by Laurie Halse Anderson
Fever, 1793 Chapter 18 Summary
September 25th, 1793
- The next day, Matilda decides that it's time for a bath – her first in ages. With the tub half full of water, she bathes, watching the water turn brown with all the dirt and grime.
- With no clean clothes of her own, Matilda dresses herself in Mother's clothes: a "blue-and-white striped overskirt" and shift (18.12).
- Matilda wakes Grandfather, who is as hungry as she is. Downstairs, Matilda throws together a soup with vegetables foraged from the garden: beans and turnips, seasoned with some of the kitchen herbs.
- Grandfather bathes and Mattie spends the afternoon watering the garden. Digging around, she finds potatoes. Jackpot! Mattie does a celebratory potato dance.
- For supper that night, Mattie cooks up the potatoes with turnips and a few beans. It's not much, but it's enough to ease the hunger pains.
- Mattie decides to sleep downstairs that night to escape Grandfather's snoring. She leaves the shutters open, presumably to catch a breeze.
- Mattie opens up Grandfather's Bible and dreams of having her own shop. She turns to Psalm 4:8: "I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety" (18.43).
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