We passed countless people standing in the streets like statues, their toes bare on the stones, nightclothes blowing in the unnatural breeze, mouths agape. Carts rolled by carrying half-naked people, bleeding and dazed. A collection of charred bodies had been stacked on a corner, not fully covered by a blanket. A child's boot and stocking lay in the gutter, next to an overturned rain barrel. (31.41)
As the New York fire rages, we at first only see what's going on in Lady Seymour's house—mainly, Isabel's determination to rescue her from the blaze. It's only when they escape to the outside and begin walking to the Locktons' that Isabel sees the full devastation of the fire. We only see brief images here, but the descriptions of the suffering, half dead victims, the bodies, and most poignantly, a single child's shoe paint a vivid picture of the widespread suffering of New York.