Playing Beatie Bow

by

Ruth Park

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Justine Crown’s brother, Robert Bow, is—like his sister—a direct descendant of Gibbie Bow. When Abigail encounters Robert on a visit to the Crowns’, she is shocked to find that he looks exactly like Judah Bow. She believes he must be a direct descendant of her onetime love, and is surprised to find that it was instead Gibbie who carried on the Bow line, and the mysterious Gift. Abigail and Robert have an immediate affinity for one another, and embark on a romantic relationship rather quickly after their first meeting.

Robert Bow Quotes in Playing Beatie Bow

The Playing Beatie Bow quotes below are all either spoken by Robert Bow or refer to Robert Bow . 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:
Family, Duty, and Connection Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Puffin Books edition of Playing Beatie Bow published in 1980.
Chapter 13 Quotes

The Bible was a mighty volume. The green plush had hardly any pile left at all; the brass edges were black and bent. They had not been polished for many years.

“Justine had it at the top of the linen cupboard. It belonged to some old great-great aunt or such. She used to be headmistress at Fort Street School, you know the old building up near the Observatory that the National Trust has now?”

“So she made it, the little stirrer!” crowed Abigail. She beamed at Robert, who gaped at her.

'She wasn't any little stirrer; she was a perfect old tartar. Mother remembered her quite well; she was in an old ladies' home or something. Mother was petrified with terror of her, she said.”

“Old Miss Bow!” Abigail laughed marvelling. “Who would have guessed it? I guess that's how that kids’ game sprang up . . . terror lest Miss Beatie Bow would rise from the grave and give them all what for.”

Related Characters: Abigail Kirk (speaker), Robert Bow (speaker), Beatie Bow / “The little furry girl”
Page Number: 191
Explanation and Analysis:

“Natalie has something to do with this, hasn't she,” he pondered. “Because, after all, she's a Bow, and perhaps she has the Gift. And the crochet, because it came from the fingers of that Great-great-great-grandmother Alice from the Orkneys, was just enough to tip you over into the last century. She was right, you know: you were the Stranger of the Prophecy.”

Related Characters: Robert Bow (speaker), Abigail Kirk, Granny Tallisker, Natalie Crown
Page Number: 193
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Playing Beatie Bow LitChart as a printable PDF.
Playing Beatie Bow PDF

Robert Bow Character Timeline in Playing Beatie Bow

The timeline below shows where the character Robert Bow appears in Playing Beatie Bow. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 13
Family, Duty, and Connection Theme Icon
Time and the Past Theme Icon
...asks after Natalie, and Justine tells Abigail that Natalie is out shopping with someone called Robert, as today is her eighth birthday. Abigail worries aloud that Natalie won’t recognize her. Vincent... (full context)
The Transformative Power of Love Theme Icon
Time and the Past Theme Icon
Abigail tells Justine that she thought her husband’s name was Bill, and asks who Robert is—Justine answers that Robert is her younger brother, and at twenty, is Natalie’s favorite uncle.... (full context)
The Transformative Power of Love Theme Icon
Time and the Past Theme Icon
The Wisdom and Power of Children  Theme Icon
...their little secret. There is a fumbling at the door, and Natalie exclaims that it’s Robert, with the rest of her birthday presents. Justine goes to open the door and a... (full context)
The Transformative Power of Love Theme Icon
Time and the Past Theme Icon
...converse with one another casually, and then Justine introduces Abigail to the young man—her brother, Robert Bow. The young man, upon meeting Abigail’s eye, exclaims, “Abby!” but instantly turns red and... (full context)
The Transformative Power of Love Theme Icon
Time and the Past Theme Icon
While Natalie opens her presents with Vincent and her mother, Robert and Abigail talk with one another. Abigail can hardly focus on Robert’s words, though—she is... (full context)
The Transformative Power of Love Theme Icon
Time and the Past Theme Icon
As Robert and Abigail converse, she finds it easy and natural to talk to him. Robert tells... (full context)
The Transformative Power of Love Theme Icon
...look on her face. She tells Kathy that she has met a young man named Robert, and he’ll be coming by on Saturday to look over a family tree with her. (full context)
Family, Duty, and Connection Theme Icon
The Transformative Power of Love Theme Icon
Time and the Past Theme Icon
On Saturday, Robert arrives with his family Bible in hand. As the two of them sit down to... (full context)
Family, Duty, and Connection Theme Icon
The Transformative Power of Love Theme Icon
Time and the Past Theme Icon
The Wisdom and Power of Children  Theme Icon
In the kitchen, Robert opens the Bible to a page bearing the Bow family tree. Abigail, without looking at... (full context)
Family, Duty, and Connection Theme Icon
The Transformative Power of Love Theme Icon
Time and the Past Theme Icon
The Wisdom and Power of Children  Theme Icon
Robert asks Abigail to calm down and tell him how she knows so many things about... (full context)
Family, Duty, and Connection Theme Icon
The Transformative Power of Love Theme Icon
Time and the Past Theme Icon
Robert points out, however, that Dovey—or Dorcas, as he knows her—wasn’t barren—she had a child named... (full context)
Family, Duty, and Connection Theme Icon
The Transformative Power of Love Theme Icon
Time and the Past Theme Icon
Kathy comes into the kitchen and asks Abigail what she and Robert are up to. Abigail coyly replies that they are “just playing Beatie Bow.” Though her... (full context)