MARJORIE MOVES TO CROSS CREEK. Marjorie makes the momentous decision to move to tiny Cross Creek, a hamlet situated in rural North Florida (about 10 miles south of Gainesville, home of the University of Florida, where Marjorie later taught). She buys an old wooden home with an adjacent orange grove and settles down to become a writer/orange grower. It is not an easy transition, and she discovers that life is indeed tough for a single city woman in backwoods Florida.
THE DEATH OF THE DEER AND MARSH TURNER. One of Marjorie's closest friends and neighbors, Marsh lives on a house built along the creek. After his daughter's deer has again caused damage to the family's crops, Marsh determines that Ellie must honor their previous bargain: She must destroy her beloved pet deer. She hates him for forcing this decision, and Marsh goes on an overnight drunk in despair. After causing damages in town, he is hunted down by local authorities, shot and killed.
MARJORIE'S SOJOURN. Following Marsh's funeral, Marjorie decides she needs time alone, and she takes off in her small boat to think about the Turner tragedy. She is gone overnight and her friends believe she, too, may be dead. But Marjorie returns, refreshed and with new vigor (and ideas) for her next story.