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Yonnondio: From the Thirties SummaryThe Holbrooks, a poor working family, live in a mining town. Jim works in the mine. Every morning, his six-year-old daughter Mazie (along with the rest of the town) wakes up to the sound of the mine whistle. During the morning this is a call for all the miners to get up and go to work. If it rings during the day, it means that one of the workers has been killed.One morning, Anna Holbrook, Mazie's mother, worries about the new fire boss, whose carelessness may create a massive explosion and kill many of the miners. Mazie, outside, talks to herself how the mine is the "bowels of the earth" and the coal makes people black inside.The narrative is interrupted by the story of Andy Kvaternick, a young mine worker, new on the job. The narrator tells how Andy's life will be one of frustration, deprivation, and danger. When the narration returns to the Holbrooks, we learn how their family life is in trouble. Jim, who drinks heavily, beats Anna and the children. Anna also beats the children, and the entire household exists in a state of tension. One night Mazie follows her father into town at night; the trip almost ends in disaster when a ruined miner, Sheen McEvoy, tries to throw Mazie down the mine shaft. He is stopped by a night watchman and Mazie lies in afever for days afterwards.Jim decides to move the whole family east in the spring, in order to do farm work. They scrimp and save for months. Meanwhile the town continues to fear that the new fire boss' carelessness will cost them their lives in the mines. The feared explosion happens one day in November. Jim is missing, but he returns, in a state of serious agitation, after five days.The family finally leaves in April, after many delays and hardships. They have a pleasant journey across Wyoming and Nebraska. In the Dakotas, a serious storm cripples their wagon, and they are immobile for two days. When they find the farmthey will be working on, they are overwhelmed by its beauty and serenity.