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Aunt Rachel is the first person to see Kit when she arrives at the home of Rachel and Matthew Wood in Wethersfield in the colony of Connecticut.
When Aunt Rachel first meets Kit, she is excited because she looks so much like her mother.
“Kit? You mean-can it possibly be Katherine Tyler? For a moment I thought-oh my dear child, how wonderful!” (ch 3, p. 30)
Aunt Rachel sympathizes with her husband and daughters, but she is kind to Katherine. When Matthew complains about her clothes, she defends her.
“Matthew,” she pleaded, “everyone knows that the child has not had time to get new clothes. Besides, it would be wasteful to throw these aside. Katherine looks very pretty, and I am proud to have her go with is.” (p. 51)
Mercy is timid and sickly and does not talk much. However, it is clear that she has a sweet disposition and likes Kit. When Judith asks if Kit will open the drunks, she rebukes her sister.
Mercy was shocked, “Judith-what will our cousin think of us? Besides, there is all the work to be done.” (p. 40)
When Kit gives her a shawl, Mercy is thrilled.
“Oh, Kit, how beautiful! I never felt anything so soft! Like a kitten’s fur.” Delight and protest struggled in Mercy’s face. “I can’t take anything so lovely.” (p. 41)
One of Judith’s first reactions to Kit is to her dress.
“My goodness! she exclaimed You wore a dress like that to travel in?” (33)
She admires the dress, but is also jealous. Judith complains that Kit is not doing her share of the work, and expects them to wait on her.
“A five-year-old could do better. As if things weren’t bad enough here in this house. If we had to have a cousin at all why couldn’t it have been a boy.” (49)
Matthew’s reaction is described as cold. He asks Kit why she has so many clothes.
“Seven trunks of clothes, all the way from Barbados just for a visit?” (35)
He asks Kit why she did not write, and is critical of her decision.
“We would not have refused you if you were in need,” said her uncle. “But a step like this should not be taken without due pondering.” (35)
Matthew continues to be critical of her. He gets angry about the dress she chooses to wear to church.
“You will mock the Lord’s assembly with such frippery!” he roared. (p. 51)
Yet Matthew defends Kit at her witch trial, when she is accused of being deceitful.
“The girl has been thoughtless and headstrong at times. But her upbringing has been such as to encourage that.” (p. 213)
Despite all of his struggles with Kit, he really does care about her.
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