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There are a few things that the looters do not take. Some of them are important and can help Mattie and Grandfather right away, and some are not. One thing the thieves leave behind is the strongbox containing the money Mattie's mother has saved, "pence and shillings." Although Mattie is grateful that the money was not taken and takes care to return it safely to its hiding place, the coins are of no use to her and her grandfather right now, because the city is in chaos, and there is nothing to buy (Chapter 17).
Some things that the looters do not take that are more helpful to Mattie and Grandfather in the immediate sense are the potatoes in the garden. When Mattie pokes in the mud in the garden and finds 'six fist-sized potatoes," she is so happy she does a little dance. Mattie and Grandfather are hungry, and the potatoes will satisfy their immediate needs. Mattie cooks the potatoes with "a scrawny turnip and a few beans" she has scavenged, and serves them with a pot of coffee made from a small bag of roasted coffee beans, which the thieves have also left behind (Chapter 18).
One other thing the thieves leave behind which comes in handy almost immediately for Grandfather and Mattie is Grandfather's old sword, which is displayed in a place of honor over the mantle. When more looters invade the house when Mattie and Grandfather are actually present, Grandfather uses the sword to hold them off and scare them away (Chapter 19).
In the book Fever 1793, Mattie had been in the hospital with her grandfather at her side. When she is better and they return to the coffeehouse, they see that the door is open. Tables and chairs have been tossed all over.
The clock and candle holders were missing. King George, the parrot's cage had been turned over and smashed. Food is missing and the plates are broken and scattered across the floor. Whoever had ransacked and destroyed the downstairs had not gone to the second floor. Everything there was in tact.
Mattie pulls out the box that is holding the shelling's and pence. They had not taken it. She re-hides it. These events occur in Chapter 17 of the book.
Later in Chapter 19 Mattie and her grandfather are accosted by thieves in the house. Grandfather shoots at them and is punched. Mattie cuts one with grandfather's sword. They escape, but grandfather dies.
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