Study Guide

A Little Princess Chapter 15

By Frances Hodgson Burnett

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Chapter 15

The Magic

  • Sara passes by the Indian gentleman's house and sees him looking lonely and unhappy. What's he thinking? About little Ralph Crewe's daughter, of course.
  • When she returns, the cook tells her that she's not allowed to have anything to eat but some bread, even though she had no dinner.
  • Sara gets the old, hard bread and climbs all the way up to the attic, where she sees that Ermengarde has paid her a visit.
  • Ermengarde, who isn't much of a reader, has brought Sara some books that her papa sent her.
  • Sara says she'll read them and tell Ermengarde all about them. They talk about the French Revolution.
  • At one moment, Sara thinks she hears something on the roof and Ermengarde is spooked. Downstairs, they can hear Miss Minchin scolding Becky for eating half a meat pie—even though Sara knows that the cook was the one who took it.
  • Ermengarde is perturbed and asks Sara if she's ever hungry, and Sara answers that why yes, she is in fact often very hungry.
  • Oh, what a horrifying thought!
  • Obviously Ermie's a little broken up that she never realized this before, but Sara assures her that she didn't want her to think that she was a street beggar.
  • Thankfully, Ermengarde's aunt has sent her a box full of good food and treats, and she decides to sneak it upstairs and have a party with Sara and Becky!
  • The girls are stoked, and Ermengarde trots off to get it while Sara puts a shawl on the table as a tablecloth and sets the table with her small white handkerchiefs.
  • She takes all sorts of knick-knacks and lays them out so that the table and room look fancier.
  • They pretend that they are having a royal feast in Sara's honor.
  • Its just time for cake when they hear a noise that is definitely not good—the sound of angry stomping footsteps coming up the stairs.
  • Uh-oh, spaghetti-o.
  • It is, of course, the dreaded Miss Minchin. Lavinia snitched.
  • Miss Minchin says that she's going to kick Becky out, and that Sara will have neither breakfast, dinner, nor supper the next day (even though she didn't have dinner or supper today).
  • Sara spits out that she wonders what her papa would say if he knew where she was tonight.
  • Miss Minchin storms out, and Sara finally goes to sleep.
  • As she's sleeping, the manservant next door (Ram Dass) sneaks into her room and turns it into a magical cozy place!
  • When she wakes up, her room is cozy with a crackling fire and lots of fancy things like silk quilts and robes and books, and there's even delicious food for her.
  • Seriously, we want this to be our bedroom.
  • A note says, "to the little girl in the attic. From a friend."
  • Sara starts crying, obviously, and calls Becky over to join her in the room.
  • (Note that Becky doesn't get the nice stuff. We'll talk more about this in "Themes: Society and Class."

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