The Forenoon


Dozing off, Adam is awakened by the sound of British redcoats outside: Blythe is telling the Sergeant that there may be Yankees in the shed, and the Sergeant compares the colonists to deceitful women. They ponder burning down the shed when a third redcoat tells them the Captains has given marching orders. Adam leaves the smokehouse and heads to the woods, but is seen by two redcoats. One of the soldiers fires at him, but his piece didn't fire. Adam is able to outrun them, as they are encumbered by their heavy uniforms, large muskets, and big packs. He jumps over a stone wall across a meadow, and is surprised when two arms grab hold of him.

The person who grabbed him assures Adam that he is a friend, saying his name is Solomon Chandler from Lincoln Town. Adam relaxes, only to become excited again as he describes the massacre he had witnessed. Adam breaks down in tears again and Solomon consoles him. He gets Adam's name then checks his watch to find it is twelve minutes after nine. Solomon adds that Adam has lost his youth and come to manhood, which Adam ruefully contradicts. Chandler walks off, parallel to the Concord Road but well hidden by brush and wood, and Adam follows him, impressed by the older man's knowledge of the countryside. They stop at a glade, where Chandler asks Adam if he is hungry. Adam says he is, and Solomon shares a large meal with the boy. Adam feels guilty for being so famished, but feels better afterwards, as Solomon points out hunger is a way for life to assert itself. Adam points out this won't bring back his father, and Solomon agrees, though he argues that the natural order is for the old to go and the young to........ l


Adam's travels wind up paralleling that of the British troops, creating a plot structure that follows the march of the redcoats even as it focus on the colonial militia. Solomon Chandler is introduced in this chapter and is posed as a guiding figure, perhaps one that can replace Moses Cooper. He at first seems more sympathetic........


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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on A Long Way Gone".