Chapter 107 Summary
Because of the Holt’s devotion to Irene, they insist on having the wedding and reception at the Holt plantation. Ironically, even considering the beauty of the occasion and the richness of the decorations, it’s the delicate metal rose Tom gives to Irene that steals the show.
Tom is both happier and more talkative after his marriage to Irene and her subsequent move to the Murray plantation. He enjoys eavesdropping on the white folks who come to his blacksmith shop to get their horses shod or tools fixed. Tom begins to learn lots of news from around the country. He hears bitterness toward the white abolitionists. He also hears about the presidential prospect named Abraham Lincoln who wants to free the slaves.
About this time, Irene requests that Tom build her a handloom. Once it’s complete, Irene works tirelessly at it to make her family some new clothes. She begins with a handmade shirt for Tom and then does some other exquisite pieces for the rest of the family. Irene finishes up with a piece for Mrs. Murray as well. Irene also adores coloring the cloth with her own, homemade dyes. In the middle of her frantic nesting, Irene tells Matlida that there will soon be a new baby added to the family. Matilda is thrilled to have a grandchild!
During Irene’s pregnancy, the family decides to try to stop L’il Kizzy’s flirtations. They concoct a plot to make L’il Kizzy jealous about one of her beaus by saying he sees other women as well. Sure enough, it isn’t long before L’il Kizzy is happily engaged.
L’il Kizzy’s fiancé, Amos, tells the family about the appearance of a telegraph station right there in North Carolina. First, Amos explains that the special “clicking” of the telegraph goes through the wires that never seem to end and translate into words for the white folks. Then Amos talks about his serving job at Nancy Hillard’s hotel, where lots of railroad folks stop to stay and eat. Finally, Amos describes the huge dinners that the railroad guests all hanker for as well as the “drummers” that everyone can't wait to arrive to sell their wares. They all admit that the railroad has really improved business for the county and even for the state. They also admit that if the railroad ever gets to the point where it connects the entire country, their lives will change even more.