Fever, 1793 Chapter 19 Summary
September 26th, 1793
- Mattie dreams of food that night: roast beef, steaming potatoes, and a huge bowl of butter. Before she can take the first bite, though, she snaps awake. Footsteps. There's someone in the house.
- Two burglars are prowling around the coffeehouse and Mattie overhears them planning to make off with the silver and pewter. They rummage through the furnishings, deciding which pieces are worth more.
- The taller of the two thieves takes Grandfather's sword from off the mantle and brandishes it. Not seeing Mattie hiding in the dark, the thief comes close to hitting her. She screams.
- The thieves realize someone is actually in the coffeehouse and start chasing Mattie. She bolts for the garden, but the tall thief catches her and carries her back to the house.
- The tall thief tries to get Mattie to tell him where the strongbox and the silver are. She spits at him. He slaps her. She tells them there's nothing left at the coffeehouse to steal.
- Grandfather appears in the doorway with a rifle. The short robber escapes out the window, but the taller one stands his ground, not afraid of the old man.
- Grandfather fires at the guy but misses. The tall man jumps on Grandfather and attacks him. Mattie grabs Grandfather's sword and slashes at the thief's shoulder.
- Mattie threatens to cut out the man's heart (wow!), and the robber finally flees.
- Meanwhile, Grandfather is injured. Mattie begs him not to die, but sadly, this is exactly what happens. He does get to tell her he loves her, though.
- Mattie's grief is enormous. She pounds the floor with rage. Then she composes herself and arranges Grandfather on the floor.
- Mattie ties a napkin around Grandfather's jaw to keep his mouth closed. She leaves him in his nightshirt and covers him with a tablecloth. She spends the night by his side "praying that the morning would not come" (19.104).