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The Witch of Blackbird Pond

The Witch of Blackbird Pond


by Elizabeth George Speare

The Witch of Blackbird Pond Chapter 6 Summary

  • Reverend Gershom Bulkeley and his student John Holbrook visit the Wood family for dinner. Kit and the other women spend the entire day scrubbing, cleaning, and cooking.
  • Dinner is tense, as Uncle Matthew says little. Why? Dr. Bulkeley is a Royalist, someone who is fiercely loyal to the king of England. Uncle Matthew, on the other hand, has different ideas.
  • Dr. Bulkeley asks Kit if her father was a king’s man, and she says yes. He insinuates that she should keep her allegiance, at which Uncle Matthew takes offense.
  • The two men engage in a heated conversation about the appointment of Governor Andros by King James. Uncle Matthew boldly states that Connecticut will never recognize him as their governor.
  • Dr. Bulkeley warns Uncle Matthew about the evils of revolution. Uncle Matthew responds that there are “worse things” (6.18). Uncle Matthew declares that he and the others only want to keep the rights they’ve secured in the charter.
  • Mercy interrupts the debate with a request for Reverend Bulkeley to read to the family from the Bible. He asks John Holbrook to do so in his place. Kit wonders when John Holbrook became such a suck up.
  • Dr. Bulkeley asks John to read from Proverbs, chapter 24, verse 21. It is, of course, a verse about staying loyal to kings. Uncle Matthew is not happy.
  • In the meantime, Kit admires the beauty of the verses. John Holbrook, after all, has such a lovely voice.
  • Kit also notices that during the prayer by Reverend Bulkeley, Judith has her eyes on John Holbrook. (Interesting.)
  • The Reverend mentions Mercy’s affliction (that is, her lame leg) in his prayer and Kit takes offense since she doesn’t see Mercy as being handicapped at all; on the contrary, Mercy is the “pivot about whom the whole household moved” (6.30).
  • The men leave and Uncle Matthew rants about Bulkeley’s behavior. He also mentions that William Ashby has asked to come and call on Kit.
  • Everyone is highly surprised, especially since the family thought he would be pursing Judith for her hand in marriage. (William Ashby, it turns out, is the “William” that Judith mentioned when trying on the peacock-blue dress.)
  • Uncle Matthew lets drop that William’s father is a Royalist.
  • Kit, Mercy, and Judith prepare for bed and discuss the developments with William Ashby. Judith, we learn, is really not disappointed since she has her eyes set now on John Holbrook.

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