In Chapter 14, Lyddie returns to work before she is fully recovered from being hit by the shuttle. The working conditions at the factory are taking a toll on everyone - Amelia returns home, and Betsy, who has had a terrible cough, gets very sick and must be put in the hopital. At work, to her chagrin, Lyddie is given a new girl to train, an "Irish papist" named Brigid. The girl is inept, and Lyddie finds it hard to be patient with her because her own piecework is compromised. Luke Stevens pays a surprise visit, and delivers a draft from Ezekial Freeman for fifty dollars. Lyddie, hoping it is enough to pay the debt on the farm, writes to her mother to ask the total sum due.
In Chapter 15, Lyddie gets another visitor - her Uncle Judah. He and her Aunt have put her Lyddie's mother in an asylum, and brought little Rachel to stay with Lyddie. They plan to sell the farm to pay for Lyddie's mother's care. Rachel, terrified and underfed, does not speak, and Lyddie doesn't know what to do with her. She begs Mrs. Bedlow to let her stay at the boardinghouse for a fortnight, and writes in desperation to her brother Charles. As the man in the family, only he might be able to do something about the farm. Brigid continues to slow her down at work, but Lyddie is shamed by her impatience and manages to be more helpful to her. Overwhelmed by circumstances, Lyddie has frightening dreams.
In chapter 14, Amelia leaves the factory. Lyddie is now the best worker, and she is assigned to train a new girl, an Irish immigrant named Brigid. Lyddie is not happy about having to do this. She'd rather be working at her own looms. Diana continues to persuade the girls to sign her petition for shorter work days, and Betsy does so. Other girls have been fired or blacklisted for signing the petition, but Betsy is let go because of her cough; Marsden says she is in poor health.
Luke Stevens visits and gives Lyddie a letter from Ezekial, the runaway slave she had helped to escape. He has sent her money to repay her loan to him--with interest. Lyddie sends a dollar to her mother and asks to know the total amount of their debt. She didn't really want to part with that dollar, and it makes her feel that she could resent giving a little money to her mother after she had willing given it all to a total stranger.
In chapter 15, Lyddie's uncle and her sister Rachel arrive at the boardinghouse. He has bad news for her: he mother has been sent to an asylum, and the farm is up for sale. Mrs. Bedlow allows Rachel to stay with Lyddie. Lyddie writes to Charles and begs him to stop the sale of the farm.
Even though Lyddie was not pleased with having to train Brigid, when Marsden threatens to fire her, Lyddie offers to help her.