Study Guide

A Northern Light Chapter 39

By Jennifer Donnelly

Chapter 39

confabulate

  • The girls are working while the Glenmore is throwing a huge Fourth of July party with mountains of food and fireworks and a brass band; people are everywhere, tourists and locals alike.
  • Royal appears, and Mattie feels proud that he's her fiancĂ©; Royal's ex-girlfriend, Martha Miller, gives Mattie the evil eye.
  • Mattie sees her friends Minnie and Jim, and although Minnie looks tired, she also looks happy. The two friends try to talk, but when Minnie leaves to go to her husband, Mattie realizes that their friendship is forever changed.
  • As Mattie is getting something for Henry, her friend and coworker Ada tells her that Royal and Martha Miller just had a fight.
  • Mattie escapes some gossipy commotion to get Henry what he needs, and then comes back to her sisters. Lou, who is sneaking beer, has cut her hair and been threatening to run away; she's growing wilder by the day.
  • Royal goes off to talk with his brother, and Ada, Minnie, and Fran tease Mattie about how she snagged Royal.
  • Martha Miller appears and tells Mattie that she hopes Mattie has a good dowry, and also says that Royal is only courting Mattie because she's part of the Gokey farm. She also brings up the fact that Emmie Hubbard's farm is up for auction next month and tells Mattie that Royal is the interested party in the land. Then Martha explains that although Royal doesn't have the money, his mother does; in fact, Mrs. Loomis is the one who convinced Arn to evict Emma Hubbard and put the farm up for sale in the first place.
  • Mattie's friends try to tell her that Martha is just jealous, but Mattie knows the truth, and she feels foolish and ashamed.
  • When Royal shows up, Mattie's friends leave and Mattie recalls that Royal hates all the Hubbards. She straight up asks him if he wants to buy Emmie's land, and he says yes. What a keeper Royal is.

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