One day, a boy named Jack was going sledding with his friend: Jill. Every child was taking advantage of that day because it had snowed and school was closed. Almost everyone was on the sledding slopes, where they planned to show off their skills of using a sled.
Jill begs Jack to take her down the most dangerous slope so that she can have fun. Jack, being the gentleman he was, took her on it two times. After these rides, the little girl tells him that one more sled ride would please her, so Jack goes down the slope another time, but the sled crashes and Jill's breaks her back and Jack's breaks his leg.
After breaking his leg, Jack is taken to the doctor's office, where his bones are re aligned without any painkillers. The same treatment is given to Jill, who tells her mother that she deserves to die because she almost killed Jack.
Jack's friends come and visit him. His mother informs Jack that one of his friends decided to stay at their home and skip lunch so that he can support his stricken friend. Another of Jack's loyal comrades plays the piano for him so that he can sleep well.
Jack badly wants to communicate with his friend Jill, so he tells his best buddy, Frank, to create a “telegraph” system between the two homes. This system was a basket connected to a rope that could move letters, food, and pets.
On one of the basket trips, Jill sends Jack an angry kitten that scratched him and spits on him. Jack, feeling devious, plans to send her a traumatized rabbit. Sadly for the boy, his friends arrive, finding a letter that Jack wanted to send to Jill:
“My Dear-I wish I could send you some of my good times. As I can’t, I send you much love, and I hope you will try to be patient as I am going to, for it was our fault, and we must not make a fuss now. Ain’t mothers sweet? Mine is coming over to-morrow to see you and tell me how you are. This round thing is a kiss for good-night.”
After Jack's friends read this, they tease him, eat his dinner, and leave.
Jill complains to her mom that the patterns on her wall reminded her of spiders! After she goes to sleep, Jill's mother and Jack's mom cover the wall with many pieces of paper. When Jill wakes up, she sees the covered wall, but she was focusing more on her best friends who had come to visit her.
Jack's mom sends the bedridden girl many toys and even some sweets. The girl makes a neckless with her friends, then speaks with them about their dream professions. One of her friend's dream profession was to go to the country where people throw babies into rivers, and she wants to save them.
Jack's mom prepares him a surprise for Christmas. Jack and his friends have formed a club in which they discuss what they think his surprise will be. One of the people planning the surprise tells Jack that it will include donkeys and ducks.
Meanwhile, in Jill's home, she is also debating what Jack's surprise will be. She and her friends think that both Jill and Jack's moms are planning a party or a play, but Jill's mother mentions to them that it shall not be either of them.
On Christmas day, Jill is transported to Jack's home. Inside the house, their surprise awaited. The surprise was a giant Christmas tree that towered up to the ceiling. On this tree, there were many presents, pieces of candy, a live dog, and even a porcelain baby!
Jack and Jill are fed many things, such as mince pie and cake. The two invalids get into a fight over who was more brave when they were at the doctor. Before they can make up, they are both sent to bed. In the middle of the night, Jill is woken up by Frank, Jack's brother, who gave her a telephone. After putting the telephone next to her ear, she hears Jack saying: “Sorry, I was cross. Forgive and forget. Start fair to-morrow. All right. Jack.”
Jack and Jill are studying some of Jack's post stamps from the 1800s. Frank tells Jack that he cannot continue without doing his Latin studies first, so the boy takes all Jack's stamps away from him. Jack gets so angry that he throws his stamp collection book into Frank's back and hurts him badly.
Jill rolls off her stretcher, falling onto her back, and finds a scrap of paper on the floor. She looks at it and notices that it was written by Jack's mom. On it was written that Mrs Minot (Jack's mom) thought Jill's back injury was permanent.
A girl named Merry was one of Jill's friends. She envied the girl's room because it was so beautiful. One day, she asked her mother to let her make her room beautiful so that she can show it off. The mother agrees and gives her materials. After making her room look beautiful, she puts some logs in the fireplace opens up the window and goes to her friends' homes, inviting them to come and see her room. When she gets back, the whole room started burning because of the extra logs she put in her fireplace.
