Fearchar watched the man practically vibrate as he stood in the tight little room, his hands hovering over the desk. What Fearchar could not see was the seething rage Eoin was having difficulty controlling behind the mask. It was going to be all he could do to keep his cover now and actually help Conner get better. It was an infection of the lungs. Not easily treatable by simple country medicine. This would be using up some of his best materials, but it would be worth it in the end.
Conner’s mother returned and Eoin showed her how to mix the tincture. When it was cool enough to not burn, he helped her give the man his first dose. The invalid sputtered and murmured, set under a delirium. He settled though and dozed off. His color came back to his cheeks.
Eoin handed the woman seven days worth of the little packets. He instructed her to give the man the dosages with every meal and to keep the young man drinking plenty of liquids, but no ale. The medicine would not combine well with it and would cause a swift death. She promised to keep the flask away from him. She cried, happy to have a solution to her son’s suffering. Eoin, indifferent to her relief, packed up his box, nodded to her and left quickly. “How much do I owe him?” he heard her asking Fearchar. He didn’t care what Fearchar answered. There was no amount of money they could possibly pay him that would relieve his feelings toward them.
He had nearly made it to the burned out, decrepit round house when he heard Fearchar running up behind him. “Told ‘er to save off pay’n ’til Conner’s be’er, that ‘right with you, doc?” Fearchar asked, panting. Eoin waved off the question, moving away from the round house and heading back for Fearchar’s hovel.
Three weeks later a letter arrived by messenger for Eoin. Conner had recovered from his cough and was doing much better. He was not quite able to be up and about for long periods of time yet. Grannd Daleroch wanted to know if Eoin would be willing to join the family for Hogmanay in leau of payment and as thanks for the doctor’s care. Eoin handed the paper to Seonaid to read to Fearchar before he let himself out of the house for a long cold walk. He was experiencing varying waves of relief and tension pulling him apart and could not stand to be stuck in the dark, cramped building for another moment.
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