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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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