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.