What is a summary for chapters 16, 17, and 18 of "Lyddie"?

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Chapter 16: "Fever"

Lyddie spends more than two weeks wages to purchase some necessities for Rachel. At work, Brigid is slower than ever. When Lyddie discovers that Brigid's mother is sick and cannot afford a doctor, she gives Brigid some money. Brigid's work improves as a result. Later in the week, Mr. Marsden corners Lyddie. Already feeling feverish, she stomps her booted heel on his feet and runs off.

Lyddie ends up being bedridden for many days due to her raging fever. Brigid does her utmost best to nurse Lyddie to health, and Rachel sits by her. In due time, Lyddie recovers.

Chapter 17: "Doffer"

Lyddie writes Charlie. It is almost three weeks before Dr. Morris lets her return to work. Meanwhile, Lyddie confides in Diana her fears for her job. In the haze of a raging fever, she had attacked Mr. Marsden. However, Diana reassures Lyddie that her job is likely safe; she hints that Mr. Marsden has more to fear from his wife hearing about the incident.

Meanwhile, Rachel asks to be a doffer. Lyddie is reluctant to entertain the idea, however, as she wants Rachel to attend school. Soon, Lyddie receives a letter from Jeremiah Stevens, telling her that Charlie has asked him to look into the sale of the Worthen family farm.

Later, in conversation with Mrs. Bedlow, Lyddie poses the idea of Rachel being a doffer and staying on at the boarding house. Mrs. Bedlow is initially reluctant but eventually helps Rachel secure a spot on the factory floor. As a result, Lyddie and Rachel's finances improve. Later, however, Rachel develops a cough. Lyddie becomes worried. The chapter ends with Tim announcing that Lyddie has a visitor.

Chapter 18: "Charlie at Last"

Lyddie's surprise visitor is Charlie. He tells her that the Phinneys have taken him on as a full apprentice and that he is treated well. The Phinneys feed him three times a day, and when there is no work, he attends school. Charlie tells Lyddie that the Phinneys are willing to take Rachel too. Although bitterly disappointed at losing Rachel, Lyddie knows that she must consider Rachel's welfare first.

Charlie also tells Lyddie that Uncle Judah means to sell the Worthen farm. He then hands over a letter from Luke Stevens. A week after Rachel leaves, Lyddie finally reads Luke's letter. In the letter, Luke tells her that his father is buying the Worthen farm himself. Then, he shocks her by writing that he longs to become the owner of the farm, with Lyddie as his wife (if she will have him).

Lyddie, however, is outraged by his presumption. She thinks that Luke is trying to buy her, just like his father bought her family farm. Besieged by grief at recent events in her life, Lyddie fails to consider the possibility of Luke loving her.

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Chapter 16. Lyddie buys new clothes and books for Rachel, spending more than two weeks’ salary. One night, Marsden makes Lyddie stay after work and puts his arms around her. She kicks him and runs from him. She becomes sick and suffers several days with a high fever. Mrs. Bedlow and the other girls take care of her.


Chapter 17. Lyddie recovers from her fever and begins to regain her strength. She is worried about returning to the mill because she fears what Marsden might do, but nothing happens. Rachel begins to work at the mill as a doffer. Rachel develops a bad cough, and when Lyddie wakes up because of it, she worries that she might lose Rachel.

 Chapter 18. Charlie comes to visit. He tells Lyddie that the Phinneys are treating him as if he were their own son and want to take in Rachel as well. Sadly, Rachel agrees to let Rachel go; she knows it will be for the best. Charlie also tells her that the family farm is going to be sold and that the proceeds will go to their uncle. Before he leaves, Charlie gives Lyddie a letter from Luke Stevens. In it, Luke says that his father has bought the farm, and he proposes marriage to her. She is insulted by the proposal, thinking that Luke is suggesting that he can buy her along with the farm. She tears the letter to bits and bursts into tears. 

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