| Quote #4
I had great hopes of getting from her the missing facts of Ethan Frome's story, or rather such a key to his character as should co-ordinate the facts I knew. (Prologue.20)
Unlike Ethan, the narrator's hopes do come true. He manages to find the "clue" he was looking for, although we never learn what it is. The narrator also realizes his dream of being able to put together the other man's story.
| Quote #5
[…] not long afterward he had reached the point of wishing that Starkfield might give all its nights to revelry […] (1.9)
If Starkfield has dances or parties going on, then Ethan can go into town and walk Mattie home. He's finally found a way to tolerate life in Starkfield. Unfortunately, he doesn't plan for what might happen when Zeena gets wise to his newfound happiness.
| Quote #6
"I wouldn't ever have it said that I stood in the way of a poor girl like Mattie marrying a smart fellow like Denis Eady," Zeena answered in a tone of plaintive self-effacement. (1.20)
Ethan and Mattie may not be doing much planning, but Zeena certainly is. Marrying Mattie off would solve Zeena's problem and remove the girl as a threat.