"The story is inflated, though, by extraneous characters and dangling subplots; these more than once pull the main plot dishearteningly off course, until only fans of the first book will feel the need to finish this one. (Fiction. 10- 12)"
When a flood destroys Rass's house and kills his father's mules, their landlord, Nert, forces them into sharecropping; they move into Mr. McMulty's cabin, turning the old black man out. Mr. McMulty, whom Rass considers his best friend, takes revenge on Nert by killing his prize calf.
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