“Oh gosh, I was going to read something to you, wasn’t I?”
“So you said.”
“Well then your Grace, I shall keep my word. That is very important don’t you think?”
“What is the matter?” Bonnie gazed at his pale face and pained expression.
“Oh must you ask questions? It is just my usual headache! Go on!”
“Some say that sleeping with scissors under your pillow can cure a headache!”
“What utter poppy cock Miss McGrath!”
“I have to admit to never having tried it. Perhaps a cool cloth might help.”
“I am already cold as it is!”
“Sit closer to the fire then. I shall move your chair. There we are, that should help. I often find that drinking water cures my headaches. Here.” Bonnie poured him a glass, placing it in his hand.
Theodore rubbed his forehead, taking a sip from the water. An over whelming ringing sound filled his ears, Bonnie was saying something to him, but her voice was muffled as if she were under water. He shook his head, trying to make sense of it all. Why did he feel so hot all of a sudden? No wait, hot and cold at precisely the same moment. He dropped the glass of water, which spilled upon the rug, rolling towards Bonnie. Theodore stumbled from his chair holding onto the side of it for support. He did not get far, the ringing in his ears deafened him and he collapsed upon the carpet.
“Your Grace!” She placed a hand in front of his mouth, pulling back the strands of hair which covered the side of his. Thank God, he was still breathing, he had only fainted. She grasped the chair cushion, putting it beneith his head, before placing a bottle of smelling salts under his nose. He gasped and inhaled, his eyes flickering open.
“I am sorry.” He muttered.
“There, there. Do not worry, it’s not your fault, just lie still for five minutes or so until you feel better. I imagine that you feel ghastly at this moment in time, but it will pass.”
Theodore lay, with Bonnie sat by him as she sat cross-legged, holding his hand for comfort.
“I am very glad that I am in your company and not Miss Mallis’s.”
“And why is that?”
“She would not have had the first idea what to do.” He mumbled.
“Oh. Well, once you feel a little better I shall help you back to the couch. I may have to ring for Mr Howard, I feel that you would be safer in bed.”
“No, please do not fetch him.”
“Very well then. Would you like some more water?”
Theodore sat himself against the wall, sensing the raised wallpaper against his back. He took a few sips. Bonnie opened the sash window from the bottom, allowing fresh air to circulate around the room.
“Ah, yes that is so much better, the cool air is reviving. Perhaps the heat from the fire was more overwhelming than I thought. I think I am well enough to go to the couch now, if you will help me stand.”
“Yes, of course. That’s it, just walk very slowly your Grace and take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Here now.”
He sat and laid his body along the couch.
“That is a relief. What time is it?”
“Shh now, rest. It has just gone 3pm. I will stay with you for another hour until you are feeling better, perhaps your physician should be called?”
“My Physician? No, he is no good to me at all.”
“Take a nap to revitalise yourself. I will stay with you while you sleep.”
“Promise that you will not leave without telling me that you are going.”
“I promise.” Theodore nodded and closed his heavy eyes. Bonnie grasped her knitting, proceeding to make a new pair of gloves for her Mother.
Bonnie tapped Theodore’s shoulder, he stirred and placed a hand upon his chest, sighing deeply. It seemed a shame to wake him, how peaceful he looked while he slept.
“Your Grace, I should go now, it is 4pm.”
“4pm! The time has flown.”
“Yes it does when one is asleep. Fear not, I will tell Mr Howard that I am going so that he may keep an eye on you.”
“I don’t need a child minder.”
“No, I know, but I don’t want to leave without telling anyone and you must eat.”
“Oh. Promise that you will not tell him, swear on it?” Bonnie gazed at Theodore, the fear clear in his misty eyes.
“Very well, I give you my word.”
Bonnie rang the bell and Mr Howard entered the room as she placed on her shawl and gathered her books.
“Mr Howard, I am going now so I shall say fair well, I think his Grace might like something for dinner.”
“No, no I am not hungry.”
“Well, I shall leave you in Mr Howard’s safe hands. Goodbye your Grace, until tomorrow.”
“Adieu Miss McGrath.”
Bonnie trudged home, holding back tears as she pulled her woollen shawl more tightly around herself. She gazed at their small cottage with it’s plumes of smoke circulating from the chimney. She paused, before knocking the door and entering.
“My Bonnie! You are late home this evening!”
“Yes, I suppose I am.”
“Here dear, sit by the fire. You are very cold after your walk. Are you hungry? There is some rabbit stew in that dish.”
“What is wrong Bonnie?”
“I have a lot on my mind I suppose.”
“Well tell your old Mum then pet. It helps to talk about things. Is the Prince being a wee horror to you?”
“No, he is a little hot headed at times I’ll admit, but; Mum, he fainted today in my company. I think it was possibly due to the fact that he eats very little and that… Mum, I think he is very ill.”
“He is not infectious is he?”
“No, it is not a chest cold or a cough.”
“Something more serious I think.”
“People faint quite often dear.”
“Not- not like that. He said he had a headache but..”
“Oh Lord what happens if it is something serious like scarlet fever and you have brought it home to your brother and me?”
“Like I said, I don’t know what it is.”
“The poor boy.”
“Yes, but he does feel rather sorry for himself.”
“Well then, perhaps you could take it upon yourself to make it your duty to help him out of his depression.”
“I shall try.”
“There now, that is what I like to hear!”
“Where is Andrew?”
“In bed dear, he misses you. He was just saying today that he barely sees you any more as you are staying longer and longer at the Palace.”
“Ah, bless him. Well, I shall make it up to him I promise.”
“Eat your stew Bonnie.”
“Ah yes. Thank you.” Bonnie yawned, placing her hand to her mouth. “Sorry.”
“My you are tired! Straight to bed for you I think.”
“Absolutely.” Bonnie chewed the last mouthful of food, before taking her dish to the sink and washing it.
“Yes, I will go to bed now. Goodnight Mother.”
“Sleep well Bonnie.”
To be continued…
©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014