Toby, a war veteran, lurks around Wolf Hollow, wearing three guns across his back, and finds shelter in an abandoned smokehouse. Annabelle and her parents offer kindness and food to him occasionally.
The steady rhythm of life is disrupted when Betty moves in with her grandparents. She blocks Annabelle's path each morning on her way to school, making demands and threats. One day Toby intervenes to Annabelle's relief.
Then Betty steps it up a notch, placing a sharpened wire across the path which injures Annabelle's little brother. Ruth, Annabelle's friend, loses an eye due to a mysterious rock flying through the air. Before long Betty uses her manipulative behavior to accuse Toby of these harmful acts. Annabelle knows he would never harm anyone but lacks the solid proof to prove his innocence.
One day Betty does not come to school and men from around the county search for her. Rumors fly through Wolf Hollow that Toby took her. When Toby returns from a two day fishing trip, Annabelle warns him and finds herself in a situation where she may need to lie to protect.
A very suspenseful, sobering book about judging and forgiving.
The ending is very sad.
Points to discuss: lying, death, bullies, Betty is very cruel, prejudice vs. Germans (story takes place during WW II)
-Borrowed from the library.