… in Hebrew it meant hollow people — the so-called good life, all hard work and no respect for the old ways. Hollow indeed — if I get hard work I will thank the Lord, Ephraim vowed. He started a second letter to follow the one that announced his safe arrival after the nightmare voyage. They must believe! He set out telling some of the astonishment that was America. But after three lines he faltered, more depressed than ever. He tore off the strip of paper and crumpled it, carefully saving the rest of the sheet.
It’s still New York City, 1850, in Chapter 6, Amereka, and Ephraim is down to his last few dollars as he struggles to find work. Should he give up and buy a ticket home?