Across Five Aprils Questions and Answers
by Irene Hunt

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Explain the quote that begins, "There's trubel..." in Chapter 6 of Irene Hunt's "Across Five Aprils".

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Although all wars are tragic, the especially difficult part of civil wars is that so often brother ends up fighting against brother.  Living in the border state of Illinois during the American Civil War, the Creighton family is in that situation.  Tom, Eb, and John Creighton have gone to fight with the Union Army, while brother Bill has joined the Confederates.  The majority of citizens in Jasper County where the Creightons live are Union sympathizers, and some of them do not look kindly on those who do not share their views.

The message,

"Theres trubel fer fokes that stands up fer there reb lovin sons",

was attached to "a bundle of switches tied together with a cord, the symbol adopted by local ruffians as a warning of punishment to follow".  The threat was delivered in the dark of night by drunken riders to the doorstep of the Creighton home.  Although most of the neighbors understood the difficult and heartbreaking situation in which the Creightons, who loved each of their sons despite their disparate beliefs, found themselves, the ruffians were true to their word.  Over the next few nights, the family was victimized by cruel acts of vandalism.  First, their dog Shep was stolen, then their barn was burnt to the ground, and their well water ruined with coal oil (Chapter 6).

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