Elisabeth says that everyone along Cane River was "waiting for the spider to come home." What did Elisabeth mean in Cane River?
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"Waiting for the spider to come home" is a metaphorical and idiomatic expression that means waiting with silent anxiety for something bad that is expected to actually happen. It is the opposite of the metaphorical expression, "Everyone here is waiting for the red roses to come into bloom." Elisabeth's expression portends evil, harm or danger while the "roses" expressions foretells benefit, good, enjoyment. Elisabeth's sentiment is expressed in this quotation:
"How many times have I told you to keep that mouth from running?" Elisabeth said. "There's lots worse than slapping." She didn't often look angry, but now she pounded at the dough as if she were scrubbing clothes on the washboard.
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