Lyddie gets so exhausted from work and the stress of worrying about Rachel that she gets very ill, but she recovers.
Lyddie has to get her money out of the bank because now she has her sister to take care of. Her little sister is very small and weak, and Lyddie knows that she will not be able to stay at the factory worker boarding house for long. Children are not allowed. Lyddie feels like she got the short end of the stick, with her aunt and uncle benefitting from the whole thing while she pays the price.
What could she do? Where could she turn for help? She couldn't keep Rachel here, and yet she, Lyddie, must live in a corporation house to keep her job. And without her job, what good could she do for any of them? (Ch. 15)
Lyddie has to buy her sister shoes, but she worries that she will lose her job and not be able to provide for her much longer. Her frustration bleeds into her work, where she loses patience with Brigid. However, when Brigid tells her that her mother is dying, Lyddie feels bad and gives her money for a doctor.
Trying to get Rachel to open up, Lyddie reads her poetry and makes some up for her. Unfortunately, Lyddie is so tired that she gets sick. The doctor tries to take advantage of her weakness and kiss her.
How hot the room seemed. Of course it was always hot and steamy, but somehow . . . Perhaps if she hadn't been burning up she could have kept her head, but she was so hot, so exhausted that Thursday in May, she wasn't prepared, she had no defenses. (Ch. 16)
Lyddie kicks him and leaves. She misses several days of work, and when she finally awakes she asks Rachel to help her get ready for work. Rachel is amazed that she’s not dead.