A number of surprising announcements are made in the last pages of chapter 6 of The Witch of Blackbird Pond. Matthew tells the family that William Ashby asked to pay his respects to Kit (Katherine), which is unexpected. After the adults retire, Kit declares that she does not want William to come calling on her. At the chapter’s very end, Judith announces that she has shifted her affections to John—in fact, she intends to marry him.
Throughout chapter 6, the sisters and their cousin converse with the two young men who have visited them. Earlier, it had seemed that William and Judith had mutual interest in each other, if not actual affection. Judith is portrayed as rather practical and calculating in her approach. It seems that she is more interested in William’s family’s material prosperity than she is romantically attracted to the man. When she hears that William wants to call on her young cousin Kit, Judith nearly accuses her of taking him away from her. Distressed to hear her cousin’s attitude, Kit says she will try to discourage him. At that point Judith comes out with the biggest surprise, as she announces:
I’ve changed my mind. I’m going to many John Holbrook.