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Mystery May
Plantation Mystery, Part 2



Plantation Mystery, Part 2
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.6

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    cram, hams, kitchen-a, smokehouse, overall, trough, running, especially, slave, paddock, likely, tart, possible, perhaps, family, longer
     content words:    Northern Aggression


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Plantation Mystery, Part 2
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     At noon, the whole family ate together under the wide branches of a pin oak. Abigail watched her parents and tried to imitate their manners. She had to struggle with herself not to cram the buttered hoe cake or the slices of ham into her mouth. After that feast, there were even a few plain cookies to nibble on.
 
2     Todd and Bea did not seem worried about their manners. They ate down their food as fast as they could chew and swallow. Abby knew why they ate that way. They'd all lived on short rations for the last few months. Soon it would no longer be the most important thing in their minds.
 
3     Abby sipped her glass of lemonade. It was tart enough to leave a little puckered feeling in her mouth. It made her feel ready to face the afternoon's heat.
 
4     Grandpa took them for a tour of the out buildings and then the house. Abigail especially liked the work horses that were turned out in the paddock near the barn. Grandpa said he liked them because they didn't need gasoline to run, and they were good for other things too.
 
5     Grandpa showed them the summer kitchen—a kitchen that was more open than the one in the main house. The breezes would help keep the kitchen from getting too warm. Bridie was there kneading bread dough in a wooden trough. Her hands and arms were white almost to the elbow. She waved at the group and wiped her hand on her apron.
 
6     "Mr. Simon, may I have a word with you?" she asked, walking in his direction.
 
7     Grandpa stopped and waited for Bridie to approach.
 
8     "What's the problem, Bridie?" he asked.

Paragraphs 9 to 20:
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