Chapter 17 Notes from Little Women

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Little Women Chapter 17

After a little while, the girls do not keep as busy as they do the first week. They fall back into their old ways. Beth, remembering their promise to their mother to take care of the Hummels, asks if they will take food over to them, but the others are wrapped up in what they are doing. Beth decides to go herself. "...Beth quietly put on her hood, filled her basket with odds and ends for the poor children, and went out into the chilly air with a heavy head and a grieved look in her patient eyes." Chapter 17, pg. 205.

Beth comes back late and creeps upstairs to her mother's room. Jo finds her half an hour later looking ill and standing near their mother's medicine cabinet with a bottle of camphor in her hand. Beth said that the Hummels' baby died in her arms of scarlet fever while a doctor was being called. Beth hasn't had scarlet fever yet and, having been exposed to it, is likely to get it. Jo and Meg have had it as babies, but Amy hasn't yet. Amy is sent away to Aunt March's quickly, and Hannah is called for help, as she is familiar with scarlet fever. They call the doctor, as well.

Amy is very upset about having to go to Aunt March's, and she puts up a fight. The girls decide not to trouble their mother about Beth's illness, as she is busy with their father and scarlet fever can be treated.

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