Study Guide

The River Between Us Chapter 10

By Richard Peck

Chapter 10

  • Delphine and Tilly take the train from Carbondale to Cairo in Southern Illinois.
  • Dr. Hutchings meets them at the station in Cairo and gets them set up in a boarding house run by a widow named Mrs. Hanrahan. There's no place for them to stay but a summer kitchen out back.
  • Next, Dr. Hutchings takes them to Camp Defiance to see Noah, who is sick with dysentery and yet in the best shape of anybody in his tent. Yikes.
  • Camp Defiance is not exactly a five-star resort. Two of the walls are earthworks that back up to the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, and most of the camp is mired in mud and filth; soldiers everywhere are sick with measles and dysentery. It's rough stuff.
  • Dr. Hutchings wants Tilly and Delphine to wait to see if Noah feels up to coming out of his tent (otherwise known as a "regimental hospital") to see them, but they just barge right on in.
  • Noah, the least sick of the men in his tent, is the "nurse" to the rest of them and the only one not lying in pools of his own filth. Yikes.
  • He manages to eat a lot of the food they bring, and Tilly notices that he's studying military tactics, still intent on fighting though he can barely stand.