“I shall remain here in the chair Lucinda. I will look away.”

“Why ever would you do that?”

“I am aware, my dear , that I may be invading your privacy.”


“Mrs Ashdown, might I have a listen in to your chest?”

“Yes Doctor. You know, I’m completely convinced that it’s just a silly old chest cold. It will be gone in a few days and I shall be fine.”

“If you could remain still while I do this, I would be grateful.”

“Oh,  I am sorry. I apologise and won’t utter a word from now until you finish.”

Edward held her hand in his trembling one. Lucinda held it tighter still. He stroked her arm and smiled.

“Hmm, it is true, your chest does sound a little raspy and your voice slightly hoarse, but I wouldn’t say that it is anything to be too concerned about.”

“Oh thank heavens!”

“I do feel it is a chest cold. But still, one can’t be too careful. I would recommend 3 days complete rest in bed. Tell me this, when was the last time that you took a little holiday?”

“Oh, it must have been before the twins were born.”

“I see. Do you like sea air?”

“Why, yes. I find it most pleasant and comforting. Why do you ask?”

“I feel that a trip to the seaside would be very beneficial to your chest Mrs Ashdown.”

“A family holiday you mean?”

“Hmm, I would recommend leaving your twins at home, but Mr Ashdown should accompany you. Do you have a nanny or a Governess for your children?”


“Hmm, you must have a great deal of responsibility.”

“Well, yes but…”

“Could you entrust your children to any friends or family members for a week?”

“I cannot think of anyone.”

“I have come to the conclusion that you are also under a great deal of stress Mrs Ashdown. Nannies are available to trial you know, just for a matter of weeks under agencies, I am no expert, I just know from experience.”

“Thank you Doctor Smythe, we shall look into it.”

“For now Mrs Ashdown, you must rest, eat good food and help to restore your health yourself.”

“I shall try.”

“And I will do all that is in my power to help her, starting now. Lucinda, I will show the doctor out and you must get plenty of sleep. I’ll ask the servants to keep an eye on the children as I have some important paperwork to do this morning.”

“Thank you dearest.”

“I’ll turn off all the lights.” He kissed Lucinda on the forehead, following Doctor Smythe out of their bedroom.

“Are you sure that it is nothing more serious than stress and a chest cold?”

“I am almost certain, still, if her condition were to deteriorate, never hesitate to call for me.”


“Oh dear.”

“Lucinda, what’s wrong my love?”

“I’m such a silly little fool, making such a fuss out of nothing. Please don’t tell anyone how stupid I have been.”

“Lucinda, you are one of the sincerest, most sensible people I know.”

“Oh, I don’t know. I worry all the time and I don’t fit in anywhere socially, or at least I don’t think I do.”

“Whatever put such an idea into your pretty head?”

“I think a lot.”

“Hmm, I think that you must follow Doctor Smythe’s orders. Sleep well. I may as well get up now and work in my study.”

“Very well Edward.”



“Rupert my boy, what is it?”

“I heard talking.”

“Ah I see.”

“Was it about Mother? I haven’t seen her for two days and I am very worried.”

Edward spun around on his chair to face his young son.

“Ah Rupert, don’t fret, your Mother has been a trifle ill that is all. She needs plenty of rest but you have both been good children. Where is Diana?”

“Still sleeping.”

“Your Mother is asleep also. It’s only early, I myself was struggling to sleep.”

“Oh? Oh dear, why Father?”

“I had a lot on my mind last night, but nothing at all for you to concern your young self with.”

To be continued… 


9 thoughts on “Pixies and Pickles- Part 9

  1. Maybe its all the thinking that’s gotten her sick 🙂 Perhaps she could start some social upheaval that ought to have her right as rain.
    Your pulling me in once again, wonderful piece.

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