Jimmy could not see the advantage of becoming a resident at the orphanagebecause of the pain that engulfed him. The affect of being abandoned by his mother, after his father died, consumed him. He was determined to find her and bring the family together again. Running away was his only answer.Those trips away from the orphanage often led him into more trouble than he could resolve by himself. Arriving in Paint Lick to live with Uncle Marion could not satisfy his longing for his mother. Zachary, the young preacher whom he respected, provided fellowship and sound counsel but Jimmy could not see how an education could help him if he had to live away from the old homeplace.His hobo friend, whom he met when he hitched a ride, imparted his knowledgeof riding the rails to help Jimmy find Mother. This led to many unusualadventures along the way.Being convicted that he could wait and ask God to forgive him, after the fact, brought anguish and reprimand from the one person he feared almost as much, his Grandma Wilson.Grandma had a way of knowing when Jimmy was in trouble or not telling her the truth.Jimmy's devotion to his siblings was powered by his desire to see them united with Mother and once again living in the old homeplace.