Harvest

by

Jim Crace

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A childless middle-aged widower who narrates the story of his village’s demise in pragmatic but elegiac terms. Walter has lived in the village for a dozen years, since he arrived in the employ of Master Kent, and was married to Cecily Thirsk, a local. As one of only a few villagers born in a larger town. Consequently, he straddles the boundary between the village and the outside world. Having known another life, he’s able to truly appreciate the harmonious life of the village before Edmund Jordan’s arrival. Walter’s commitment to the village is especially visible through his persistent use of the plural “we” in his narration. However, he’s also intensely conscious of being perceived as an outsider to the other villagers, and in the face of Jordan’s intimidations his neighbors quickly become suspicious of him. By the end of the novel, despite Walter’s craving for community, he’s left on his own. His tragic ending demonstrates his love for the village’s vanishing way of life, but also highlights the ways in which that way of life, with its intense hostility to outsiders, ultimately fails him.

Walter Thirsk Quotes in Harvest

The Harvest quotes below are all either spoken by Walter Thirsk or refer to Walter Thirsk. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Renewal and Decay Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Harvest published in 2013.
Chapter 1 Quotes

Our work is consecrated by the sun. Compared to winter days, let’s say, or digging days, it’s satisfying work, made all the more so by the company we keep, for on such days all the faces we know and love […] are gathered in one space and bounded by common ditches and collective hopes.

Related Characters: Walter Thirsk (speaker)
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 2 Quotes

But what are documents and deeds when there are harvests to be gathered in? Only toughened hands can do that job. And Master Kent, for all his parchmenting, would be the poorest man if all he had to work his property were his own two hands and no others […] Ours are the deeds that make the difference.

Related Characters: Walter Thirsk (speaker), Master Kent
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

The organization to all of our advantages that the master has in mind–against his usual character and sympathies, against his promises–involves the closing and engrossment of our fields with walls and hedges, ditches, gates. He means to throw a halter round our lives. He means the clearing of our common land.

Related Characters: Walter Thirsk (speaker), Master Kent
Page Number: 36
Explanation and Analysis:

We know we ought to make amends for shearing her. That’s why she’s standing there, awaiting us. She’s asking us to witness what we’ve done […] For a moment, the temper of the barn is not that she has shamed our evening but that we’ve found our Gleaning Queen.

Related Characters: Walter Thirsk (speaker), Mistress Beldam/Stranger Woman
Page Number: 42
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

But this was precisely what I most liked about this village life, the way we had to press our cheeks and chests against a living, fickle world which in the place where I and Master Kent had lived before only displayed itself as casual weeds in cracks or on our market stalls where country goods were put on sale, already ripe, and magicked up from God knows where.

Related Characters: Walter Thirsk (speaker), Master Kent
Page Number: 57
Explanation and Analysis:

The moment is always a rousing one. Our labors are condensed to this: a dozen tokens of our bread and drink, each tucked and swaddled in the oval of a grain, and sitting on a child’s undamaged skin. What should we do but toss our hats and cheer?

Related Characters: Walter Thirsk (speaker), Lizzie Carr
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:

Their suspicion of anyone who was not born within these boundaries is unwavering. Next time they catch me sitting on my bench at home with a cup and slice, they are bound to wonder if it tastes all the sweeter for not being earned with labor.

Related Characters: Walter Thirsk (speaker)
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

The air was cracking with the retributions and damnations that, in my heart of hearts, I knew that some of us deserved. I prayed that this was just a dream and that soon the couldn’t-care-less clamor of the sunrise birds would rouse me to another day, a better day, a bloodless one, one in which, despite my hand, I’d do my common duty and drag up a log or stone to make that short man tall.

Related Characters: Walter Thirsk (speaker), Beldam Father/Old Man
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes

It feels as if some impish force has come out of the forest in the past few days to see what pleasure it can take in causing turmoil in a tranquil place.

Related Characters: Walter Thirsk (speaker), Mistress Beldam/Stranger Woman
Page Number: 103
Explanation and Analysis:

There’s nothing like a show of heavy justice–and a swinging corpse–to persuade a populace not used to formal discipline that their compliance in all matters–including those regarding wool and fence–is beyond debate.

