Prince Theodore looked flushed. It was apparent that he has a raised temperature and the tip of his nose was slightly reddened. Bonnie glanced nervously at him. This is all my doing she worried.
“Ahh Bonita. Please take a seat” Theodore beckoned with his elegant hand . Bonnie couldn’t take her eyes off his unhealthy, tired appearance. He seemed paler than ever.
“Your grace I should really apologise…..again!”
Theodore smiled and shook his head. “Nonsense! I had a splendid time yesterday. I have been feeling unwell for the past few days, nothing serious. You are not to blame Bonita!”
“Yes I swear upon it!”
“On pain of death?” Bonnie grinned.
“Ha! Yes. I had forgotten that had been said yesterday. Well you were true to your word. You did not let go of my hand.”
Bonnie sighed. “But I did let you get soaking wet.”
Theodore smiled. “Bonita you may be talented, but not so much so that you control the weather!”
Bonnie blushed. This was a compliment indeed, she thought. Theodore did speak the truth. His health had deteriorated slightly of late. He wiped his nose with a handkerchief. Theodore had a tickling cough which agitated the back of his throat. He was overcome with a fit of coughing. Bonnie poured a cold glass of water and held it to his lips. Theodore finished drinking and sighed.
“Thank you my friend that helped me a great deal.”
Bonnie nodded. “I should probably let you get some rest your majesty.”
“No please stay a little while longer!” Theodore pleaded. He craved company more than anything else.
“Very well. Shall I read to you?”
“No not today. I do not feel that I am in the correct mindset.”
“How so?” Bonnie was curious.
“Well, I feel that I might doze off. I wouldn’t want to offend you.”
“You won’t. Shall I tell you something shorter then? Another folk story?”
“Do you sing Bonita? “
Bonnie thought. “A little.”
“Well that’s they all say! You do don’t you! Please sing something to me. I wish to be soothed.”
“As you wish.” Bonnie began to sing a Gaelic lullaby, which her Mother Maira used to sing to her when she was a small child. It brought back delightful memories of being seated on her Mother’s knee in the carved wooden rocking chair.
“Tha bean agam, tha taigh agam,
Tha allt aig ceann an taighe agam,
Tha bun de shiabann geal agam,
‘S mo lèine salach, grànnda.
Dè ni mi gun lèine ghlan,
Gun lèine gheal, gun lèine ghlan,
Dè ni mi gun lèine ghlan,
‘S mi ‘falbh an taigh’ a-màireach.”
She held the last note a little longer than the rest. Theodore was clearly impressed.
“I knew you could sing well Bonita! Pray tell me what was the song about?”
“Well your majesty, I do believe that it is a lot of old nonsense. An old Scottish Gaelic song. Mother used to sing it to me when I was young. It is about a gentleman who lives in a house and by the house there runs a stream. He is washing his shirt with a lump of white soap because it is so dirty. There is nothing more to it!“
“Oh. So many words for such a little tale.” He smiled. Theodore’s eyes grew heavier all of a sudden and he yawned.
“You look tired.” Bonnie pointed out.
“I have to admit I feel it. It is this stupid chest cold”
“I shall go now sire, but I will be with you tomorrow.”
Theodore placed his chin on his bent elbow which was resting upon the chair arm. He stared at her with solitary eyes which looked ever so saddened.
He touched Bonnie’s face gently with his cool fingertips and planted a gentle kiss upon her cheek. Bonnie’s heart fluttered in her chest like a caged butterfly. Theodore closed his eyes overwhelmed by tiredness once more.
“I am afraid that I can barely keep my eyes open. Please will you stay with me Bonita. I do not feel so afraid when I am in your company.”
“You are afraid sire?”
“Very well. I shall fetch something useful to do, my knitting.”
“As you please.”
Bonnie walked to her room and picked up the unfinished object which lay upon the table in the drawing room. Theodore lay barely awake awaiting her return. Bonnie squeezed his hand once more.
“I have returned. Sleep now and you shall feel refreshed.”
Prince Theodore obeyed and Bonnie set too filling the room with a gently clicking sound which was soothing to Theodore’s ears, knowing that a kindly face was at his side. As he fell into a deeper slumber he snored ever so slightly. Bonnie could not hide her guilt as she was reminded of Prince Theodore’s bad chest cold.
To be continued……