Saturday, March 13, 2010

By The Shores of Silver Lake Book Discussion - Unexpected Visitor

Laura was washing dishes when Jack's growl alerted her someone was coming. Looking out the window she spotted a buggy being driven by a strange woman she didn't recognized. The house was untidy and both she and Ma were ashamed to have such company now. Mary, Carrie, baby Grace and Ma had all come down with scarlet fever and there hadn't been anybody around that could help Pa and Laura. The doctor had been there every day and Pa worried about how he would ever pay the bills. Far worse, the fever had robbed Mary of her eyesight. Laura described the woman in the buggy for Mary because Pa had said that she must now be Mary's eyes. The woman turned out to be the girls' Aunt Docia.

After a few hours of catching up on news from back home she explained the main reason for her visit--Docia's husband Hi was a contractor for the railroad. He was in need of a good man to be store keeper, bookkeeper and time keeper. Pa could have the job should he choose. It paid fifty dollars a month. Pa knew what that money would mean and he was itching once again to move further west. The grasshopper plague left a meager crop these past two years and the winter months didn't provide much meat to hunt and feed the family.

With Caroline's blessing Pa was able to sell the farm for two hundred dollars cash. It would be enough to square up on what they owed with a little extra left over. It was settled that Pa would leave with Docia in the morning, and in a couple of months when Mary was feeling stronger, the rest of the family would come to him by train.

Synopsis provided by Lorrie


Linda said...

It is quite an amazing chapter isn't it, especially about the embarasment.

Linda said...

I am getting so much from this book, even though I have read it before, most likely a few times. Thanks for doing the discussion.

I love the word providental, as I have noticed people sometimes called God Providence I think. It is hard to tell.

I also noticed how Laura said that Mary no longer could communicate with her eyes.

I liked how Docia was able to help straighten the house up.

I think they had been there 5 years, must check. I have been where I live 6 years and my daughter is 13 like Laura or similar age. My daughter thinks of this place as where we belong, she mentioned sometime like it the other day, that we are not merely passing through. Like my daughter though, always up for a move or excitement.

I was also trying to think ahead to what they went through afterwards to try to feel what Ma would be feeling leaving her home and if it was worth it. More thought needed there on my part.

Cheryl said...

It has been many years since I've read this book. It's nice to get these blurbs so that I can remember parts of it.