He is the main character of the four-part story in the middle of the book, "Godliness." A reluctant farmer, who studied to be a minister but took over the family farm when his brothers died in the Civil War, his farm grew huge over the course of several decades. Jesse believes that the growth of his farm was God's will, and in his old age, he wants to sacrifice a lamb to God, as Abraham did in the Bible. His grandson David Bentley, who he takes along to the sacrifice, fears that the old man intends to kill him with the knife instead, and he shoots...
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