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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry


by Mildred D. Taylor

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Chapter 10 Summary

  • Cassie overhears (again?!) Papa and Mama discussing the family's financial situation. A clue: It's not good.
  • Mama wants to ask Uncle Hammer for a loan, but Papa refuses. If his brother finds out what has happened, he'll cause problems (remember the temper thing?)
  • The family may have to sell some of its livestock to make the mortgage payments. They'll also have to take their cotton to Vicksburg to get it ginned, since Mr. Granger owns the only cotton gin in town.
  • The situation has gotten so bad that Papa doesn't even feel it's safe for Big Ma to go to the market in Strawberry this month.
  • It's clear that the family will have to do without a lot of non-essentials for a while to stretch their money.
  • Papa admits that he feels like "taking a bullwhip to all three" of the Wallaces (10.24).
  • Mama accuses him of sounding like Uncle Hammer—and points out that Uncle Hammer would have gotten them all killed if he had been there.
  • The next day, Cassie goes with Mr. Morrison and her brothers to the Wigginses' house.
  • On the way home, a pickup truck stops them. It's Kaleb Wallace. And he's very angry about how Mr. Morrison hurt his brothers.
  • Mr. Morrison calmly asks Kaleb to move his truck so he can get by with the wagon. When he doesn't, Mr. Morrison physically moves the truck out of his way.
  • Whoa! That's Jean-Valjean-level strength right there.
  • As the wagon rides away, Kaleb threatens to kill Mr. Morrison.
  • Now it's August and super hot. The kids take to playing in the forest.
  • Sometimes Jeremy Simms comes along. He tells the Logans that some people in town are saying they're glad Papa is still hurt and can't go make money with his railroad work right now.
  • Also, T.J. is still hanging out with the older Simms brothers, and has recently been involved in stealing.
  • Jeremy reveals that he has built himself a sort of tree house up in the tall forest trees, and he sleeps up there some nights to keep cool.
  • He gets his feelings hurt when the Logan kids don't want to come see his tree house, but offers to help them if they ever want to build one for themselves.
  • On another day, Mr. Morrison returns from Strawberry, making the trip there to pay the August mortgage.
  • Bad news: the mortgage is now due immediately and is payable in full. In other words: the Logans owe a lot a of money.
  • Harlan Granger is at the bottom of this, obviously. Papa makes plans to immediately go to Strawberry.
  • Mama convinces Papa it's too dangerous for them to make the trip at night after what happened last time. Papa agrees to go in the morning.
  • After Papa and Mr. Morrison return from Strawberry, the news is even worse. They have to borrow money from Uncle Hammer to help pay off the mortgage, and their credit is no longer good in Strawberry.
  • At the end of August, the annual revival arrives in town. It's a weeklong event that brings the black community together.
  • Uncle Hammer shows up at the first night of the revival—without his car.
  • It turns out he had to sell it to help pay for the mortgage on the land. Man, that is some brotherly love.
  • On the last night of the revival, a big storm blows in.
  • T.J. shows up at the event with the Simms brothers. He's wearing fancy clothes and makes a big show of introducing R.W. and Melvin Simms as his friends.
  • That's weird. His new friends and flashy new clothes aren't making a difference in how the Logans and others view him. They still think he's a shady character.
  • This seems to make T.J. sad.
  • R.W. tries to cheer him up by asking him if he still wants the pearl-handled pistol (presumably the same one he admired at Mr. Barnett's store in Strawberry).
  • Cassie notices that T.J. looks "desolately alone," and that she "almost [feels] sorry for him" (10.213).

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