Near the end of Chapter 1, Lyddie receives this letter from her mother:
The world hav not come to the end yit. But we can stil hop. Meentime I hav hire you out to M. Cutler at the tavern and fer yr. brother to Bakers mill. The paschur, feelds and sugar bush is lent to M. Wescott to repay dets. Also cow and horse. Lv. at wuns you git this.
Yr. loving mother,
Mattie M. Worthen
Lydie cries and it feels as though briars stick in her heart. but she tells Charlie that she feels that they have claim to a calf born of her mother's cow, and they should be able to keep the money from its sale. The next day they set out, after blocking the door so that no more bears enter. As they walk along the road, Lyddie assures Charlie that they will return home one day.
They walk up the road with Charlie astride the plow horse and Lyddie pulling the cow that are to be handed over for debts, with the calf following. Outside, Farmer Stevens see them and calls out, "I see my bull served thee well." Lyddie knows that it is wrong to expect Quaker Stevens to pay for what is partly his, but he kindly offers twenty-five dollars for the calf.
Luke Stevens, whom Lyddie remembers from her school days, takes them to their destinations. On the way, Luke promises to check on their house and remove the snow from their roof if it threatens danger. Charlie has been lent out to the mill, and Lyddie is dropped off at Cutler's Tavern.