1. What does the narrator say about her grandfather's youth in the first chapter?
Her grandfather grows up in the flat Middle West, living in a house dug out of the ground with windows at ground level. He yearns to travel and paints pictures of imaginary mountains. At last he buys a ticket west, asking the ticket agent only to go "to the mountains."
2. Where does the narrator's grandfather end up when he leaves home and what happens to him there?
He ends up in the mountain town of Fingerbone, on the shores of a nameless lake. He gets a job working on the railroad, marries, and builds a house. The railroad and the lake eventually lead to his death in a catastrophic derailment where an entire train and all its passengers go off the high railway bridge into the lake.
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