Chapter 5 Summary

Coffee is in short supply by late March, 1862. To her shame, Ellen depends upon the strong drink and is subject to debilitating headaches if she does not have it. Determined to "suffer it out," she gamely attempts to abstain, but her malaise is so great that Matt cannot stand to witness it; he sends Jethro down to Newton to get some coffee for his mother, as well as other much-needed supplies. It is fifteen miles to the town, and Jethro, who is ten-years-old now, is proud that his father trusts him to take on such a "sizable job."

Jethro sets out in the early dawn. His spirits are high, and people getting about their morning chores wave to him in greeting. An old man, Jake Roscoe, stops him on the way, and, in answer to...

(The entire section is 884 words.)