Bitter Tea Summary
Last Updated on February 4, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 262
Mooshum stops talking because it begins to rain. Evelina runs inside, and when the rain passes, Mama and Mooshum pin the washing back out together. Mama berates Mooshum for not acknowledging Geraldine’s feelings for him. She mentions “the judge” to Mooshum, and Evelina wonders whether Geraldine has done something criminal.
The next day, Uncle Whitey and Shamengwa come over and teach Evelina and Joseph how to fight. They refuse to say what Geraldine has done. When Whitey and Joseph leave, Evelina asks about the lynching, how Mooshum survived. Shamengwa says the plan had never been to hang Mooshum actually to death.
Aunt Harp arrives to interview Mooshum and Shamengwa about the old days and why the town of Pluto was on the reservation despite housing hardly any Indian people. The brothers, pained at the ancient loss of their land, go still and quiet. Eventually Mooshum says Neve Harp is asking how he lives right beside her, knowing she and her people took his land. Evelina realizes that Neve Harp was married to a Wildstrand; there were Wildstrands at hte lynching.
Mama says it isn’t Neve’s fault; this was all a long time ago. She adds that Junesse was not all Chippewa. Her father was Eugene Wildstrand. Evelina realizes this is why Mooshum was not hanged to death. Mama then says that aunt Geraldine and Judge Coutts “are having . . .” but cannot say what. When Evelina suggests “a baby?” she is told Geraldine cannot have babies.
Evelina writes down Mushoom’s story and draws up lineages of the people she knows.