This passage may contain an ironic autobiographical reference. Miles had expected to inherit her parents' house on Walden's Ridge after her mother's death in 1901. However, her father B.F. Bell sold it in 1903 despite the fact that Emma, her husband Frank and their two children were living in the home. With nowhere else to go, the young family spent the rest of that summer in a pair of tents pitched in a relative's yard and eventually moved in with Frank's family.