Two robbers hold Grandpa at gunpoint and demand he take them to where the money is kept. Grandpa manages to disarm them, but is brutally beaten and rushed to the hospital. He later catches pneumonia and dies from it. Miss Love gives birth to his son and Will Tweedy offers to take care of him. Cold Sassy changes its name to Progressive City and cut down the sassafras tree. Will saves a tree root, as well as the newspaper clipping about his escape on the train trestle, a photograph of him, Rucker, and Miss Love, his diploma from an agricultural college, and the buckeye Lightfoot gave him.