Chapter Summaries & Analyses
When Frederick returns to the cellar, Miranda is sicker than the previous night. Miranda is afraid to die. Frederick evades her questions about what he’ll do if she does. Her fever rises to 104 degrees and she becomes delirious. She tells Frederick that she forgives him. Miranda’s sickness dissolves Frederick’s bitterness; he reminisces about the happy times he spent with her before she tried to seduce him. In her delirium, Miranda calls out for George, her sister Minny, and her mother.
After delaying getting a doctor for days, Frederick drives to a doctor’s office in Lewes. The waiting room is full of people who seem suspicious of Frederick. After seeing that the doctor is a retired army officer—the type of person Frederick finds aloof—Frederick leaves. Being around other people for the first time in months reminds him that Miranda is the only person he likes. Frederick goes to a few pharmacies for stronger medication, only to find that he already has the strongest stuff. Back in the cellar, he tells Miranda a doctor is coming.
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Frederick leaves to take a nap because he hasn’t slept in a day. He oversleeps; when he returns, Miranda is more delirious and has stripped off her clothes in her fever.
By John Fowles