The wheel was smoldering. The master bellowed for other assistants to help him douse the wheel before it was completely ruined. Meanwhile, the apprentice had turned into a wretched, murmering heap. Eoin made sure Callum and Albin were carefully propped in such a way that they would stay and eat. He pulled from his basket his small bag of medical materials and rushed over to the assistant.
The man looked up at him, startled. No one had noticed Eoin sitting just at the gate entrance feeding his children. The assistant tried his best to still his agony, suddenly facing what he perceived to be a woman. Eoin motioned for his hand. The assistant allowed him to see it. Eoin hated doing it, but he had to touch the man. “It’s all right, it’ll be all right. Let’s get the blood to stop first,” Eoin eased the man’s tension.
The man stared in awe at Eoin. “You’re a-!” he began before Eoin pinched at the gash in the man’s hand. “Damn,” hissed the man as he collapsed over his hand.
Eoin clamped down on the artery at the wrist to still the flow of blood. “Keep it quiet if you want to keep your hand.” Eoin spread a thick cold balm with a coagulant across the pad of the young man’s hand to staunch the flow. He placed a plaster and wrap around it in quick succession. “This needs to be sewn when it can be cleaned properly and the swelling has gone down,” Eoin told the man calmly.
“Yes, sir,” the man muttered, breathing through the pain.
“What are you doing to our apprentice!” The master, having sorted the ruined wheel, returned to his man.
“Eh-” the man glanced at Eoin, “H-she was helping me with the cut, sir. I need to get it sewn when it stops feeling like I put my hand in the forge,” he covered.
“Damn it, man, I told you that poorman’s steel was going to snap. Too many impurities. Just discard the batch!” the master cursed at a man in the overhang of the building before turning back to Eoin and his assistant. The man in the overhang yelled back something unintelligible. The master waived back a rude reply before turning again to Eoin and the apprentice. “Can’t thank you enough to see to him. What were you doing in here anyway?” the man asked, glancing to the gate. He spotted the babies. “You’re not some run away harlot are you?” the man accused, his brows drawing together. Eoin’s pursed his lips, shaking his head defensively.
“She – she’s mute sir,” the assistant explained quickly.
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