Study Guide

A Northern Light Chapter 35

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Chapter 35


  • When Tommy Hubbard comes to the Glenmore with news that Mattie's father and sisters are sick, Mattie rushes out of the hotel to get home. John Denio sees her and gives her a ride to her house as Mattie fears for her family's lives.
  • When they arrive at the Gokey house, Royal is right behind them and tells them he'll take care of the cows.
  • Inside the house, Mattie finds Lou and Beth and Abby, all filthy and feverish; then she finds Pa, who is equally sick.
  • Mattie feels lost, but Abby calms her down and tells her what to do to treat the fever, chills, and cough.
  • So Mattie gets to work and tries to distract herself from her worry of losing her family by thinking of her word of the day, but then she realizes that she doesn't even care about the word.
  • When Mattie goes into the yard to get some water, she sees the calves out, eating the corn, and Tommy trying to herd them back inside; he hits one calf in the face, and Mattie runs to him and stops him. She gets the calves back into the barns eventually, then runs back to take care of her family.
  • Though Mattie makes a plan to take care of her family, her confidence breaks when she sees her father delirious with fever, remembering his fights with his wife's father and Lawton. And Mattie realizes that Pa thinks that he killed his wife with hard work, and that Lawton said as much to Pa, which is why he ran away.
  • As Mattie bathes and tucks her father in, he mysteriously says that a "cow goes with a bull… don't go with a goat. Goats don't read" (35.aby.82), telling Mattie that he knows she needs to leave Eagle Bay. Mattie, though, in her worry, doesn't understand what he means.
  • Mattie goes to clean up her sisters again, and Royal bursts in saying that the cow Daisy is doing poorly, that she needs to be put down.
  • After Daisy is shot and Lou curses, Mattie cries.

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