Related Characters: Walter Thirsk (speaker), Edmund Jordan
Related Symbols: Sheep
Page Number: 108
Explanation and Analysis:

“Nothing but sheep,” he says, and laughs out loud. His joke, I think, is this: we are the sheep, already here, and munching at the grass. There’s none more pitiful than us, he thinks. There’s none more meek. There’s none to match our peevish fearfulness, our thoughtless lives, our vacant, puny faces, our dependency, our fretful scurrying, our plaints.

Related Characters: Walter Thirsk (speaker), Edmund Jordan
Related Symbols: Sheep
Page Number: 110
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

But none of these compare for patterned vividness with Mr. Quill’s designs. His endeavors are tidier and more wildly colorful–they’re certainly more blue–than anything that nature can provide. They’re rewarding in themselves. They are more pleasing than a barleycorn.

Related Characters: Walter Thirsk (speaker), Philip Earle/Mr. Quill, Edmund Jordan
Page Number: 119
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

Dissent is never counted. It is weighed. The master always weighs the most. Besides, they can’t draw up a petition and fit it to the doorway of the church as other places do. It only takes a piece of paper and a nail, that’s true. But, even if they had a doorway to a church, none of them has a signature.

Related Characters: Walter Thirsk (speaker), Master Kent, Edmund Jordan, Lizzie Carr
Page Number: 130
Explanation and Analysis:

Our church ground has been desecrated by our surliness. Our usual scriptures are abused. This body on the cross is not the one that’s promised us. Yet, once again, it’s Mr. Quill who teaches us our shortcomings. It’s Mr. Quill who’s intimate and kind. It’s Mr. Quill who’s valiant. It will not make him popular.

Related Symbols: The Pillory
Page Number: 132
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

“I have the sense my cousin is taking pleasure from sowing these anxieties, in the same way we take pleasure in the sowing of our seed,” says Master Kent. “I fear his harvesting. I think he means to shear us all, then turn us into mutton.”

Related Characters: Master Kent (speaker), Walter Thirsk, Edmund Jordan
Related Symbols: Sheep
Page Number: 142
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

He must realize I’m not truly a villager. He knows I used to be the manor man. He sees that I stand apart. I’m separate. Indeed, I haven’t felt as separate in years. Perhaps it’s just as well, this recent, saddening detachment from the drove. I almost welcome it. These loose roots might save me yet.

Related Characters: Walter Thirsk (speaker), Edmund Jordan
Page Number: 161
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 13 Quotes

I’ll not forget her blowing on the grains to winnow off the flake and how the barley pearls were weighty on her palm. But now she is like chaff herself. A sneeze could lift her up and take her off. She’s hollowed out and terrified.

Related Characters: Walter Thirsk (speaker), Lizzie Carr
Page Number: 173
Explanation and Analysis:

We’re used to looking out and seeing what’s preceded us, and what will also outlive us. Now we have to contemplate a land bare of both. Those woods that linked us to eternity will be removed by spring […] That grizzled oak which we believe is so old it must have come from Eden to our fields will be felled and rooted out.

Related Characters: Walter Thirsk (speaker), Master Kent, Edmund Jordan
Page Number: 174
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 14 Quotes

Frost and furrows. That’s the prompt. I know my duty now. I have to put the earth to the plow. The time has come to put the earth to plow, no matter what the Jordans say. The frost will finish what the plow begins. Winter will provide the spring.

Related Characters: Walter Thirsk (speaker), Edmund Jordan
Page Number: 190
Explanation and Analysis:

It is a warning–among country folk, at least–that life should be allowed to proceed in its natural and logical order. In other words, you do not eat before you cook, you do not weave before you shear, you do not attempt to light the fire until you have the kindling…

Related Characters: Walter Thirsk (speaker), Master Beldam/Young Man/Husband
Page Number: 201
Explanation and Analysis:

The plowing’s done. The seed is spread. The weather is reminding me that, rain or shine, the earth abides, the land endures, the soil will persevere forever and a day. Its smell is pungent and high-seasoned. This is happiness.

Page Number: 207
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 17 Quotes

This is my heavy labor now. I have to leave behind these common fields. I have to take this first step out of bounds. I have to carry on alone until I reach wherever is awaiting me, until I gain wherever is awaiting us.

