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Matilda and her mother are reunited: they embrace and then Nathaniel introduces himself to Mrs. Cook. Everyone is shocked by Mother's thin, frail appearance.
In the kitchen, Mother, Matilda, and Mrs. Ludington catch up. Matilda tells them about Grandfather's death. Mother asks no questions, only looks into the fire.
Mrs. Ludington leaves and Mother asks again about Grandfather. She cries and tells Mattie how worried she's been. Mattie tells her about everything that happened since she and Grandfather went into the country all those ages ago.
Mattie takes note of Mother's withered hands. Mother asks Mattie to help her upstairs to rest.