• The story opens with Cassie Logan and several other youths discussing the arrest of their neighbor, TJ Avery who is charged with murdering Mr. Barnett, a store owner from Strawberry.
• Mrs. Lee Annie and her son Russell are introduced to the story. Russell is in the Army and the adults discuss whether or not he should wear his uniform on his return to Indiana because several black soldiers have been beaten on that route.
• Cassie plays marbles with the other children hoping to win Son-Boy's prized blue-green marble. Papa stops the children from playing marbles because he feels it leads to gambling.
• Before church, Lou Ella Hicks asks for help finding her daughter, Doris Anne, and Joe, the man watching her.
• Doris Anne is found hanging from the church bell rope., Wordell is holding her up so she won't choke.
• TJ Avery's trial is...
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