Related Characters: Walter Thirsk (speaker)
Page Number: 243
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Harvest LitChart as a printable PDF.
Harvest PDF

Walter Thirsk Character Timeline in Harvest

The timeline below shows where the character Walter Thirsk appears in Harvest. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
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Walter, the narrator, suspects that three of the village’s young bachelors, Christopher and Thomas Derby and... (full context)
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Walter mulls over the event and the men’s motives; the issue has to be resolved “without... (full context)
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...have always produced small crops, but the higher ones have been more promising this year. Walter says they’ve begun to smell “nutlike and sugary,” foretelling the “winter ales and porridges” the... (full context)
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...while the men follow with scythes and the women tie up the sheaves of barley. Walter says that work is “consecrated by the sun”; it’s more enjoyable than plowing and planting,... (full context)
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Walter imagines the young men became even angrier in the woods and “concocted ways of getting... (full context)
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...aware that to do so is to “rob a family of their father, husband, son.” Walter thinks it’s best for the young men he suspects to fight the fire with everyone... (full context)
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Walter knows that he should tell Master Kent about the moonball, but he doesn’t want to... (full context)
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Walter has sustained an injury while trying to save some of the hay from the barn.... (full context)
Chapter 2
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Without Walter, the villagers proceed in a large group towards the remaining fire. Master Kent rides in... (full context)
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...wife, Lucy Kent, but the villager’s labor is just as important as his legal rights. Walter points out that Master Kent would be helpless “if all he had to work his... (full context)
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...villagers don’t want to share these rights with any strangers. It’s true that some inhabitants—including Walter himself—weren’t born in the village. But lately, the population has been declining and harvests have... (full context)
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Walter sits outside his cottage, resting his hand. It’s rare to be among the village dwellings... (full context)
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In moments like these, Walter misses the larger towns in which he grew up. Place like those towns have more... (full context)
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Although he hasn’t seen it, Walter reports that the strangers’ shack is poorly constructed, more fit for animals than people. No... (full context)
Chapter 3
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...cut her hair. By now everyone has figured out who really set the fire, and Walter says they “can be absolved only if these three guilty friends” confess and take their... (full context)
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Walter knows that the old man and young man’s punishment is unjust, but he’s decided it’s... (full context)
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The pillory hasn’t been used in many years, ever since two cousins, related to Walter’s wife Cecily, had a dispute over a pig. They only spent a night in the... (full context)
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...of it, Master Kent officiates weddings, funerals, and baptisms. Both Master Kent’s wife Lucy and Walter’s Cecily had their funeral in this same spot. Walter is sad to see the two... (full context)
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Master Kent stands uncertainly for a moment without explaining, but Walter knows what’s coming, having feared this ever since Lucy Kent died. He knows that in... (full context)
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Walter knows no one is in a position to object right now. They’ve all dined well... (full context)
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...just as he has recorded and encapsulated the land with his pen. A middle-aged widower, Walter stands to the side with Master Kent and watches the young people drawing closer together... (full context)
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...truly merry, the strange woman approaches the barn, standing at the edge of the feast. Walter recognizes the shawl he’s heard so much about. Master Kent nudges him and points, nicknaming... (full context)
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Master Kent asks Walter to find Mistress Beldam and bring her to the barn, where she can find some... (full context)
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When he leaves the barn, Walter sees it’s raining hard. All the neighbors have returned to their cottages, but Walter feels... (full context)
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Walter approaches the pillory and introduces himself, but the men don’t respond. In the bad weather,... (full context)
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Then Walter goes in search of Mistress Beldam. He’s always been loyal to Master Kent’s instructions, having... (full context)
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Walter hurries towards the shack, hoping Mistress Beldam has sought shelter there. He admits that his... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Because of his injured hand, Walter doesn’t work in the threshing barns but is assigned to help Mr. Quill for the... (full context)
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...the chaff across the village, and some of the barley has dropped onto the ground. Walter says there’s a “silent ripeness to the air” that is unique to Gleaning Day. (full context)
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When Walter first arrived in the village, he fell in love with its fertile soil and ancient... (full context)
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...next crop of winter-wheat, he leaves this part out of the speech. This detail shows Walter that the plan to enclose the land is already underway, and that this might be... (full context)
