Moon Over Manifest
Moon Over Manifest Chapters 4-5 Summary
First Morning, May 28, 1936
- Hey, it's Abilene's first day of school.
- Hey, it's Abilene's last day of school, too.
- Shady has made her some (only slightly burnt) breakfast, which makes her feel like she's at a fancy hotel.
- She eats next to him as he works on fixing Hattie Mae's typewriter, and they trade some totally corny puns about the letters on the broken keys.
- Then she heads out to school.
Sacred Heart of the Holy Redeemer Elementary School, May 28, 1936
- Abilene's got a theory about schools.
- She's been in and out of so many that she feels like she knows what the kids here will be like before she even meets them.
- She says kids are universals. Say what?
- It's like, there are always certain types of kids in each class, you know? The snobby ones, the poor ones, the nice ones…
- The kids start in on her right away, asking if she's an orphan. Her response? She tells them that her mom's in a better place.
- Of course, they all think that she died, but that's just Abilene's way of saying she ran off and left her and her dad to join a dance troupe in New Orleans. A better place, eh?
- But then she tells them she has a daddy, and that he's just sent her here for the summer.
- Some kids—Lettie, Ruthanne, and Billy—want to get to know her, but one of those pesky universals—a snobby snob named Charlotte—starts snobbing it up.
- She doesn't want to talk to someone who lives in a saloon right nearby Miss Sadie's Divining Parlor.
- So that's why that gate said Perdition. It belongs to a fortune teller.
- Suddenly, the teacher, Sister Redempta, comes in.
- She gives out everyone's report cards and then gives Abilene a summertime assignment. Awww man.
- She's supposed to write a story, and Sister asks for some volunteers from the class to help her out. (Well, that's not so bad…)
- You know how everyone avoids eye contact with a teacher when she asks for volunteers?
- Well, Lettie brushes away a fly, so that gets her noticed.
- Then Ruthanne laughs at her, and she wins the job of second volunteer. Ha.
- Finally, snobby Charlotte offers to help her… get some nicer clothes. Sister tells her not to bother.
- As Abilene puts it, "Snooty rich girl. A universal" (5.53).