The Crossing Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is the relationship between Billy and Boyd and what mention is made of any other family members at the beginning of the novel?

Billy Parham and his family move to Hidalgo County, New Mexico, when Billy's younger brother Boyd was "little more than a baby." Billy notes that the family leaves behind the bones of his sister and grandmother. In the year that Billy encounters the wolf, Boyd turns fourteen and Billy is sixteen.

2. Describe the boys' encounter with an Indian while they are out gathering wood one day.

On a particular day when the boys are older, Boyd is riding the travois as he and Billy return from gathering wood. The boys encounter an Indian and Billy tells the Indian that they have nothing of value but promises to bring him some food after the family has supper. The boys seem a bit intimidated by the Indian and Billy says they'll bring him out some coffee later, but when they leave the Indian's campsite, Billy tells Boyd that they will not return.

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