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...guest, will choose the Gleaning Queen. Mr. Quill walks down the line of girls, and Walter notices that he lingers over the older and more shapely ones. In fact, all the... (full context)
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Mr. Quill approaches Walter and asks if he can walk him around the village bounds, telling him the names... (full context)
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Master Kent stands watching the gleaning. He knows Walter hasn’t found Mistress Beldam, but he seems more troubled than this circumstance warrants. Earlier, he... (full context)
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Mr. Quill can’t move quickly, but he’s alert and intelligent. Walter takes him first the large marshland where the villagers discard animal carcasses and sometimes use... (full context)
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The other villagers laughed at Walter’s amazement; to them, plants are important for their usefulness, not their beauty. Once he got... (full context)
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Mr. Quill asks Walter for the marsh’s name, but Walter says it has none, since he judges both its... (full context)
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...he makes notes about the beautiful views and writes down the names of different plants. Walter knows all the herbs and their uses without having to name or list them. He... (full context)
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...somberly, Mr. Quill says that Master Kent has asked him to convey some information to Walter. In fact, Master Kent does not own the land outright as all the villagers assume.... (full context)
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As he absorbs this news, Walter looks out on the land from the top of a hill. After the harvest, there’s... (full context)
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...stands at the edge of the barn and watches the villagers process the harvested barley. Walter imagines he must be thinking how everything in the village “will pay for Mistress Lucy’s... (full context)
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...barely respond, too engrossed in their work. The two men walk toward the manor house; Walter is happy to have gained the stranger’s friendship and feels it could be a potential... (full context)
Chapter 5
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...time, Edmund Jordan arrives with five servants, blowing his saddle horn to signal his approach. Walter says he must’ve expected a grand welcome or at least a busy town, but instead... (full context)
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While Walter and Mr. Quill cover the old man’s eyes and put a sheet over him, Master... (full context)
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Just as he did the night of the fire, Walter reconstructs events himself, “without recourse to any constable or magistrate.” Sometime during the night, the... (full context)
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...Jordan. The gentlemen pass into the manor house, the three sidemen carry the luggage, and Walter shows the groom where to stable Master Jordan’s horse. He’s annoyed by the servant’s disdainful... (full context)
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As a servant Walter can’t join the conversation, but he decides to spy, not knowing whether he’s doing so... (full context)
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...the villagers, with coarse blankets. His house is more spacious than the village cottages, but Walter doubts it’s more comfortable. Without children or dogs, the abandoned upper floor is dark and... (full context)
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...Master Jordan stands at one end of the room. He’s talking to Mr. Quill, and Walter can tell he scorns the disabled man and considers him a “local idiot.” Walter listens... (full context)
Chapter 6
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That night, Walter sleeps in the Widow Gosse’s bed. They’ve had a longstanding attachment, and he often creeps... (full context)
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Kitty Gosse often tells Walter he’s too cautious and educated, and he thinks she’s unintelligent. However, they get along well... (full context)
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Still, Walter often wonders what Kitty sees in him. He doesn’t even know what he looks like... (full context)
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Tonight, Walter doesn’t find much pleasure with Kitty. He’s too busy thinking over and replaying what he... (full context)
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...Quill acknowledges his deformity, saying “the devil himself concocted me in his cracked jar.” To Walter, it sounds like an oft-recited speech, which Mr. Quill must have used before to deflect... (full context)
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Now, Walter is tempted to tell Kitty everything he’s heard. It’s lonely to be the only one... (full context)
Chapter 7
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...who knew the horse, as Willowjack would never have allowed a stranger to approach her. Walter believes that Anne suspects Abel Saxton, a blacksmith. (full context)
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Walter himself isn’t sure who’s responsible. He’s suspicious of Master Jordan’s groom, who seems easily angered,... (full context)
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Anne Rogers leaves, and Walter imagines she’s busy telling the other villagers that she found him in Kitty’s bed. While... (full context)
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...seeing the person responsible for Willowjack’s death hanging, and his body discarded in the Bottom. Walter notices that Brooker Higgs and the Derby twins look terrified. Master Kent says nothing, and... (full context)
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After the gathering, Master Kent relates his grievances to Walter. Jordan wanted to sell Willowjack’s carcass to grease makers, and it was only after prolonged... (full context)
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Walter imagines Master Kent has been planning his negotiations with Jordan long before the new master... (full context)
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Walter is required to guide Jordan’s servants through the villages while they ransack the different cottages.... (full context)
