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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

by Mildred D. Taylor

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In Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, what does Mr. Morrison do when Kaleb Wallace will not move his truck to let him by in the wagon?

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Mr. Morrison and the Logan children are riding the wagon on their way home from delivering a planter to the Wiggins family when they encounter Kaleb Wallace, who drives his truck across the road to block their way.  Kaleb is drunk, and hollers threateningly at Mr. Morrison; Mr. Morrison ignores his tirade, responding only to ask quietly if Kaleb is going to move his truck.  When Kaleb Wallace refuses to let Mr. Morrison by with the wagon, Mr. Morrison gets down off the wagon and walks around the truck which is blocking his way.  He stops at the front of the truck, and,

"bending at the knee with his back against the grill, he position(s) his large hands beneath the bumper.  Slowly, his muscles flexing tightly against his thin shirt and the sweat popping off his skin like oil on water, he lift(s) the truck in one fluid, powerful motion until the front (is) several inches off the ground and slowly walks it to the left of the road, where he set(s) it down as gently as a sleeping child.  Then he move(s) to the rear of the truck and repeats the feat".

Now that the truck is out of the way, Mr. Morrison gets back in the wagon and proceeds calmly on his way.  Kaleb Wallace is mute with shock at Mr. Morrison's huge display of strength, and regains his voice only when the wagon is far down the road.  At that point he screams a "frenzied cry of hate", threatening,

"One of these nights, you watch, nigger!  I'm gonna come get you for what you done!" (Chapter 10).

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