Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Chapter 9
Spring comes, and school will soon let out. Jeremy tells the Logan children he will miss them, and though they don't understand him, they are somewhat touched. Jeremy reveals that his brothers, R.W. and Melvin, who are almost twenty, have befriended T.J.--though Jeremy can see they just keep him around to make fun of him. Later, Mr. Jamison comes to the house. He tells Papa that one of the Wallaces has been threatening to put a stop to his black customers shopping in other stores. Mama is scared, but Papa asks her not to worry. Soon after, Papa says he has to go back to the railroad, even though he worries something will happen with the Walllaces when he is gone. Then T.J.'s father comes to the house. He tells the Logans he can no longer shop anywhere but at the Wallace store, because Granger and Wallace are charging him more money and calling in debts he can't pay. This is true for many other townspeople also. Papa is disappointed, but he understands. He tells his children that they will not give up. That night, Papa tells Mama he is going into town to shop at the other store, and she asks him not to. She is afraid of what might happen. He says he will take Stacey with him, because he doesn't want Stacey to end up a cheating fool like T.J. T.J., it turns out, cannot be disciplined because his father is ill and he is stronger than his mother. Papa takes his son and Mr. Morrison to town to shop. Seven families are still refusing to shop at the Wallace store. When it is late, and the men have not returned, Mama gets worried. Just then Mr. Morrison carries Papa into the house. Papa's leg is broken. The children are sent to their rooms, and Cassie demands to know what happened. Stacey finally explains that on their way back from town, one of the wheels of their wagon came off. When they were fixing it, someone shot at Papa. The shot scared their mule and Stacey couldn't control him. The mule tried to run, and the wagon rolled over Papa's leg. Stacey is convinced what happened is his fault. The other children assure him that it isn't. He tells them that Mr. Morrison scared the white men--probably the Wallaces--away, and they came home. Everyone worries that Papa will die.