Johnny Tremain Chapter 4 Summary

Instructor: Shelley Vessels

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

'Johnny Tremain' continues to take twists and turns in chapter 4. Johnny is tested like he never has been before, and his true friends rally around him in his time of need!

An Awkward Meeting

In the beginning of chapter 4 of Esther Forbes's Johnny Tremain, Johnny daydreams about life when he connects with Merchant Lyte. He dreams of the luxury he'll experience, and how he will spoil Cilla.

When Johnny arrives at Lyte's office, the workers are less than welcoming. Once Lyte is finished meeting with sea captains, Johnny is able to tell him of their familial relation. Lyte responds by telling Johnny that his mother played a cruel trick by lying about him being related to the Lytes.

Johnny loses his cool when Lyte doesn't believe him, and spouts off with unkind words. In one outburst, Johnny reveals that he has a Lyte family cup, and once he says that, Merchant Lyte changes his tune. Johnny is then invited back to Merchant Lyte's house and is told to bring the cup with him.

Preparing for the Visit

Johnny returns back to the Laphams' to retrieve the cup, and Mrs. Lapham stops Johnny to tell him a few things. According to Mr. Lapham, Johnny needs to be taken care of, but Mrs. Lapham says that he cannot give any of her girls a second look. Johnny pretends not to like Cilla, and he calls her a 'goggle-eyed frog of a girl' to make Mrs. Lapham angry.

After stopping at the Laphams', Johnny visits Rab. Rab tells Johnny that he is leery of Merchant Lyte, and says Lyte is a man who cannot be trusted. To prepare for his visit to the wealthy Lytes' home, Rab gives Johnny a new shirt and jacket. Lastly, Rab tells Johnny that if Lyte doesn't offer him anything, he is welcome to sleep with Rab.

Merchant Lyte Cannot Be Trusted

Later that evening Johnny drops by Merchant Lyte's, and he gets a funny feeling. Merchant Lyte lures him into a room, separating him from the others, and asks for the cup. Merchant Lyte claims the cup is the missing one of a set, and it was stolen from his house in August. Johnny tells how get got the cup, but no one believes him. He is arrested on the spot.

Johnny gets arrested!

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