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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
by Mildred D. Taylor
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Chapter 9 Summary
It's now spring, and Cassie tries to get out of going to school by offering to help her father with the farm. Yeah, he doesn't go for that plan. Jeremy Simms is sad that he won't see the Logan kids for a while, since their school lets out in March, while the white kids' school goes until mid-May. He also lets slip that his brothers, R.W. and Melvin, have been hanging out with T.J., and they don't treat him too well. Cassie asks her mom why R.W. and Melvin (who are eighteen and nineteen) would want to hang out with a fourteen-year-old anyway. Mama tells her that it makes them feel good to have him around—that it makes them feel good to have someone to laugh at and use. Mr. Jamison shows up at the house to talk to Papa. Later, Cassie overhears Mama and Papa talking about what Mr. Jamison wanted. Apparently, Thurston Wallace, owner of the Wallace store, is planning on putting a stop to the boycott. Mama is scared of what might happen. So are we. Later, school is out but Papa hasn't gone back to his railroad job. The impression Cassie gets is that he's afraid to leave in case something bad happens. But he's going to have to go soon, because the railroad job pays for the taxes and mortgage. Mr. Lanier and Mr. Avery come to the Logans' house, interrupting the conversation about Papa returning to work. Bad news: they don't want to shop in Vicksburg anymore. Mr. Granger is going to make them pay a higher percentage of their cotton yields if they keep shopping there. Furthermore, Mr. Granger is threatening to kick the Averys off of his land. They might also end up on a chain gang for causing trouble for white people. Stacey is super mad, but Papa tells him that they are only doing what they have to. Their own family is lucky because they own their own land. After the kids are supposed to be in bed, Cassie overhears her parents talking. Is it just us, or is there a lot of eavesdropping in this book? Papa plans to go to Vicksburg, but Mama wants him to wait until this trouble blows over. Plus, he wants to take Stacey and teach him how to take care of the family business. Mama and Papa also talk about T.J., who's out of control. Here's the thing. There are only seven families left who are willing to keep up the boycott, if you include the Logans. Turns out this is a Big Problem, because now there aren't enough folks involved to actually affect the Wallaces' bottom line. Instead, it's just enough people to make the Wallaces mad, which is bad news for the Logans. And when Papa, Mr. Morrison and Stacey don't return as scheduled from Vicksburg, everyone is super worried. Late that night, the trio shows up, but Papa has a broken leg. Mr. Morrison claims a wagon rolled over it, but can't look Mama in the eye when he says this. Cassie is able to get the whole story out of Stacey: Apparently, on the way back from Vicksburg, the wheels came off the wagon, kind of like someone had purposefully sabotaged it. As they repaired the wagon, a truck rolled up, and someone shot Papa (not fatally, whew). The wagon then fell on Papa's leg. Mr. Morrison went on the attack. He picked up one of the men from the truck and threw him down hard, and seriously injuring another. Uh oh.
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