Chapter 25 Summary
Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 512
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 effort to make it up to her, he has asked around about Ruth. He believes that she was sent to Halifax. Isabel tells him that this is not true. The little girl is far away in Nevis, out of reach.
Curzon obviously does not know what to say to this, so he turns the conversation to the Locktons. He asks if Master Lockton has written to Madam. Isabel stares at him, shocked that he would ask for information about her masters after all that has happened. She says:
You are blind. [The Patriots] don’t want us free. They just want liberty for themselves.
Isabel says that she wishes she and Ruth had run away on the day they arrived in New York. They would probably have died in the attempt, but that would have been better than their current state of separation. This statement obviously shocks Curzon. He tries to tell Isabel that he, too, has been hurt—but she refuses to listen. She says that she never wants to see him again, and she walks away.