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Johnny Tremain Chapter 8 Summary

Instructor: Shelley Vessels

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

In chapter 8, Johnny gets some important questions answered while the climate of Boston changes and tension increases between the colonists and the British.

The Lytes Return to Boston

Colonists traveling
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Chapter 8 of Esther Forbes's Johnny Tremain opens up with the Lytes leaving in their coach on the way to the country. Isannah is seated next to Lavinia and is peering down on the common folk on the street. She sees Johnny and doesn't even acknowledge him.

A month later, the coach returns to Boston after word spread that the Lytes were in danger away from the protection of the British soldiers. In the end, Mrs. Bessie decided to warn the Lytes that the rebels planned to tar and feather the family. The Lytes, along with other loyalists, quickly returned to the safety of Boston.

Upon their return, Merchant Lyte emerges from his coach looking sickly, and Lavinia calls for Doctor Warren. In all the commotion, Cilla reveals that she left all the silver back in Milton. Miss Lavinia doesn't seem to mind, but Cilla is concerned. Johnny offers to take Cilla back to retrieve the silver.

The Country House

Johnny and Cilla reach the country house, and it appears that time has frozen. Dinner is still set on the table, Merchant Lyte's important papers and best wig are left behind, and Lavinia left all her ribbons and kerchiefs. Cilla packs up the silver, and Johnny looks at the papers in Merchant Lyte's office. He tucks them into his pockets because Sam Adams would love to see them, and starts looking over the family tree written inside a bible.

Johnny learns that he is the grandnephew of Merchant Lyte. Crossed out is the record strangely stating that Johnny's mother and father, Doctor Latour, died three months before he was born. Johnny is confused to how that could be. Johnny then tears the family tree into pieces and tosses them into the fire. Cilla tells Johnny to take the cup that once belonged to him, and he says that he doesn't want the cup anymore and wants to cut all ties with the Lytes.

Musket Purchase

With war looming, Rab feels a deep need to have a musket and arranges to buy one from a farmer who resells British muskets.

That day, Rab and his partners in this crime are caught and arrested by soldiers. While the farmer who worked with Rab is tarred and feathered, Rab is let go because Colonel Nesbit says Rab is just a boy.

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