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Mary Rommely is Katie’s saintly mother, a sweet woman who is deeply religious and deeply compassionate to all people. She believes that the way to a better life is through education and land ownership, and she gives Katie some practical advice about how to help her children reach these goals. First, she must read a page from the Bible and from Shakespeare to her children each night until they are old enough to do it themselves; and second, she must put every spare penny away in a tin can bank in her closet to save up for some land.