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Moon Over Manifest

Moon Over Manifest

by Clare Vanderpool

Moon Over Manifest Chapters 2-3 Summary

Chapter 2

Path to Perdition, May 27, 1936

  • Once Abilene makes sure she didn't drop anything when she jumped, she finds a creek behind some nearby trees and washes her face in it.
  • Okay, so even if she does like jumping out of moving trains, at least she's into personal hygiene. Good to know.
  • She suddenly feels really alone, so she grabs a stick and rattles it along the fences on the way into town, making up funny rhymes to go with the rhythm as she walks.
  • Suddenly, her stick bonks into a gate—and it's a really weird one.
  • It's got all kinds of junk welded into it—forks, horseshoes, kettles—and even the word PERDITION. Interesting…
  • The house behind it looks pretty freaky, too, so Abilene just keeps on walking (and rhyming), but more quietly now.
  • Oh, great—now she's passing a graveyard.
  • She's pretty creeped out by now, and then she hears a noise behind her.
  • She tries to keep the rhymes coming (boy, this girl has got some guts), but a man suddenly finishes her poem for her. Yikes.

Chapter 3

Shady's Place, May 27, 1936

  • So there's a dude with a pitchfork behind Abilene.
  • Oh, phew. He's the pastor who was supposed to meet Abilene at the station. And he found her compass—she had dropped something, after all.
  • He figured that she might have jumped, so he came to find her.
  • Is jumping off trains really that common around here? Is this weird, or is it just us?
  • Shady takes her into town, explaining that he's only sort of a pastor; he's just filling in till they find a new one.
  • The town doesn't look at all like Abilene's dad had described it in his stories. But it is the Great Depression, after all.
  • They stop in at the newspaper office, and guess who Abilene gets to meet?
  • Hattie Mae. She still writes that column, and she's totally nice. She gives Abilene a soda and a sandwich and tells her she can take as many old papers to read as she wants.
  • Now for the not-so-nice part: they're sending her to school tomorrow.
  • What?! It's the summer!
  • Not yet, apparently. Tomorrow's the last day of school, and they want her to meet the local kids.
  • There's something weird about the way Shady and Hattie Mae are acting—like maybe Abilene'll be staying for longer than just the summer…
  • Next up, Shady and Abilene head to Shady's house which is… how shall we put this? Totally bizarre. It's half saloon, half church, and half wood shop. And yes, we know that doesn't add up right.
  • Abilene has lived in lots of weird places, she tells us—barns, shacks, abandoned railroad cars—but nothing as weird as this.
  • Shady shows her to her room, upstairs.
  • She hides a bag of her stuff under a floor board and finds a box already hidden there, full of a bunch of letters, a map, and some other odds and ends.
  • As she goes to sleep, she wonders if all that stuff might somehow or other have belonged to her dad.

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