What happens in The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Chapters 9-12?
Kit and Mercy are teaching school in the kitchen. Mercy teaches the ones who are only just beginning to read, and Kit teaches the ones who are reading primers. Kit entertains the kids by writing sentences using their names. Kit tells the kids stories, and one day lets them act out a Bible story. Mercy is not sure it is a good idea.
"Oh, Mercy! It's from the Bible! Now, each of you, try to imagine just how you'd feel if you really were those people. Just make believe this isn't a room at all--it's a hot dusty road, and Peter, you are getting very tired from walking so far." (Ch. 9)
Unfortunately, Mr. Eleazer Kimberley, the schoolmaster, and Reverend John Woodbridge walk in on this. They are appalled, and dismiss the school. Mercy and Kit are both crying, and Kit runs off to the meadow by Blackbird Pond. There she meets Hannah Tupper, supposedly a witch. They have a good talk, and Kit decides to go confront the schoolmaster.
Mercy is shocked when she finds out they have been given another chance. Kit says she might have been bewitched. Rachel tells Kit not to tell anyone she was with Hannah Tupper. She’s a Quaker, and the Puritans do not approve of her. Kit decides to go back and see her anyway, and tells Hannah about her conversation with Mr. Kimberley.
As she is talking to Hannah, Nat Eaton shows up. Hannah tells them they have a lot in common. Kit tells Nat that her aunt and uncle have been kind to her.
Someone keeps leaving bunches of flowers on the doorstep. It turns out to be Prudence Cruff, who is not allowed to go to school. Her mother says she is stupid. Kit tells her to meet her at the meadow, and begins secretly teaching her to read at Hannah Tupper’s house.
William tells Kit about the house he is building, but she is not interested. Judith is more interested than Kit is. Kit is marrying William because she thinks she has to marry someone, but they have nothing in common. When John Holbrook is reading aloud to the group, Kit looks up and realizes that Mercy is looking at him. She is in love with him!
Those great listening eyes were fastened on the face of the young man bent over his book, and for one instant Mercy's whole heart was revealed. Mercy was in love with John Holbrook. Faster than thought the shadows clarified Mercy again. Kit glanced hastily around the circle. No one else had noticed. (Ch. 11)
Kit is a little jealous. She wishes she cared for someone like that. She is not in love with William.
After candle-making, Kit wants to go visit Hannah Tupper. Rachel gives her food to bring to her. Kit is grateful, since no one is supposed to go to Hannah. Nat is there, and he and Kit fix Hannah’s roof. Nat tells Kit she reminds him of a tropical bird out of its element. They discuss Shakespeare and politics.
Kit arrives home late and tells her uncle where she has been. He calls Hannah Tupper a heretic and is angry at Kit for going there. He forbids her to go back.