Study Guide

The Great Brain Chapter 4

By John D. Fitzgerald

Chapter 4

Abie Glassman Finds a Home

  • A few days after the adventure in Skeleton Cave, Abie Glassman arrives in town.
  • This is an exciting event for all the kids because Abie is a traveling peddler; he lets the kids take a look through his wagon and gives them jawbreakers at the end. So yeah, they love the guy.
  • Abie's also Papa's Sunday dinner guest that week, and Sunday dinners mean ice cream.
  • But remember, it's 1896, so you're not going to just go to the store and buy that sweet cold dessert. Nope, you're going to churn that cool deliciousness yourself—or have your three boys do it.
  • Tom, of course, has worked out a way to make bank while making ice cream. He whistles right before Mamma pulls out the dasher—the part of the machine that gets covered in ice cream—and Seth Smith and Pete Hanson show up. Every Sunday. Suspiciously.
  • Their families are too poor to have ice cream on a regular basis, so Tom generously lets them pay him a penny for the opportunity to lick the spoon. Great guy, that Great Brain.
  • After Abie eats dinner with the Fitzgeralds, he and Papa discuss his business prospects. Abie feels he's too old to travel, so Papa suggests he open a variety store in Adenville.
  • By the end of the night, the two men have been to see the banker and everything is settled for the opening of Abie's store.