pulled or drawn tight
Mr. Robert’s mouth tightened like a rope pulled
filled with or evoking sadness
No ghosts yet, just ash trees and maples lined up in a
a field covered with grass and suitable for grazing
I could hear cows mooing in a far
pasture and bees buzzing in a nearby clover patch.
draw back, as with fear or pain
“Apologies, sir,” I said,
wincing with pain.
coarse cloth with a bright print
We couldn’t take Momma’s shells, nor Ruth’s baby doll made of flannel bits and
calico, nor the wooden bowl Poppa made for me.
Calico was a material imported by the East India Company (a large British business with interests in India, which was under British domination). The fact that there was calico in the American Colonies shows how powerful and influential the British Empire was; despite this, the colonies were about to start a war.
someone who owns a business
proprietor called her over to join us.
Compare to "propriety" in the list for Chapters 12-22: both come from the Latin "proprietas" which means "ownership" but "proprietor" refers to the physical ownership of property while "propriety" refers to the self-possession that comes with knowing and following the rules of polite society.
bind by a contract for work, as an apprentice or servant
Indentured servants complain all the time and steal us blind at the first opportunity."
"Indentured servants" were people that sold their services to someone who had the money to ship them to the Americas. In return, they had to work without payment for a certain number of years (stated in the contract) until they had more than repaid the cost of their passage and were then freed to work for themselves.
snuff colored; of a greyish to yellowish brown
He wore a red silk waistcoat under a
snuff-colored coat with silver buttons, a starched linen shirt, and black breeches.
The word "snuff" could be a pun here, because "up to snuff" means "up to standard" and the descriptions of the clothes sound like they belong to someone who's trying hard to impress.
a nation's ruler usually by hereditary right
“I pledge myself to our rightful
sovereign, the King, sir,” Mr. Robert said.
the distance around a person's body
The husband was a head taller and twice the
girth of most men.
get by special effort
“Why not wait, Anne, and
procure another indentured girl in New York?”
put up with something or somebody unpleasant
“I do not
brook foolishness,” she said.
the trait of being rude and impertinent
Insolence will not be tolerated, not one bit.
Compare with "impudence" in this list--focus on the second half of the identical definitions and the mood created by the attitudes towards the people seen to be insolent or impudent.
a manifestation of God's foresightful care for his creatures
Providence that put them in our path.”
the trait of being rude and impertinent
impudence is disturbing,” Lockton said.
Compare with "insolence" in this list--although the two modern definitions are identical, the obsolete definition of "impudent" as "immodest" (in addition to its Latin root of "pudere" which means "to be ashamed") suggests that "impudence" can be seen as a rudeness that is not as disturbingly direct as "insolence" and thus can be more patiently tolerated.
conducting business within or between groups
“I thank you, sir, for the meal and the
distasteful and unpleasant
I spent most of the voyage bent double over a puke bucket, bringing up every scrap of food and swallow of
brackish water I choked down.
the most powerful members of a society
The working people were dressed muchly as we did out in the country, but there were a few
gentry who stuck out of the crowd like peacocks wandering in the chicken pen.
a device or control that is very useful for a particular job
Behind him walked a slave boy about my height, whose arms were weighted down with a wooden
contraption and a small case with a rope handle.
bend or turn towards a speaker in order to listen well
inclined his head toward Madam.
to exert much effort or energy
You’ve come home to fight us who
strive for freedom and liberty.
rules governing socially acceptable behavior
“Do I gather, sir, from your hesitation, that you are unsure of the
an army unit consisting of a headquarters and companies
A woman defending her underclothes from a
battalion of soldiers was comical.
perplexed by many conflicting situations or statements
bewildered at the speed of it all.
extremely annoying or displeasing
“Country girls are slow-moving,
vexing creatures,” he said.
talk socially without exchanging too much information
He started walking again,
nattering on and on about plots and conspiracies and battle plans and secrets, but truth be told, my mind drifted.
discoloration of metal surface caused by oxidation
Becky came out carrying a
tarnished silver teapot and a stack of china cups and plates.
Madam called for tea in her bedchamber the next morning and sent for Ruth, who was pumping the butter churn with
unfriendly and inclined toward anger or irritation
Madam called her
surly and took to beating her regular-like.
army unit smaller than a division
Becky was somewhere in the crowd watching General Washington parade down Broadway with five
regiments of soldiers.
something or someone seen, especially a notable sight
She nattered on about the
spectacle whilst assembling the tea things for Madam and Lady Seymour, who had come again to call.
extraordinarily large in size or extent or degree
The front windows were open, bringing in fresh air and noise from the street; carts rolling over the cobblestones and church bells in the distance mingled with the voices of the four men who sat around the
Why the people are magnificent; in their carriages, which are numerous, in their house furniture, which is fine, in their pride and conceit, which are
inimitable, in their profaneness, which is intolerable, in the want of principle, which is prevalent, and in their Toryism, which is insufferable.
The description starts off sounding like sincere praise with the adjectives "magnificent" and "fine" but it turns sarcastic when it matches the positive adjective "inimitable" to the negative traits of "pride and conceit." The second half of the sentence insultingly accuses the people of intolerable profaneness ("unholiness"), prevalent ("most frequent or common") lack of principle, and an insufferable ("extremely annoying") political loyalty.
shelf that projects from wall above fireplace
A low settee stood in front of the fireplace, and a mirror framed in mahogany hung above the
mantel, flanked by oil lamps fastened to the walls.
make payment to
"The Provincial Congress will
compensate you, of course."