1. What does the reader learn about the protagonist before even knowing his name?
John Williams opens the novel by introducing the reader to the protagonist, who at the moment is completing the last leg of his trip between Ellsworth and Butcher's Crossing. He is described as being in his early twenties, with light brown hair. He is carrying a carpetbag to his destination.
2. For what purpose does Andrews immediately seek McDonald when he reaches Butcher's Crossing?
Andrews seeks McDonald right away since he carries a letter written from his own father to McDonald. McDonald had attended Andrews's father's church and Andrews says that his father speaks about McDonald often. While McDonald is a bit puzzled by this interpretation, since he had only attended church in order to network for a possible job, he nevertheless remembers the preacher and feels compelled to do as the letter from Andrews's father says.
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