|Sick Woman, 1665, by Jan Steen|
" Marguerite, Marguerite-" Thomas was beside himself.
"What now dear one?" He took her pulse, " Steady and a bit slow-"
He paced a bit more, hands clasped behind his back. Then peered down at her head
resting on a pillow. " Eyes open and vacant-" He rubbed his chin. " Migraine
last week, tooth ache- ?" Is that what Mrs. Colbert had said this morning ?
He marched toward the door intent on finding that poor lady for confirmation.
*Sigh* It is too late now-she will have gone home...
He turned abruptly and struck something with his toe, it went skittering away
ending up under the bed. He followed and knelt down to retrieve it.
" What- ?" The brown glass bottle was stoppered with cork and empty. He opened
the container and sniffed. "WHEW!" he jerked the offensive vial away from his nose.
What-he racked his memory for a name and yanked up the skirt of the four poster bed
again, peering into the dim depths. "Ah-hah!" Three more bottles lay further underneath.
At that moment the door opened and a gentleman peered in.
Thomas got up." Peter-come in, please-" And turned as the elder man entered,
"Has Marguerite been well? I came to say good night and found her like this-"
He waved to indicate the lady reclining near him.
" She has been calling for medicine regularly of late-" Peter stood by the door.
" Her stomach I believe-"
Thomas blinked thoughtfully." Do you recognize this scent-?" He held out the bottle
The man came forward and took it from his hand.
His reaction was similar to Thomas's."How foul-" He shoved the bottle back.
" Pain or poison ?"
All the grey haired man could do was shrug."Good question-I guess we must
investigate,"He glanced at the sideways lady who had not moved. "Before it is too late."