“Good morning my dear, my you look a little brighter.”
“I have just had another bath, it has soothed the aching within my body a great deal.”
“Ah, so that is why your hair looks slightly damp. What is this little lady doing? Aggie! Fancy sitting upon his Grace’s pillow you daft creature. You are too comfortable there!”
“Is she staring at me?”
“Ah, I thought she was. I can sense it. Have you thought any more about this doctor business?”
“I have, but it is a risk. Perhaps we could put that secret passageway to use again.”
“And he could come at an unsociable hour?”
“Exactly your Grace. Tonight?”
“That would do very well. Who is he?”
“He is a gentleman named Mr David Potter, he is a younger doctor than your own. Mother has been to see him in the past when she was ill and he cured her. He is a respected man, yes it is true that he is not a physician and a man of lower class, but he is very intelligent and his observation skills are second to none.”
“I need to meet this man. Yes, do bring him.”
“For you my dear friend, I shall. What have we to lose?”
“Nothing, not really.”
“That’s the spirit your Grace. Now then, we have a little plan which may or may not work. You’ll be glad to know that Mr Potter objects to bleeding his patients.”
“Thank the Lord.”
Theodore coughed, placing a hand to his mouth, turning his head away from Bonnie. The rattling in his chest becoming more prominent as the coughing fit continued. He gasped for breath, like a fish being cast from water. It ceased and he rolled onto his back once more to reveal the fresh blood upon the pillow. Bonnie held his hand, wiping the blood from his cheek with her handkerchief.
“Sorry. Does it hurt?”
“It stings my throat and chest when it happens, but I do not understand, why is there blood now?”
“I wish I knew. Here take some water to get rid of the taste. I shall change this pillow case for you.”
“What time, shall we say after midnight?”
“Yes, everyone else will be asleep for sure.”
“Very well then and I shall go and speak to Mr Potter in a few hours time.”
“I must go now your Grace.”
“Thank you for doing this, for you do not have to.”
She kissed his forehead, the salty tears dropping onto his cheeks.
“Don’t cry my friend, please.”
“I’ll try to compose myself your Grace.”
“You must go?”
“Yes, but I will be back in a few hours’ time. Aggie, look after Prince Theodore for me while I am away, won’t you?” She poked the sleeping Aggie at the foot of the bed, who woke, batting Bonnie’s hand away with her paw.
“I can feel her breathing, that is comfort enough.”
“Well then, until this evening. Goodbye my dear, sleep until I return. It will take me a little longer to get home today as I will be taking a detour to see Mr Potter.”
Bonnie watched the clock like a hawk, glancing up from her bowl of soup.
“Why are you clock watching Bonnie?”
“I-I wasn’t Andrew. Here, I will finish this soup and then shall I tell you another story.”
“Please, oh please! You didn’t finish the last one.”
“Yes, you’re right. I’ll tell you the second part in a minute.”
“Oh good! I’ll go and brush my teeth first.”
“Yes, that is a very good idea Andrew.”
Bonnie scraped the bowl, washing it in the sink. Andrew returned, wrapped in the quilt from his bed.
“Andrew, you look like a little multi-coloured ghost, where is your dressing gown?”
“The moths ate it.”
“Oh dear. Well, you shall have a new one soon, don’t you worry. For now your quilt will have to do my dear. Sit down and I’ll have to remember where we left off.”
“Ah yes, the young girl received the letter, that was it. Well, much to her complete and utter shock, she had been chosen to read to the young, unhappy prince who was still grieving.”
“Over a love he had lost, he was quite heart broken and bitter and took his anger out on members of the court. He did not mean it and even though he appeared to be angry and short tempered, really he had a kind heart and in the company of the young reader, slowly began to soften. Alas something was not right, as the Prince’s health had been left in tatters, damaged by a previous illness. “
“Bonnie, oh Bonnie, please don’t cry!”
Andrew wrapped his arms around Bonnie’s neck, climbing onto her lap and kissing her cheek. She held her young brother to her, kissing his cheek.
“I am sorry Andrew, I did not mean to.”
“Is he a nice man Bonnie?”
“Oh yes, at first I was quite afraid of him I have to admit, but now I see that underneath it all, he has a good heart, but it is a weak heart. One like Father’s.” Andrew’s eyes widened.
“Yes dear and I think Prince Theodore shall too. He is so young, only the same age as myself and so afraid.”
Andrew nodded, kissing Bonnie’s cheek. “Bonnie?”
“Where is Aggie? I called and called her but she did not come. Something hasn’t happened to her has it?”
“Oh no Andrew, I gave her to Prince Theodore on loan for a little while.”
“That was very kind Bonnie.” Maira stated, poking her head around the door.
“He needed a little company and soothing I think. Aggie took to him like a duck to water. You should have seen her, she was so content. Goodnight Andrew.”
“Night Bonnie. I am very tired, so I shall go to bed also, are you staying up?”
“Yes, yes I shall.” Bonnie checked the clock once more. It was not time, not yet.
©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014