We are now over halfway through the 9-book series!
This book was a specific reminder of all the diseases that could attack and either kill or disable people, with no to little medicine available. Either your body proved strong enough to survive intact from an illness...or not. There wasn't much treatment possible, and in these frontier areas, people could be so isolated as to have no access to 'medical care'! Though the doctor stopped by the house every day, little could be done, and Pa was left owing a bill he had no way to pay,.. Scary times! I figure mine would have been a short life span, given my physical challenges. Uncharacteristically, the Ingalls' house was untidy when a buggy could be heard approaching the house early one morning. Pa and Laura were the only two spared from Scarlet Fever! Mary, Carrie, baby Grace, and Ma had all been sick, with none of them able to help. (Yes, Ma had another baby, so now there are four children/girls!) As if that wasn't enough, Pa instructed Laura the she now had to "be eyes for Mary," since the Fever had left her blind. Laura states aloud:
As Wilder describes the train ride, we get her excellent descriptive writing skills--once they were up to speed:
They've taken up claims north of town, and they've got the finest horses in this whole country.
By George, you seldom see a team like that." (262)