Chapter 9 Summary

The deserters who descend upon southern Illinois are a fearsome bunch, intent on keeping themselves hidden from authorities and subsisting on whatever they can forage in the woods or pilfer from local farms. They are armed, and, in their desperate struggle to survive, create an atmosphere of terror for the Creightons and others who live in the area. It is not long before a murder occurs. A ne'er do well named Hig Phillips, who had avoided the draft by hiring someone to go to war for him, is killed in the dead of night by a band of runaway soldiers. They are furious that he has sat around at home for no reason other than sheer laziness for the past two years, while they have borne the unspeakable burden of war.


(The entire section is 896 words.)