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Moon Over Manifest

Moon Over Manifest


by Clare Vanderpool

Moon Over Manifest Chapters 31-32 Summary

Chapter 31

Miss Sadie's Divining Parlor, August 11, 1936

  • It wasn't really a mistake that Billy delivered those old papers from 1918—and Hattie Mae is all excited about the contest.
  • She doesn't know that it's really all about people's handwriting, though.
  • At Miss Sadie's again, Abilene is making tea.
  • And Miss Sadie starts right in with her story…

Chapter 32

Day of Reckoning, September 28, 1918

  • Out of the blue, Devlin, Burton, and the county medical examiner arrive in Manifest on a train.
  • Devlin pronounces the town cured, but the doctor says he needs to examine them all first.
  • How did they know it was safe to come back?
  • Devlin makes a big deal of telling everyone he expects them back at the mines, and then he spends some time talking to Mrs. Larkin.
  • Hmmm… was she the mole?
  • He's on a jerk-y roll today—even tells Mrs. Larkin her late husband was a chump—but Pearl Ann rushes out of the train to her mom, so he leaves her alone.
  • Stupid ol' Devlin makes all miners work double shifts. If you refused, you'd be fired.
  • On October 1st, the day the $1000 had to be paid, they only have $740.
  • They gather at Shady's bar, when suddenly Burton walks in and tells them he knows all about their scheme. Uh oh.
  • He threatens to start rumors among the rest of the miners that it was one of them who told him. That way, they'd blame them for their double work shifts and docked pay.
  • A stranger walks into the bar with a briefcase and orders some water. (No, this is not the beginning of a joke.)
  • Burton makes fun of him, and tells him to have some miracle whiskey instead.
  • But the new guy takes the water, puts some fizzy powder into it, and starts taking notes on its appearance.
  • He asks Shady where he gets his water, and Shady tells him it's from the spring nearby.
  • Burton tries to throw his weight around, but the guy won't have it. He tells him he's with the government, and that they've heard there's something special about the spring water here.
  • The stranger drinks the water, while Burton tries to convince him to tell him what he's doing.
  • He's sure it's a healing spring or something.
  • The guy won't tell him, but he winks at him and leaves. (What just happened here?)
  • At noon, the town gathers for the hearing about the Widow Cane's land.
  • Mrs. Larkin gets up, telling the Judge that Shady's been bootlegging. (Really? Even after ratting them out to Devlin, she's still kicking them while they're down?)
  • Judge Carlson tells her they have to settle the matter of the property first.
  • Shady asks for an extension to raise the rest of the money, but the judge can't grant it—the law is clear.
  • Burton stands up and asks if he can first bid on just one piece of the land. You guessed it: the part with the spring.
  • He's not bidding on behalf of the mine—it's for himself.
  • Jinx convinces Shady to bid against Burton for the spring, but Burton goes up to $741, and Shady can't match it.
  • Once Burton has officially won the bidding, Mrs. Larkin brings one of her late husband's county maps to the judge and tells him that since the widow's chunk of land is smaller now, it costs less.
  • And now Burton owes back taxes on the bit he bought.
  • And since there's a public resource on it—the spring—he has to pay those back taxes to the town of Manifest.
  • AND that gives the town enough money to buy the rest of the widow's land.
  • Devlin freaks out and tells the judge that he bids $5,000 on the land.
  • But Judge Carlson reminds him that the town has the first right to buy the land before it goes to auction.
  • Devlin fires Burton, but he doesn't care. He figures he'll be rich from the spring water.
  • Until the stranger presents the judge with his paperwork.
  • Which turns out to be recipes. For his aunt.
  • Who turns out to be Mrs. Larkin.
  • Everyone is shocked—except Jinx, of course.
  • He and Mrs. Larkin came up with the idea after Devlin insulted her husband. Ha.
  • Burton and Devlin leave the courtroom, furious, and the people of Manifest buy the property.


  • Devlin has had to agree to new working conditions and better pay in exchange for the town letting him mine on their land.
  • There's also a fair in the works.
  • And, oh yeah, Burton sold his spring to the town.

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