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Johnny Tremain Chapter 10 Summary

Instructor: Shelley Vessels

Shelley has taught at the middle school level for 10 years and has a master's degree in teaching English.

Chapter 10 of 'Johnny Tremain' finally marks what all the rebels have suspected for some time: war is beginning. Johnny plays a part in piecing together clues of the British plans, and telling important rebels about their movements.

Trouble Brewing

Chapter 10 of Esther Forbes's Johnny Tremain opens in April of 1775, with the British meeting secretly and sending out spies dressed as Yankees. While Johnny, Paul Revere, and Doctor Warren know that General Gage is meeting with his men, they don't know exactly what is being planned. They keep watching their movements, but they can't figure it out.

Hancock and Adams are spending time in Concord meeting as part of their Provincial Congress, despite it being prohibited by the British. Revere suggests that the men should be warned that something is stirring, and they should hide their ammunition. He offers to take the ride to Concord to warn them.

Johnny and Revere come up with a plan to communicate how the British are moving. If they are moving by land, they will shine one lantern from Christ's Church, and if they are moving by sea, they will shine two.

April 16

Rab is convinced that fighting will soon break out, so he must report to Lexington immediately. He can't risk not being able to get out of Boston once the battle starts, so he feels he can't wait any longer.

Johnny is sad that Rab is leaving him, almost feeling abandoned. He tries many ways to get Rab to invite him to come along, to show that he cares for him, but nothing is successful. Rab seems focused on his mission and suggests that Johnny is more valuable in Boston since he can't carry a gun. Once Rab leaves, Johnny is crushed that he didn't say goodbye to Rab the way he wanted to, and just sulks on his bed and almost cries.

April 18

Johnny learns through gentle questioning about Dove's schedule in keeping Colonel Smith's horse that they plan to leave at eight at night, and they plan to leave by boat. They also won't be traveling more than 30 miles, so they must be traveling to Lexington and Concord. Without realizing, Dove gives all the pieces of the British army's plans.

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