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by Laurie Halse Anderson
Matilda (Mattie) Cook Timeline and Summary
Matilda is shocked by the death of the serving girl Polly. Matilda meets Nathaniel Benson in the marketplace. Swoon! Mother takes ill and Matilda helps nurse her. Matilda receives a painted picture of flowers from Nathaniel Benson. Matilda and Grandfather set off for the country. Matilda and Grandfather are abandoned by the farmer and his family. Matilda wakes to find herself recovering at Bush Hill. Matilda and Grandfather return to the city to find the coffeehouse ransacked. Thieves break into the coffeehouse and attack Matilda and Grandfather. Grandfather dies with Matilda at his side. Matilda finds the orphan Nell in a doorway and takes her into her care. Matilda is reunited with Eliza and meets Joseph, the twins, and Mother Smith. Matilda decides to keep Nell and the two become a part of Eliza's family. Matilda and Eliza nurse the citizens of Philadelphia with the Free African Society. Matilda and Eliza take Nell and the twins, who have fallen ill, to the coffeehouse to recover. After the first frost, the children's fever breaks. The fever is gone from the city. Matilda reopens the coffeehouse with Eliza as her partner. Nathaniel Benson's paintings are hanging on the wall. Matilda is reunited with her mother. Matilda wakes in the morning to have her coffee – and to prepare for the day ahead.