To return to the story: This chapter picks up not long after Kit's first church service, continuing our acquaintance with some of the characters introduced there. For instance:
"Reverend Gershom Bulkeley laid down his linen napkin, pushed back his heavy chair from the table, and expanded his straining waistcoat in a satisfied sigh."Dunno about you, but I get the sense that he's not intended to be a sympathetic character. Especially not when the narrator goes into the list of all the preparations the family's been putting in for the past four days:
"Every inch of the great kitchen had been turned inside out. The floor had been fresh-sanded, the hearthstone polished, the pewter scoured. The brick oven had been heated for two nights in a row, and the whole family had gone without sugar since Sunday to make sure that the minister's notorious sweet tooth would be satisfied."And then there's this:
"But the greatest part of his condescension he bestowed on Kit, once he had understood that her grandfather had been Sir Francis Tyler."Speare's doing some signaling here, don't you think? People who appreciate Kit for herself = good. People who see her as a symbol of something = not to be trusted.
We also get a taste of colonial politics here, with Matthew and Bulkeley going at it. Matthew maintains that Kit's loyalty to the Crown "is in no danger in this house," but he also makes his own viewpoint clear:
"There are worse things than revolution!"(Raise your hand if you get a whiff of Thomas Jefferson there, with his "I like a little rebellion now and then." Everyone with a hand up, your history geek status has been confirmed.)
And in the romance department, we have this development:
"Young William Ashby asked permission today to pay his respects to my niece."Kit can't imagine why a guy who looked at her for two minutes on Sunday seems to be making a move already. Meanwhile, Judith is just as quick to deny that there was ever anything going on at her end:
"William never asked to call on me. I just said he was getting around to it."Grain of salt, anyone?