Chapters 23-24 Summary
When she awakens the next day, Mattie finds that Eliza already has gone out to minister to the sick and that Mother Smith has come to care for Joseph and the children. Mattie diligently does the housework—cooking, scrubbing, and cleaning—although her efforts largely fail to meet the old woman's exacting standards.
When evening falls, Mother Smith tells the little children a story and then sends them off to bed. The twins retire to their mattress without protest, but Nell climbs into Mattie's lap and falls asleep, sucking her thumb.
As she prepares to leave, Mother Smith warns Mattie not to fall in love with the little girl; she points out...
(The entire section is 880 words.)