Johnny Tremain Chapter 9 Summary

Instructor: Shelley Vessels

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

Not all is as it seems in Boston in chapter 9 of 'Johnny Tremain'. Some unexpected Whig supporters make themselves known to Johnny, while quiet movements are made heading toward war.

Johnny Keeps a Close Eye on the British

In chapter 9 of Esther Forbes's Johnny Tremain, Paul Revere organizes an intricate spy system to closely watch the British movements. The center of the system are the artisans, the masters, who are connected with their workmen, apprentices and customers. These masters are to report anything discovered to the leaders of the Boston Whigs: Sam Adams, John Hancock, Doctor Warren, and Doctor Church.

Johnny's role is to keep an eye on the Afric Queen's regular customers of British soldiers. Additionally, he is to stay connected with Dove, who is the Colonel's horse boy.

When Johnny is at the Afric Queen, Lydia, the laundress, shares that Lieutenant Stranger left drafts of letters to Miss Lyte. Lydia gives Johnny the letters, and he puts them together. Apparently, he is declining an invitation of Miss Lyte's because he will be 'sixty miles north of here' in order to secure the forts in the area. Immediately upon learning this, Johnny leaves to go tell Paul Revere what he knows.

Paul Revere leaves without hesitation, and travels overnight to Portsmouth. It is later learned that before the British could go reinforce the troops, some 'rebellious Americans' had taken over the fort and the stores were stolen.

Plot Paul Revere
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Dove's Complicated Life

Dove continues to work for the British and, unfortunately for Dove, he is talked down to and smacked about regularly. Johnny is angered by this, even though Johnny isn't always the nicest to Dove himself.

Dove sneak out regularly from the stables to visit Rab and Johnny. On one visit, Dove boldly starts in with tough talk about the rebels, and how proud he is to be part of the British troops. Dove admits to telling the British about Johnny being a rebel, and gloats about how it hurt Johnny's messenger business. He goes on to tease the boys, saying that he knows many British secrets.

Johnny and Rab give Dove some ale and brandy to loosen him up and find out what he knows. He shares little of value, and gets so tipsy that Johnny and Rab can no longer have a normal discussion with him. Dove just talks about how much he loves the boys and doesn't want to see them get hurt. After a while, Dove ends up getting sleepy, and Johnny leaves to finish Dove's work at the stable.

Riding Lessons from an Unexpected Teacher

Johnny Gets a Lesson
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