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Walter rests while the men check search various outbuildings for bloody cloth. Inspecting the building where... (full context)
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Master Jordan considers this possibility. It makes sense, but Walter knows he wants to hang someone in order to demonstrate his authority over the village... (full context)
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...try him for sedition and incitement. He sighs and looks around, and it’s clear to Walter that he’s frustrated by the slow and overly forgiving rhythm of the village. (full context)
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...circle “like a preacher.” Looking around the land, he laughs and says, “nothing but sheep.” Walter knows that the joke comes at the villagers’ expense, mocking their meek and fearful natures. (full context)
Chapter 8
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All afternoon, Walter works with Mr. Quill and daydreams about finding employment with him when the sheep push... (full context)
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...Quill says they must wait until Mr. Baynham isn’t around to look for her, and Walter suggests that they wait for her by the pillory, since she’ll probably come during the... (full context)
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Walter spreads out the calfskin and scrapes it smooth. It smells terrible, but Walter sees this... (full context)
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Thinking about the prospect of leaving the village, Walter know that he’ll miss long winter days most, when everyone is snug in their cottages,... (full context)
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Now that Cecily is gone, Walter tells Mr. Quill, he’s eager for a new adventure, and to leave the village before... (full context)
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Mr. Quill invites Walter to look at his sketches, and Walter is impressed by their strange beauty. To him,... (full context)
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First Mr. Quill shows Walter the sketch of the current village. With difficulty Walter discerns which shapes represent the barley... (full context)
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However, Walter says, the drawings aren’t completely accurate. Mr. Quill can’t capture the character of the land... (full context)
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...the fields are even neater and more colorful. With the forests broken up, the profile Walter saw before isn’t evident. Walter praises the beauty of the maps and appreciates the vision... (full context)
Chapter 9
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That night, Walter relates that Lizzie Carr, the young Gleaning Queen, has been detained by Master Jordan, along... (full context)
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Walter doesn’t know which “version of events” to believe. In their confusion, many villagers attribute all... (full context)
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The one thing of which Walter is certain is that earlier in the afternoon, Lizzie snuck out of the threshing barn,... (full context)
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Walter isn’t sure how the other women got involved. He imagined they witnessed Lizzie’s capture and... (full context)
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Walter is as angry as his neighbors, but they are becoming suspicious and close-mouthed around him,... (full context)
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Walter imagines that he’s also made enemies by being found in Kitty Gosse’s bed. The villagers... (full context)
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From their silence towards him, Walter intuits that if the villagers have to implicate someone to allay Jordan’s wrath, they will... (full context)
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Walter wonders if instead of casting his lot with Mr. Quill, who is after all a... (full context)
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While Walter listens, the villagers decide they must “petition” Jordan for the return of the women. They... (full context)
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Walter quietly breaks off from the villagers and joins Mr. Quill, as they’ve agreed to search... (full context)
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Eventually, all three men hear Mistress Beldam coming. Walter isn’t sure if the husband knows they are crouching near him, or if he will... (full context)
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Mistress Beldam carries a bundle of food and a bottle of cordial Walter knows she must have stolen from the village. She kisses her husband and lifts the... (full context)
Chapter 10
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The next day, Walter persuades John Carr to talk honestly with him. He’s the only villager who’s still kind... (full context)
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...temper and begin to make their own accusations. John says heavily that they didn’t do Walter “any favors,” but they “had to take care of our own.” Walter is unsurprised he’s... (full context)
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...kind behavior to Mistress Beldam and the young man proves they’re scheming together. Moreover, since Walter now spends too much time with the Chart-Maker and didn’t even come to the manor... (full context)
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John suggests that Walter flee the village, as Brooker Higgs and the Derby twins have already done. Indeed, Walter... (full context)
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Soon afterwards, Master Kent visits Walter in his cottage to present his own version of events. He spent the night locked... (full context)
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Master Kent is evidently ashamed to have been powerless to stop the men, but Walter imagines they were especially cruel to Anne and Kitty because they were away from their... (full context)
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...other villagers. Master Kent believes she chose people who were not relative or close friends. Walter is surprised to learn she didn’t name him. (full context)
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...they looked for Mr. Quill, they couldn’t find him. By that time, he was with Walter at the pillory. However, the men interpret the tools of his craft—pestles, paints, and books... (full context)
