Chapter 25 Summary
Isabel falls into a depression. Her body is scarred and broken, and her sister is gone. Madam refuses to speak to her directly. “Tell the girl the hearth needs sweeping,” Madam tells Becky. “Tell the girl to fetch my fan.” Becky obediently relays these orders, and Isabel does what she is asked.
When Madam is out of earshot, Becky says that she is sorry for what happened to Isabel. Isabel does not respond. Curzon comes and tries to apologize too, but Isabel will not speak to him either. She follows every order she is given, and she tries to forget everything else. Whenever she can, she avoids the kitchen because that room holds the most memories of Ruth.
As smallpox breaks out, and the hospitals fill up with soldiers, Isabel’s depression turns to anger. She hopes silently that Colonel Regan is among the victims of disease. She hates him violently for refusing to help her. She begins acting out her aggression on Madam in small ways. She leaves the milk out to sour on purpose, and she feels glad when Madam complains.
When it appears that the battle is finally about to start, Becky grows afraid to run errands. She asks Madam to send Isabel instead. Madam agrees, saying that the brand scar will keep "the girl" out of trouble. Isabel goes obediently to the marketplace, where she buys supplies as quickly as she can. Everyone stares in horror at her scar.
Curzon tries to speak to Isabel in the market, but she walks away from him. He often visits the house as well. One day Becky tells Isabel to get rid of him. Madam is about to call the police. If Isabel does not convince him to go away, he will be dragged to City Hall and publicly beaten.
Isabel goes out to the gate, and Curzon says again that he is sorry for all that has happened. He tells her that he really thought Colonel Regan would help her. In an...
(The entire section is 512 words.)