Fever, 1793 Chapter 17 Summary
September 24th, 1793
- Matilda and Grandfather arrive at the coffeehouse to find it completely ransacked. Matilda runs upstairs to the bedrooms and, fortunately, everything is in its place.
- Back downstairs, Grandfather is red in the face, and Matilda advises him to have a seat. Grandfather mentions that his arm goes "pins and needles from time to time" (17.16). Not a good sign.
- Matilda realizes that she hasn't checked on the strongbox, the place where the coffeehouse's money is kept. Stowed in a hollow stair, the box – and all the money – is safe. Thank goodness!
- Around this time, Silas the cat reappears through the back door with a yowl. At least there's one friendly face around here!
- Grandfather goes to the mantle to hang his sword, but with his arms shaking, he has problems putting it in place. Mattie helps and then sends Grandfather upstairs to rest.
- In the meantime, Mattie heads to the garden – now a wasteland – to find food. She waters what's left of the plants and manages to scavenge a few green beans, crook-neck squash, and a handful of sour cherries. (Yum?)
- Back at the kitchen table, Mattie bows her head and prays, thanking God for keeping her alive and asking him to punish the intruders who destroyed the coffeehouse. She also asks God to take care of Mother and Eliza and Grandfather. And, of course, Nathaniel.