) the hot sun press(ing) down on her". As Kit lies there, she becomes aware that there is a presence nearby. It is Hannah Tupper, who says, simply, "Thee did well, child, to come to the Meadow...there is always a cure here when the heart is troubled".
Hannah invites Kit to her cottage for corncake and goat's milk. Through the gentle commiseration of the old woman, Kit is refreshed, and finds herself pouring out the story of her journey from Barbados and her unhappiness in Connecticut Colony. "Tears (spring) into Kit's eyes" as she realizes that "no one, since she had come to America, had ever really wanted to hear about (her) grandfather", and all she had held dear in her old life. With infinite wisdom, Hannah shows Kit a strange flower from Africa which she has planted, and which has somehow learned to thrive in an alien environment, and without pressure or preaching, enables Kit to hear the message of her own heart. Through the "magic" of Hannah's unconditional love and kindness, Kit finds "a lightness and freedom she had never known since the day she sailed into Saybrook Harbor", and discovers the strength to do what she knows she must to set things straight for Mercy and the dame school (Chapter 9).
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