Chapter 11
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Walter sees Master Jordan’s groom prowling around the village. He imagines the man feels dissatisfied, since... (full context)
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The groom spots Walter and asks if he knows anything about the whereabouts of Mistress Beldam. From his swaggering... (full context)
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...the harvested barley or the cattle, or to keep the rats away from the crops. Walter has heard that they’re holding a meeting at noon, but he knows he’ll be unwelcome... (full context)
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...and all the other villagers gather and join in, beating the groom. In the tumult Walter falls to the ground and gets kicked in the face; he curls onto his side... (full context)
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...face when he reports the incident to his master. Everyone steps back and scatters, leaving Walter and the groom on the ground. The groom is alive, but barely moving. Walter knows... (full context)
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...and the Saxtons, the two families who attacked the groom first, leave the village quickly. Walter’s old friend, John Carr, barely looks at him as he leaves. Walter knows they’re not... (full context)
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Walter knows it’s difficult for everyone to leave. The families who were less involved in the... (full context)
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...seen a human face before.” This means they’ll be safer from pursuit by Jordan’s men. Walter hopes they reach another village in a few days, where they can build and hut... (full context)
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That night, Walter lies in Kitty Gosse’s bed. Even though he was never very attached to her, he’s... (full context)
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On the other hand, Master Kent has told Walter that Master Jordan doesn’t suspect him, and on the contrary considers him a man he... (full context)
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Walter sleeps fitfully all night. In his dreams, he’s tormented by “demons” who say that he’s... (full context)
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Walter is also worried about Mr. Quill. He doesn’t want him to be killed, and he... (full context)
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...left in the village who was born in the area. The only people left are Walter, Jordan and his men, and Mr. Quill and the strangers. (full context)
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Walter knows he has to concentrate on something in order to fall asleep. He closes his... (full context)
Chapter 12
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The next morning, with the village empty, Master Jordan is pleased. He invites Walter into the manor house and feeds him breakfast while asking him about the state of... (full context)
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Wanting to ask his own questions without associating himself with the imprisoned “witches,” Walter says that he’s worried Master Kent will be “deposed,” showing his loyalty to his old... (full context)
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Innocently, Walter asks where Mr. Quill is. Jordan doesn’t respond but only remarks that his cheek is... (full context)
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Jordan informs Walter that he and Master Kent will leave today, taking the prisoners with them. He wants... (full context)
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Master Kent accompanies Walter to the orchard, where the horses are tethered; Walter says he and his master could... (full context)
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Master Kent says he will never return to the village, and hugs Walter fiercely. Walter imagines a bird flying over the village, seeing its various animals and the... (full context)
Chapter 13
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By midday, Walter is waiting with the horses for Jordan’s departure. They’re unsettled because, with the groom out... (full context)
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Next the servants lead the Kitty, Anne, and Lizzie into the courtyard. Kitty sees Walter and he knows he should approach and comfort them, and he wants them to know... (full context)
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Not wanting to be seen, Walter sneaks into the lane, where he finds Master Kent leaning against an elm. He tells... (full context)
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Once the party has left, Walter runs up the common fields to a hill where he can watch the lane below.... (full context)
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Soon, Walter sees Master Kent and Master Jordan riding next to each other. Their large hats identify... (full context)
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Next, Walter sees Kitty, Anne, and Lizzie pass by, looking down and guarded by the men. Master... (full context)
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When the lane is empty, Walter feels cold and alone. He can’t imagine spending months in the village with no one... (full context)
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Walter passes a copse of large oak trees, stocked with birds, berries, nuts, and mushrooms. Even... (full context)
Chapter 14
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Now there are only four people in the village: Walter, Mistress Beldam, her husband, and Mr. Quill. Walter plans to search for him the next... (full context)
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In his nightmarish imaginings, Walter sees Mr. Quill melting in flames, hanged by the servants, or cudgeled by the angry... (full context)
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Although he’s not supposed to, Walter spends the night in the manor house. He sees the bloody sheets where the groom... (full context)
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Once outside, Walter feels too nervous to walk to the pillory and instead places the shawl on a... (full context)
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Walter thought that he’d be happy to remain in the village, despite his shame at submitting... (full context)
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Walter gets dressed, arms himself with an old sword, and finds the key to the pillory.... (full context)
