In the fourth chapter, Laura was pregnant, overheated, and emotionally blah - as pregnant women may experience from time to time - until her neighbor saved the day by dropping off some books for Laura to read. She begins:
On a day when [Laura] was particularly blue and unhappy, the neighbor to the west, a bachelor living alone, stopped as he was driving by and brought a partly filled grain sack to the house. When Laura opened the door, Mr. Sheldon stepped inside, and taking the sack by the bottom, poured the contents out on the floor. It was a paper-backed set of Waverly novels.
"Thought they might amuse you," he said. "Don't be in a hurry! Take your time reading them!" And as Laura exclaimed in delight, Mr. Sheldon opened the door, closed it behind him quickly, and was gone. And now the four walls of the close, overheated house opened wide, and Laura wandered with brave knights and ladies fair beside the lakes and streams of Scotland or in castles and towers, in noble halls and lady's bower, all through the enchanting pages of Sir Walter Scott's novels.
She forgot to feel ill at the sight or smell of food, in her hurry to be done with the cooking and follow her thoughts back into the book. When the books were all read and Laura came back to reality, she found herself feeling much better.
It was a long way from the scenes of Scott's glamorous old tales to the little house on the bleak, wintry prairie, but Laura brought back from them some of their magic and music and the rest of the winter passed quite comfortably.
The First Four Years (chapter four), Laura Ingalls Wilder
For more about our journey through The Little House series, visit our homeschool blog.