Quantrill's Gold

Position and Context

Lois Arbuthnot, town librarian, reads this story to Weer from Kate Boyne's diary, which she has recently bought for the library. Weer later discovers that the diary is a forgery created by Louis Gold.


Although the diary is his forgery, Gold's description of Kate Boyne as "Little Orphant Annie," from Riley's poem, is fairly accurate. She really did tell "witch-tales"; three of her stories appear elsewhere in Peace.

The Story

Quantrill's men surprise Kate Doherty when she's alone on the farm. When they ask where everybody else is, she says that Mr. Mill (owner and farmer) and Sean (her husband, and hired man) have gone into town, and Mrs. Mill has gone to Boston to see her mother, and taken the two girls Hannah and Mary with her. When the two men come back, Quantrill's men lock them in the shed. That night, Kate sleeps with one of Quantrill's men.


Quantrill was a famous Confederate guerrilla, originally from Ohio, who is rumored to have buried a fortune in gold somewhere.


Weer suspects the diary is a forgery when he realizes that Hannah never talked about visiting Boston, and Gold confirms it when Weer confronts him. Earlier in Peace, Hannah says "I never in my life been a hundred miles off [the farm]," proving Weer's suspicions right. Upon the evidence of this diary, Lois Arbuthnot and Weer dig for gold near the farm, which leads to a disagreement after Lois pulls a gun on Weer. After this disagreement, Lois either moves away, or is killed by Weer (possibly accidentally when he takes the gun away from her) and buried in the hole they dug.

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