| Quote #1
Most of these were so-called honor killings, such as duels or family squabbles. In most cases, no charges were brought. The laws of the early nineteenth century were vague and, with no regular police force to speak of, loosely enforced. It's worth noting that killing a slave was not considered murder, no matter the circumstances. It was merely "destruction of property." (1.16)
Remember this when your grandparents start get nostalgic about the old days. Yeah, things were so much better when people killed each other and there were no police to get involved and nab the bad guy. Back then, it might be your duty to get some revenge in a duel.
| Quote #2
As was often the case on the frontier, families pooled their resources and talents to increase their chances of survival, planting and harvesting crops together, trading goods and labor, and lending a hand in times of illness or hardship. (1.45)
Like tennis, duty can be more complex than it seems. Duty isn't just a one-on-one thing; it can be communal, as here, where people in a community band together (doubles tennis anyone?). And duty isn't all sacrifice and toil. Sure, people might pool their resources, but they're getting something out of it.
| Quote #3
I hereby resolve to kill every vampire in America. (2.86)
Okay, that's a grand promise and all, and we appreciate his willingness to take on the toothy things on behalf of the rest of us, who are less handy with an ax. But really, why does he make this promise? To whom does Abe owe this duty? Is this a promise to his dead mom? Or is it a promise to himself?