House of Seven Gables, Chapter 1-4 Summary

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Chapter 1
In the 1600s, Matthew Maule builds a house next to a clear spring in what will become a small Massachusetts town. A local landowner named Colonel Pyncheon, who wants the land for himself, accuses Maule of witchcraft at a time of fear against witches. Maule is convicted and hanged, but before he dies, he warns that God will give Pyncheon blood to drink. Unaffected by this curse, Colonel Pyncheon builds a house with seven gables. Maule’s own son helps design and build the house, and on the day of its opening, a feast is held. When Pyncheon fails to greet his guests, they charge into one of his rooms, and find him sitting dead at his desk. There is no evidence of murder, but no one knows how he died. It is said that a mysterious figure was seen fleeing the scene.

Future generations of the Pyncheon family continue to live in the house over the next years, but they are never able to claim one of the Colonel’s final acquisitions, a piece of land in Maine. Generations of the family are raised thinking the land is rightfully theirs, and they make unsuccessful trys to obtain it. The area where the Pyncheon house was built gets old. Thirty years before the novel is set, a wealthy Pyncheon is murdered by one of his nephews, another Pyncheon. The killer is convicted and jailed for life, but the dead man’s other nephew is successful and builds a large house. The sister of the jailed Pyncheon continues to live alone in the house of the seven gables. The Maules are not as aware of the curse. Many of them are not even aware that they are of Maule's relatives. Even though some are believed by people to have inherited powers from their ancestor. Chapter 2

Hepzibah Pyncheon, the old woman who lives in the house of the seven gables, wakes up. She spends alot of time on her appearance. As the sun rises, Hepzibah grows increasingly agitated. She heads downstairs, where we find out that her own money problems have led her to reopen the shop with the door cut into the...
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