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Walter says that if the young man helps him with farming for a day, he will... (full context)
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Walter harnesses the two remaining oxen. Next, he goes to the ramshackle tool barn, which he... (full context)
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From his ease with the machine, Walter can tell the young man was once a plowman. Together, they set off toward the... (full context)
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Walter leads the oxen while the young man guides the plow. His face seems “passionate,” and... (full context)
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...in a straight line. It’s a huge task, and would normally require twenty men, but Walter only intends to plough one good furrow. He tells the young man that this endeavor... (full context)
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When they have finished plowing, Walter sows the winter wheat alone. Normally, he would leave the plowed soil for a week,... (full context)
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As Walter finishes the task, the light begins to die. The sunlight falls onto the common fields,... (full context)
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Thinking of the husband and wife together, Walter feels suddenly lonely. However, the feeling is strangely exciting for him; he’s happy to know... (full context)
Chapter 15
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When the storm has subsided, Walter leaves Kitty’s cottage to look for the young man and Mistress Beldam, thinking that they... (full context)
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Back in Kitty’s cottage, Walter takes advantage of her large supply of ale. He rarely drinks, but since he’s alone... (full context)
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After several more pots, Walter becomes angry and sad. The final pot makes him feel sick, and he leaves the... (full context)
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In the morning, Walter wakes up with a terrible hangover, and sees a plume of smoke rising from the... (full context)
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Instead, Walter walks to the woods to search for Mr. Quill. He passes by the Bottom, hoping... (full context)
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On his way back to the village, Walter finds fairy cap mushrooms growing next to a hedge. It seems like ages ago that... (full context)
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Hungover and lacking his normal judgment, Walter bends to touch the mushrooms and feels them suddenly take hold of him. He smells... (full context)
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Walter expects to hallucinate lights and colors, as he did when he tried the mushrooms as... (full context)
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Walter doesn’t remember what happened during the rest of the day. He knows he must have... (full context)
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As the mushrooms wear off, it seems that a “twin” comes to help Walter, helping him stand up and regain control of his body. Then Walter walks the perimeter... (full context)
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Now, Walter stands alone in the manor house courtyard, not knowing how he arrived there. Someone has... (full context)
Chapter 16
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The manor house’s smell has changed since Walter spent the night here. Someone has been cooking and it smells homely, as it did... (full context)
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The parlor door is closed, and Walter imagines them sitting inside. In his mind, the young man is naked and wrapped in... (full context)
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However, Walter finds that whatever food was cooked has already been eaten. There are no clothes drying... (full context)
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Throughout the house, Walter finds damage. All the furniture is toppled, and objects have been slashed or broken. Walter... (full context)
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Upstairs, the walls have been stripped and all the mattresses slashed. Walter imagines that the destruction of “trimmings and trappings” must be a woman’s work, since men... (full context)
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Walter finds himself at the bottom of the staircase that leads into the attic, where he... (full context)
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The attic is filled with junk and broken furniture, including the trunk where Walter once stored his clothes. He climbs the ladder into the turret and looks out the... (full context)
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Walter knows he needs to leave the manor before Mistress Beldam sets it on fire as... (full context)
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Walter examines Mr. Quill’s body briefly, seeing that he was killed by a sword, run through... (full context)
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...supply of anger. After all, there’s no real point in burning the manor house. When Walter reaches the courtyard, he sees her and the young man hurrying away. Now, Walter will... (full context)
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Walter wants to give Mr. Quill “an honorable cremation,” and to prove the courage that he’s... (full context)
Chapter 17
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Walking on the main lane, Walter has reached the village bounds, which are marked by a tall stone. He hasn’t been... (full context)
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Walter breaks off a blade of grass and chews it. Then he bumps his head against... (full context)
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Walter looks back at the village for the last time. No one is working, and the... (full context)
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...at least wilder. The hedges are untended, showing that no one inhabits this land. However, Walter sees trees full of fruits and nuts, telling him that the land will provide for... (full context)
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A mouse scurries into the lane until Walter kicks some earth toward it, warning it of his presence. It disappears under a rock.... (full context)