In this chapter from "What Katy Did" by Susan Coolidge, the protagonist, Katy, is a young girl recovering from an accident. Faced with the prospect of a long period of bed rest, she becomes despondent and loses interest in all her activities. Her room turns into a gloomy and unwelcoming space, and she is often irritable and ungrateful to those around her.
Katy's family and friends are patient and kind, but her gloomy disposition makes it difficult for them to spend time with her. Her younger siblings, Clover and Cecy, are also kept away from her room as her misery often results in tears. This only adds to Katy's unhappiness, as she had always wanted to help take care of her siblings and become a wise and useful person.
The arrival of Cousin Helen changes Katy's perspective on her situation. Cousin Helen, who is also dealing with her own physical challenges, gently advises Katy on how to turn her time in bed into a learning experience. She introduces Katy to the "School of Pain," where important lessons such as patience, cheerfulness, making the best of things, hopefulness, and neatness can be learned.
Cousin Helen encourages Katy to make her room a pleasant place, not only for herself but also for her siblings. She suggests that Katy can still be a positive influence on them by creating a loving and welcoming environment where they can come for support and guidance. Cousin Helen also advises Katy to continue her studies during her time in bed so that she doesn't fall behind in her education.
Inspired by Cousin Helen's advice, Katy undergoes a transformation. She becomes more patient, cheerful, and determined to make the best of her situation. She starts to create a warm and inviting atmosphere in her room, which in turn helps her to reconnect with her siblings and become the loving, guiding presence they need. The chapter highlights the power of a positive attitude and the importance of finding purpose, even in the most challenging circumstances.