In chapter 6, Winnie is kidnapped by the Tucks. During the kidnap, Miles Tuck and Jesse Tuck look to their mother, Mae Tuck, for help. They want to explain to Winnie why they have kidnapped her but don't know where to start. When Winnie sees the younger Tucks looking to their mother for help, she remembers her own mother.
When Winnie remembers her own mother, she realizes that she may never see her again. She then begins to realize how serious the situation really is. Her mouth becomes as "dry as paper," and she understands that what is happening is real and "no vision." Thinking of life without her mother, Winnie imagines herself as "small, weak, and helpless" and she begins "to cry." She feels "crushed as much by outrage as by shock."
Winnie's reaction here is of course completely understandable. She is only ten years old. She loves her mother and her mother also represents protection and security. The thought of permanently losing her mother suggests a life without love, protection, or security.
When Mae Tuck sees how distraught Winnie is, her own maternal instincts take hold of her. Mae's face "wrinkle[s] in dismay," and she begs Winnie to believe that the Tucks are not bad people and that they do not mean to cause her harm. Mae reaches out to Winnie, in an attempt to comfort her, but Winnie, desperate for her own mother, recoils and continues "weeping."