Chapter 53

Abra is looking forward to her visit to the Trasks; she is especially eager to see Lee. Cal tells her Lee is happily awaiting her arrival, even baking special tarts for them all.

Abra has bought Lee a potato peeler as a gift. She asks Cal if he would like to carry her books home, and he does. Abra looks lovingly at him until Cal drops his own gaze. 

At the Trasks', Adam has taken to napping frequently instead of sleeping through the night. It is late in the morning before Lee discovers Adam has awakened. Adam tells Lee he has dreamed of his father. He asks Lee if he knew his father was a thief. Lee says he does not believe it but Adam is insistent. He has finally come to terms with the reality of what his father had been. 

Lee attempts to cheer his friend with the announcement of Abra's imminent arrival. Lee is not morose; in fact, he is filled with "the joy of change." Lee reflects on the irony of honest Adam living his entire life on the legacy of stolen money. He also thinks of self-righteous Aron, so sure that he is "good" but living on the money made from a whorehouse. His thoughts then turn to Samuel Hamilton, a man without a penny to his name but so rich in other  ways. 

Although the day is quite cold, Adam insists on going down to the draft board, so Lee bundles him up. Abra arrives just as Adam is leaving. Lee is thrilled to see her. He gets choked up and finally admits to Abra something for which he has long wished: that she were his daughter.

Lee is beyond gratified to learn that Abra too wishes he were her father. Lee goes to retrieve a gift for his "daughter." He hands her a small ebony box. Inside is a green jade button; on the button is carved a delicate female hand. Lee tells Abra it had been his mother's "only ornament." Abra is touched; she embraces Lee and kisses him. 

Lee and Abra sit down with tea and tarts. Abra tells Lee that she knows about Kate and that she is in love with Cal. She says that her parents do not want her to come to the Trask house. Lee wonders if the knowledge that Aron was now very wealthy might ease that restriction. Abra, almost laughing, agrees that it would. Lee advises her not to say how Aron truly came into his fortune. 

Cal comes home as Abra is about to leave. He asks her to wait for him while he deposits his books inside and then walks Abra to her house.

On his way back, Tom Meek, the constable, falls into step with Cal. He mentions that he has not seen him wandering at night lately, as had been Cal's habit. Tom wonders if that means he has a girl and if that girl might be his brother's girlfriend.