Eliza and Matilda use a mule cart sent by Mother Smith to transport the children to the coffeehouse.
Eliza and Matilda make a sickroom in the cool downstairs of the coffeehouse. They decide to leave the windows open since Eliza is armed with a knife and Matilda has Grandfather's sword. (Fierce!)
Unable to sleep, Matilda paces the room. She finds Nathaniel's flower painting and thinks of him. Also, of Mother. Is she still alive?
The next day, Eliza and Matilda begin the hard work of nursing the sick: fanning the children, hauling well water, and washing the bedding. "Night melted into day. Day surrendered to night" (25.27).
The supply of food and medicine begins to dwindle. Eliza suggests finding a doctor to bleed the children, and Matilda argues against it. She tells Eliza of the kinds of treatment at Bush Hill used by the French doctors. Eliza is reluctant but, in the end, relents.
The night drags on and Matilda goes outside to fetch more water. She's exhausted and nearly delirious. As a wind blows across her face, she shivers and falls asleep in the garden.