The Victory Quilt, October 27, 1917
- Still at the fair, Ned heads over to Mrs. Larkins's table.
- She's the president of the Manifest chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and she's sponsoring a quilt auction.
- She's also the mother of Pearl Ann, the girl Ned was arguing with when Jinx first arrived. Aha. That's why he's headed over to her table.
- Oh, cute. A mini primary source.
MRS. LARKINS'S FLYER
- Each lady should submit a square for the quilt, and when President Woodrow Wilson visits, he'll sign it. Then they'll auction it off and use the money to support the troops.
- Sounds cool, right?
- Ned starts sweet-talking Pearl Ann until her mother calls her away.
- Pearl Ann explains that her mom doesn't feel like she knows someone unless she knows their family. And poor Ned's adopted, so she doesn't really approve.
- Just then, Arthur Devlin comes by and takes Pearl Ann's mother for a walk. So that's the type of person she prefers to be around? Go figure.
- And oh great. Now Devlin's son, Lance, shows up. He's in uniform.
- He tells Ned he bribed the army officials by giving them $25, so they overlooked the fact that he's not 18 yet.
- And of course, he then proceeds to diss Ned for being poor, adopted, a slow runner, and a possible spy. Wow—totally mean, but you gotta be impressed he covered so many topics in so few insults.
- Cut to December 1st, and Miss Sadie is turning in a quilt square to Mrs. Larkin. Mrs. Larkin won't even open her screen door for her, though.
- She tells her the quilt is full and it wouldn't be appropriate for her to contribute a square anyway, since she's a fortune-teller. Snob.
- Miss Sadie curses her—actually curses her—and Mrs. Larkin is horribly upset. Ha.
- All through December, Jinx and Ned work on making firecrackers to sell. They use an old abandoned mine shaft that Shady uses for making alcohol, too.
- Ned asks Jinx how he got so good at conning people, and Jinx tells him his story. (Yep, it's a story within a story within a story...)
- When both of his parents died, his uncle Finn, a con man himself, took Jinx on as an assistant.
- He'd pretend to have some problem that would be miraculously cured by whatever potion Finn was trying to sell.
- But there was one time when Jinx heard a pretty cool preacher talking, and it was so different from the mean things Finn always said to him that he couldn't get it out of his head.
- And that night, a guy named Junior shows up to talk to Finn after he's made his sales.
- He used to work with Finn, but now he pulls a knife on him and demands all his money. Talk about going crazy.
- Finn grabs the knife away and makes Jinx tie Junior up. But he ties him loosely, because he's sick of doing what Finn says.
- Finn notices, though, and knocks Jinx out. Seriously? Nice uncle.
- When he comes to, Finn tells him that he—Jinx—killed Junior, and shows him the body. What? What?!
- Of course, the sheriff comes after them soon, so they split up.
- Ned tells him it couldn't be his fault, but Jinx figures he doesn't have a chance in court either way.
- They put the firework Jinx "borrowed" back together, so they can return it.
- And then they make a fortune selling their homemade ones: $50.75, to be exact. That's huge, especially back in the day.
- Jinx gets in trouble with Shady once the local kids start blowing things up, but Ned uses his share of the money to get signed up for the army, just like Lance.
HATTIE MAE'S NEWS AUXILIARY: January 2, 1918
- President Woodrow Wilson stops into town on a train as he's making a tour of the Midwest.
- Somehow or other, some fireworks blow up the water tower, which drenches the president and the victory quilt. (Hmmm… now how could that have happened?)
- Even though the president's signature was almost washed out, Shady "persuades" Jinx to buy it—for $25.75.
- Velma T.'s Vitamin Revitalizer: The most reasonable-sounding medicine ad yet—it's just vitamins.
LETTER FROM PVT. NED GILLEN
- Ned writes Jinx from his army camp, where he's in training. He tells him Heck and Holler, two other boys from town, are there too, and hints that they'll all be heading to France soon.