Theory:

Time: An hour later.
Setting: The same.

At Rise: Same group is in the living room with the exception of Jim. Sara is asleep, covered with the blanket, in a big chair. Amy, Rose and Betty have three candles on the table. Betty is trying to read.

Betty: [Putting down her book with a thud] I can’t read by this light. How do you suppose our grandmothers ever did?

Rose: I don’t believe they tried to read. I guess they went to bed when it grew dark.

Amy: Maybe we ought to go to bed. It’s nearly eleven, but I couldn’t sleep a wink.

Betty: Nor I.

Rose: Nor I. Listen, what’s that noise? [All three listen. Rose, running to the window and peering out] I can’t see a thing. It's pitch dark. It sounded like something bumping against the house.

Mr. Peter: (Still outside): Mr. Marshal, are you all right? This is Tom Peters and Miss Marsh, the Red Cross nurse. We’re here in a boat.

Jim: Row around to the back porch. You can get in there. (There is a bumping of the boat against wood. Voices): ‘Steady now-there-I’ve got hold of the rail. Tie here up’. (Jim and Amy exit right towards the voices. More voices greeting, and then Mr. Peters enters the living room with a lighted lantern, followed by Miss Marsh, Amy and Jim.)
Explanation:
  
Time: An hour later.
Setting: The same.
 
After the curtain rises again, the same group of people are there in the living room. Jim is an exception here. Sara is sleeping on the chair, whereas Betty is trying to read something. Amy, Rose, and Betty light three candles on the table.
 
Betty was annoyed that she could not read her book in that dim light and put the book down with a thud. She was wondering how the grandmothers used to read the book in their days when the light was not there. Rose retracted and said that they never read beyond a time when it gets dark. She said that they went to sleep when it got dark. Amy said that even they all should go to sleep as it was almost eleven at night, but she was not able to sleep. Betty and Rose agreed and said that even they are not sleepy. Suddenly they all hear a noise. Rose goes near the window to see what made the sound and she said that she could not see anything as it was very dark. But it sounded like something hitting against the house.
 
It was Mr. Peter. He asked whether everything was fine inside Mr. Marshall's house. He introduced himself, saying he was Tom Peters and Miss Marsh, the nurse from the Red Cross had come along with him. They came in the boat to enquire about Mr. Marshall and his family. Jim asked them to come from the backyard. They could hear that a boat had bumped against their wooden house, and some talks were being heard. Someone was telling to hold the boat steady, and he would hold the railings to tie the boat. Jim and Amy go to them and welcome them. Mr. Peters enters the living room along with Miss Marsh, Amy, and Jim...
 
Meanings of difficult words:
 
Numbers
Word
Meanings
1.
ThudCrash.
2.
WinkBlink.
3.
Bumping Strike.
Reference:
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2018). Term-1 English Standard-9. Old Man River By Dorothy Deming (Slightly adapted) (pp. 193-201). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.