When Rose goes to play the piano, she becomes somber and begins to weep. Mrs. Maylie asks her what is wrong, but Rose doesn’t know. Then she finally admits that she thinks she is ill. They see that she is white and haggard. She occasionally flushes with fever. Oliver takes his cue from Mrs. Maylie, who is concerned but puts on a cheerful facade—saying Rose just needs to rest. Mrs. Maylie later admits to Oliver that she fears she may lose Rose. Oliver, though he has tears in his eyes, tells her God won’t let Rose die yet. Mrs. Maylie tells him he thinks like a child, and he is wrong. She knows Heaven is a brighter place. She will have to accept God’s will.
Rose gets worse over night, suffering from a fever. Mrs. Maylie sends Oliver to post a letter to Dr. Losberne. She has another letter addressed to a Harry Maylie, but she decides not to send it just yet.
Oliver quickly performs his errand, only stopping for breath. He has to ask several people to find the landlord of an inn, but the letter is dispatched.
Going home, he runs into a man. The man curses him and wishes death upon him. The man then collapses to the ground in a fit. Oliver goes for help. He returns home as soon as some people tend to the man.
The town’s physician gives a poor prognosis about the outcome of Rose’s illness. Oliver spends an uneasy night worrying about her. He prays fervently. An anxious day follows. Mr. Losberne arrives but is also bleak about her chances of recovery.
A beautiful day follows. Oliver is at the cemetery, weeping for Rose—who is still alive but bad off. He sees a funeral for a child.
Though Oliver had been devoted to Rose, he wishes he had done more for her. When he returns, he learns from Mrs. Maylie that Rose is in a coma. Either she will recover or she will die. Mr. Losberne tells them that evening that Rose will live.