Chapters 6–9

In this award-winning book set in the late 1800s, a young woman answers an ad placed by a Midwestern man seeking a wife.
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definitions & notes only words
  1. rein
    one of a pair of long straps used to control a horse
    Papa taught Sarah how to plow the fields, guiding the plow behind Jack and Old Bess, the reins around her neck.
  2. blame
    attribute responsibility to
    "I don't blame him," said Sarah.
  3. chant
    utter monotonously and repetitively and rhythmically
    "Lots and lots and lots of snow," chanted Caleb, rolling around in the grass.
  4. collapse
    break down, literally or metaphorically
    He collapsed next to Sarah, and the lambs pushed their wet noses into us.
  5. tread
    put down, place, or press the foot
    Sarah treaded water.
  6. flee
    run away quickly
    Seal had long ago fled to the barn to sleep in cool hay.
  7. squawk
    complain
    There are three old aunts who all squawk together like crows at dawn.
  8. overall
    work clothing consisting of denim trousers
    In the morning, Sarah dressed in a pair of overalls and went to the barn to have an argument with Papa.
  9. weary
    physically and mentally fatigued
    I shook my head, weary with Caleb's questions.
  10. squall
    sudden violent winds, often accompanied by precipitation
    "A squall!" he yelled to us.
  11. pungent
    strong and sharp to the sense of taste or smell
    There was a hiss of wind, a sudden pungent smell.
  12. huddle
    crowd or draw together
    Caleb and I jumped over the fence and found the animals huddled by the barn.
  13. eerie
    inspiring a feeling of fear; strange and frightening
    The barn was eerie and half lighted, like dusk without a lantern.
  14. hail
    precipitation of ice pellets
    And at dawn there was the sudden sound of hail, like stones tossed against the barn.
  15. gleaming
    bright with a steady but subdued shining
    It was white and gleaming for as far as we looked, like sun on glass.
  16. damaged
    harmed or injured or spoiled
    Only one field was badly damaged, and Sarah and Papa hitched up the horses and plowed and replanted during the next two days.
  17. complain
    express discontent, displeasure, or unhappiness
    "Too quick," Caleb complained to me as we watched from the fence. He thought a moment. "Maybe she'll fall off and have to stay here.
  18. stern
    strict and demanding
    And with a whisper to Old Bess and a stern word to Jack, Sarah climbed up in the wagon and drove away.
  19. pesky
    causing irritation or annoyance
    "I am loud and pesky," Caleb cried suddenly.
  20. wail
    emit long loud cries
    "Seal was very worried!'' he cried. Sarah put her arms around him, and he wailed into her dress.
Created on March 11, 2014 (updated August 14, 2019)

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