Study Guide

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party Part 2, Chapter 23

By M.T. Anderson

Part 2, Chapter 23

  • It's the first of April, and this means it's party time again, Shmoopsters—pox party time, to be exact.
  • People arrive in their fancy clothes, with trunks of stuff and loads of gossip; Mr. Gitney's at the front of the arrival line.
  • He cuts each guest on the arm and puts a strand of hair, laced with smallpox, into the cut.
  • He does the same to Octavian, while informing Octavian that the cure for smallpox came from Africa and that Constantinople also had smallpox parties.
  • After everyone's been inoculated, a red banner that says "God Have Mercy Upon Us" is unfurled. That's what they do for houses infected with smallpox.

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