Matilda begins helping Eliza care for fever patients, leaving the house at first light and working until dark.
Matilda isn't prepared for the intensity of what she witnesses: a dying woman surrounded by her children; a whole boarding house full of sick sailors, the stench unbearable.
At Barrett's apothecary, Eliza and Matilda buy supplies: jalap and Bohea tea. The prices, Eliza notes, have been gouged.
Eliza and Matilda spend the rest of the day caring for the Sharp family, and then move on to the Colbran house to wash the sickroom. As the day has been long, Eliza tries to send Mattie home, but Mattie insists on staying and working. The two then move on to the Gundy sisters.
Eliza and Matilda return home at last to find the unthinkable: the children – Robert, William, and Nell – have all fallen ill with the fever.
The rooms at Joseph's are hot and stuffy, so Matilda suggests taking the children to the coffeehouse.