"Let go of him!" I shouted.
The man ignored me. His hands were around Grandfather's throat. Grandfather weakly hit back at the man, but it had no effect. The man struck Grandfather's head against the floor. Grandfather's eyelids fluttered, then closed.
"Nooo!" I screamed. I swung the sword and gashed the thief's should. He howled and rolled to the side, grasping at the bloody wound.
"You cut me," he said in disbelief. "The wench cut me with the sword."
"Get out of my house, before I cut out your heart." I raised the sword and ran at him. (19.72-19.76)
Talk about a complete and utter role reversal: now it's Matilda who's playing the part of the soldier. She has Grandfather's old sword out and is ready to kill the intruders to save him. How is this moment symbolic of how Matilda's role in the family is changing? Is she now becoming their protector?