Summary (Masterplots, Definitive Revised Edition)
The Wynne family had descended from an ancient Welsh line. That part of the family which had remained in Wales now held the family estate of Wyncote. The American branch, being Quaker, had dissociated itself from the more worldly family at Wyncote, and Hugh Wynne grew up under the stern discipline of John Wynne’s orthodoxy. John’s sister, Gainor Wynne, had not become a Quaker. Because Hugh was his aunt’s favorite, early in his life he fell under the influence of those who were outside the ways of the Quakers.
Jack Warder was Hugh’s closest friend, the two boys having gone to school together. Aunt Gainor often invited both boys to her home in Philadelphia, where she was surrounded by a worldly group of English officers, men upon whom the Quakers frowned. Hugh enjoyed their society, to the delight of his aunt, who wished her nephew to break his Quaker ties. Jack Warder, however, did not like Gainor Wynne’s friends. When he and Hugh were old enough to judge moral values for themselves, their friendship became strained. Hugh’s father was never fully aware of the the way Hugh spent his time away from home.
One night, while drinking and gambling with his worldly friends, Hugh met a cousin, Arthur Wynne, of the family at Wyncote. He instinctively disliked his relative because of his superior ways and his deceitful manner. During the evening, Hugh became very drunk. Suddenly his mother and Jack Warder burst into the room.
(The entire section is 1208 words.)
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