"A Girl of the Limberlost" – Elnora Comstock, is an impoverished young woman who lives with her widowed mother, Katharine Comstock, on the edge of the Limberlost. Elnora faces cold neglect by her mother, a woman who feels ruined by the death of her husband, Robert Comstock, who drowned in quicksand in the swamp while Katharine gave birth to their daughter and could not come to his rescue. The Comstocks make money by selling eggs and other farm products, but Mrs. Comstock refuses to cut down a single tree in the forest, or to delve for oil, as the neighbors around them are doing. Elnora is just beginning high school and she is determined to earn an education, which her mother derides as useless. She has a valuable specimens box which her friend Freckles left in the swamp for her, and a desire to succeed in her enterprising scheme to gather and sell artifacts and moths from the Limberlost. Elnora is smart and witty, and she loves the outdoors; her heart aches for returned love and for support of her disapproving mother.