Meanwhile, another of Jill's friend's: Molly, is at her home thinking about what to do. She decides to wash her baby brother. After soaking him, she puts his night clothes on him, then deposits him in his bed. The next day, she is woken up by the coughing of her brother! When she walks into the room, she notices that he caught a cold because she forgot to dry him before putting him to sleep.
A meeting of the boys had occurred in Jack's home. All the children present were voting whether to allow a new boy into the group. The boy's name was Bob. He loved to smoke and to get drunk. The boys' reasoning for allowing Bob into their group was that they could change him and turn him from his evil ways.
Another topic was whether girls should be allowed to go to collage. Some boys did not agree and said that girls were too weak to attend, others thought that girls should attend because it would make collage less dull. The conclusion was that girls should be allowed to go to collage.
Because Jill fell off her bed, she made her back injury even worse than before. Each day she had to stay 1 hour on a wooden board without moving her back. In that time, she learned how to play her instrument and how to sing Canadian songs. One of the songs she sang was:
“Faut jouer le mirliton,
Faut jouer le mirlitir,
Faut jouer le mirliter,
That night, Jill's friends dress up as queens and princesses. When they notice that Jill cannot dress up, they cover her in the best clothes they have. After dressing up, the boys play a game with the girls in which they are kings and queens.
Jack's older brother, Frank, has a “wonderful” idea. He wants to go to the railway and drive a train. There was one small problem, no one would allow children to drive a train. When he gets to the train station, he notices that a train conductor had left his machine and had gone to the mechanic. Frank gets onto the train and drives away. On the track ahead of him, another freight train was coming at full speed, so Frank sets the train in reverse and backs up.
When he arrives back in the train station, the train conductor swears at him and confiscates 25 dollars from him as a fine.
Jack and Jill's friends act in a play which many people from their city pay to attend. This play is about George Washington's life and death.
The children act so well that one old man rips his gloves because of clapping, and starts singing “Hail Columbia.”
The second part of the play is that all the children dress up as fairy tale characters and dance upon the stage. At the end of the festivities, all the children go to Jack's house and eat a hearty supper.
After a while, Jack's leg gradually heals, and he goes back to school.
One day, Jack is caught by his teacher going to a saloon in town during recess. The poor boy is questioned, and the instructor finds out that Jack was going there to pay off a debt. The boy to whom Jack owed money was a scoundrel and drunkard who was leaving town.
In front of his whole school, Jack is told that he shall no longer have recess for a week and that all of his grades will be affected because of his behavior.
On the way home from school, Frank, his older brother, grabs him by the collar and scolds him publicly. For the next week, Jack was treated with scorn by all the boys in the school.
Everybody thought that Jack was paying off his debt, but in reality he was paying his friend's debt.
Jill finds out that Jack's friend, Bob, was in debt to a boy named Jimmy. The debt was of $2.75. Jimmy threatened Bob with a beat down, so Jack promised to help his buddy out by paying his friend's debt.
Jack could not locate Jimmy any other time than in recess, so he breaks a school rule by going into the city's saloon where Jimmy is, during school, and pays off his friend's debt. Thereafter, Jack makes Jimmy promise to not hurt Bob in any way, and the boy agrees.
This incident proves to us that Jack is kind to his friends and helps them out.
Mrs. Minot has an announcement to make. She tells the children a story about a girl named Lucy aka Jill. This girl had fallen off her sled and had broken her back. Her neighbors, aka the Minots, had taken her into their home because her family was poor. One day, in the story, the doctor went to the neighbor's home and announced that Jill would heal! Then the mistress of the home, Mrs. Minot, wants to go on a trip to the sea where Jill, Jack, and Frank can go swimming.
Merry, one of Jill's friends, decorated her home as nicely as possible. When her friends visit her, they think that her home looks pretty.
On an errand for her mother, Merry meets her friend, Ralph, who tells her that he is going to go to Paris and Rome in search for a job. Merry implores her friend to write her letters about his journey, and he agrees. Ralph mentions to her that he is poor and has almost no food, so she takes him home and then feeds him.
