Summary (Masterplots, Definitive Revised Edition)
Three times in her life Sayward Wheeler had felt that her life was over and done. Not that it frightened her any; she figured she could do as well in the next world as in this. Once was the day before her father told her the game was leaving Pennsylvania. The next week, Sayward and her family traipsed west. The second time was the night she married Portius. This time she was not sure the feeling was more than that she would never have any more babies. She reckoned ten was enough, though one lay in the burying ground.
Her youngest worried her the most. All the others had been hearty enough, but Chancey was so frail that folks thought it would have been easier for him to die when he was born. When he was a little fellow, his heart flopped so much when he walked that he spent most of his time sitting on a stool in his daddy’s office. He looked out of the window for hours, never opening his mouth. Chancey lived in two worlds, the earthy, boisterous one his family loved, and one in which he could float away and do wonderful things.
Sayward had fretted herself to raise him. To harden him, she always had guests sleep with him. She never knew how he shuddered lying next to most of them, but he liked the softness of the bride the time the bridesman got angry up in the loft with all of them and spent the night sitting in the kitchen.
Chancey was his father’s favorite because his mind ran as clear as water. Often he rode his father’s...
(The entire section is 1191 words.)
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