• Mattie and her mother live above and operate the Cook Coffeehouse.
• Mattie is awakened by her mother's repeated shouts to wake up.
• It is a hot and unpleasant August day and Polly, the serving girl, is late for work.
• Mattie is informed that she will have preform both her own and Polly's chores if Polly does not arrive.
• Mattie believes that Polly is at blacksmith shop watching Matthew, a boy she is infatuated with, work.
• It is explained that the coffeehouse was built by Mattie's father a carpenter that died after a fall from a ladder.
• After the death of her father her paternal grandfather came to the coffeehouse to live and work.
• Eliza, the free African-American cook is introduced.
• Mattie's mother cannot cook therefor Eliza is vital to the coffeehouse.
• Mattie's mother goes to look for Polly.
• While Mattie is watering the garden, Polly's job, she is told by...
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