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Fever, 1793

Fever, 1793

by Laurie Halse Anderson

Fever, 1793 Chapter 8 Summary

September 2nd, 1793

  • The church bells continue to toll and the dead bodies start piling up. It's hot as heck and the mosquitoes are swarming.
  • Eliza asks Mattie to pick some asparagus grass for her from the garden to hang in the kitchen. The plant is supposed to help ward off flies.
  • Eliza asks Mattie to taste the pudding and Eliza remarks that it needs more sugar. Expensive taste this girl has! Eliza suggests that perhaps Matilda should consider the rich Edward Ogilvie for a husband after all. (Perhaps he has a flat in Paris?)
  • Eliza leaves for a meeting with the Free African Society as Grandfather arrives to take Mattie with him to the newspaper office.
  • At Andrew Brown's print shop, Grandfather and Mr. Carris discuss the fever outbreak and read over the mayor's orders from a broadsheet that's being printed. Lots of stuff about avoiding the "infected" and keeping the streets clean (8.31-8.42).
  • Mr. Carris and Grandfather love to talk and boy do they ever. The men first broach the topic of what to do with the poor and where to bury the dead. They then speculate about the city's death toll, whether to head to the country, and the government's plan of action.
  • On the walk home Mattie wonders when the frost will come. "Frost always kills fever" (8.68).
  • Once they reach the coffeehouse Mattie and Grandfather see a man pushing a wheelbarrow with a limp body in it. He dumps the body in the street, and they realize that it's none other than Mattie's own mother.

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