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That night, Skeeter learns that Charlotte has been so sick because she has stomach cancer and only months to live.
Early in January, Skeeter calls Elaine Stein's office and learns the manuscript was received. They will let Skeeter know what Miss Stein decides.
Stuart and Skeeter have started dating again. He's says he knows the rumors that Skeeter is "some kind of crazy liberal" (28.101) aren't true.
On Saturday night, Stuart asks Skeeter to marry him. She says yes, but needs to tell him a secret. He promises he won't tell.
She tells him as much as she can about the book without implicating any of the women in it.
Stuart says, "This is what you've been writing about for the past twelve months? Not… Jesus Christ?" (28.139). He doesn't understand why this is important to Skeeter. He doesn't see any problems with the current system in Mississippi.
He takes back his proposal, but promises to keep her secret. She believes him.
At home, she tells Charlotte about the proposal. She already knows, since Stuart asked for permission last week. Charlotte says she has something to tell her husband and Skeeter.
She says, "I have decided not to die. […] I have made my decision and that's that" (28.183-185). Well, then.
On Friday, January 18, 1964, Skeeter tells Aibileen and Minny that she heard from Miss Stein, and Harper and Row is going to publish several thousand copies of the book.
They'll each only make about sixty bucks. Aibileen, Minny, and Skeeter can't stop laughing. Skeeter tells them Miss Stein said Aibileen's chapter needs the least editing. She tells Minny that Miss Stein says she is "every Southern white woman's nightmare. I love her" (28.213). Minny is obviously pleased. The book will come out in August, and they have lots of editing to do before then.
Then, they can finally know what will happen when the people of Jackson read the book.