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In chapter 1, we met the feisty farm girl Lyddie. Lyddie’s mother has moved the family off the farm and rented it out, so Lyddie must go to work as a maid.
In chapter 2, Lyddie and Charles, her brother, meet the new farmer’s son, Luke. Luke’s family is renting the farm because Lyddie encountered a bear and her mother no longer thinks the farm is safe. In this chapter, Luke drives Charles and Lyddie to their new jobs in his horse and buggy. Charles goes to work at Baker’s Mill and Lyddie will work as a maid at Cutler’s Tavern.
In Chapter 2, Lyddie and Charles leave their home and go separate ways. Each of them has been hired out to work in order to pay off debts their mother owes on their property. The land has been rented to a neighbor, Mr. Westcott, to farm, and he is to have their horse and cow as well. Lyddie and Charles close up their cabin, piling logs in front of the door to prevent a return of the bear. They discuss what to do with their calf. In their mother's absence, they had bred the cow, and their mother doesn't know about the calf, so she didn't promise it to Mr. Westcott.
As they near the farm next to theirs, which belongs to the Stevens family, the neighbor greets them. When he finds out what has happened to their family, he's filled with compassion for the two young people, which embarrasses them. He purchases the calf from them, at a generous price, and invites them to dinner. Luke Stevens, one of the sons, offers to give the two a ride to their respective workplaces. Lyddie is cool and even rude to him, brushing off his offers to help them.
Luke stops at the mill to drop Charles off, and Lyddie parts from him, nearly crying. Luke then drops her off at the tavern where she will be working. He offers to go in with her, but she refuses because she doesn't want to be seen with a Quaker. Luke is not offended by Lyddie's poor manners; he continues to be kind. He promises to keep an eye on their house and to look in on Charles.
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