Another of Jill's friends, Molly, is talking to her cats. She is telling them that her housekeeper is finally cleaning the house (something unheard of in this family). Molly is so enthusiastic because the housekeeper is doing her job that she has enough courage to ask her father if she can go shopping with her best friend, Merry. Her father allows her to go, and gives her all of her dead mother's things for her to remember her mother by.
The old housekeeper was triggered to clean the home because she heard some people praising her work, which was in fact Molly's work! So, she wanted to redeem herself by doing that amount of work so that the praise would rightfully belong to her.
Jack and a few of Jill's friends are collecting the bedridden girl some flowers. They argue because none of them had found any flowers. Jack takes a box out of a corner and says that inside the box were all the flowers he had found. When they look inside, they see many flowers of different types and colors.
Jack's friend, Ed, shows up carrying an even larger box filled with many fragrant flowers. One example of a flower that he brought was the Mayflower. When Jill sees all the flowers, she tells them that they should give them to people who do not usually receive flowers.
Jack and his brother, Frank, join a club called the Lodge. In this club, they are thought by a person about the Bible. They help another boy who was a drunkard and scoundrel turn to Christ and stop his evil ways.
Although they act kindly in the Lodge, the two boys are often at each other's throats at home. One day, Jack teases Frank about his girlfriend, and the older boy almost pummels his brother.
While rowing a boat in the river near his home, Jack hears news that his best friend is sick. Frank, the messenger of this news, says that a doctor had to go and see Ed (the friend).
A few weeks later, Ed dies and is buried. When Jack and Frank attend the funeral, they sing one of the deceased 17-year-old's favorite songs, which is about how God, who cares about sparrows, cares more about people.
When Jack and Frank get back home, Jill tried to cheer them up, but they all end up mourning the loss of their friend.
Jack, Jill, and all their friends/family travel with Mrs. Minot to a beachside home where they live for the summer vacation. In this time, Jack and his friends find an old ruined boat, which they turn into a small shelter for Jill to stay in during nice weather.
One day, Jill is forlorn. Gerty, her new friend, had just left to go to a secret chasm with her friends, leaving Jill behind. Jack wants to cheer her up, so he takes her on a boat ride to the chasm. On the way there, Jack hears some commotion on the shore, so he goes to check it out, leaving the boat in the water and forgetting to tie it up to a rock. While Jack is gone, the boat floats away and Jill goes to sleep. When she wakes up, the boat is in the middle of the bay, far away from the shore. A fisherman finds her and takes the invalid back home.
Jack and Jill are waiting for the games to begin. That day was the gala day of the hotel at which they were staying. Jill sees her best friend, Molly, at the beach, and they start talking to each other about what they were going to do that day. Molly wants to dance, but Jill cannot because of her back.
Both of the girls watch Jack competing in a foot race, which he almost won but loses slightly to another boy. Another event was archery, in which a lady won a dozen arrows. Finally, the night of the ball comes, where Molly dances.
The next day, Molly's little brother, Boo, puts dead lobster in the breakfast food and many people get sick. Boo also finds a dead baby whale which he wants to take home to play with, but he is not allowed.
After coming home from the beach Jack and his brother Frank have to go to school, or so they think! Mrs. Minot gets them out of school for 3 years and teaches them herself. Molly and Merry, two friends of Jill, also attend Minot's school. For most of the day the children can go outside and play and for a little, they have to do school.
One day, a fair is taking place in Jack's town. One of Jack's friends, Grif, who also was part of Minot's school brings a two-headed donkey to the fair. While riding it around, the poor beast throws him off her back, almost breaking his skull.
Part 24 (ENDING)
Jack and Jill are going with their friends to an island down a river. One of their friends, Ralph, tells them that he is going to Rome to be trained as a master sculptor. All the children had packed dinner, so they all eat cake and drink coffee. Grif falls into a fruitcake while trying to pose for a sculpture and everyone laughed at his failure. Later in their lives Jack and Jill get married and live together for the rest of their lives.