Across Five Aprils Questions and Answers
by Irene Hunt

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How does Ross Milton respond to the news of Tom Creighton's death in "Across Five Aprils"?

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Ross Milton is very sad on hearing the death of Tom Creighton. He expresses his feelings by writing a letter to the local newspaper in which he pays fulsome tribute to the young man. In that letter, he also takes the opportunity to castigate those who've recently been harassing the Creightons as cowards.

The Creightons have been receiving anonymous threatening letters because one of their sons, Bill, has gone off to war to fight for the South. They even had their barn burned down and oil put down their well. But Ross makes it clear in his letter that the men harassing the Creightons are nothing but cowards who've never had the courage to take a bullet for anything.

Ross' generous attitude is typical of the man, and thankfully, it's also typical of the Creightons' neighbors. In the wake of their barn being torched, the Creightons are helped by people from all over the county, who turn up with much-needed farming equipment. It's clear that the cowardly acts carried out by the anonymous arsonists and vandals are completely out of character for folks in this part of the world. This is a close-knit community where people help and look out for each other.

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