The air was tense that next morning when I awoke. The doctor I had expected had not yet arrived and McLeod was fast approaching. To make matters worse I had misplaced the envelope I had been so guarding every since I received. For a moment I almost believed one of the staff had taken it, it seemed McLeod's insanity was almost infectious but I was determined not to take head of the ramblings of a madman. After several strenuous minutes, I could no longer stand the feeling of being encapsulated within these four white-washed walls I was about to make a hasty exit when that portly maid suddenly barged in to my room with a small white cup clasped tightly between thick podgy fingers. For a moment I thought she had decided to deliver me my coffee, although a day late, but mostly I was just agitated at her relentless uncouth behaviour, but I dismissed this on the grounds I knew she could be of use to me.
"Excuse me," I said with more courteously than she was owed. "Is the doctor here yet?"
"The doctor?" She smiled, bemused and outstretched the small cup towards me. "He's in his office as usual."
I didn't not think the woman understood me and she kept trying to press the cup towards me as if she expected I'd take it. I ignored her comment and the strange cup which I could now see was filled with no liquid of any kind.
"Where is Mr McLeod?" I asked.
"Mr McLeod?" she whispered bewilderedly. "Oh dear, this again."
"I beg you pardon," I growled at the now flushed face woman.
"Mr McLeod." she uttered.
"Yes. Mr McLeod. Where is he?" I demanded.
"You don't understand," she sighed.
I suddenly heard McLeod's voice echo beneath the woman's and ring out through the room. I felt my lips quiver and the blood run cold through my veins striking ice down my spine. My unease was such that I felt sweat from on my brow. The woman did not move nor speak just stared on as if apologetically. And as I raised my hand to wipe the now trickling beads of sweat my eye caught sight of something of such great horror it caused me to land with a crunching thud on my knees. The unmistakable faded white line of a knife-edged scar trembling in the palm of my left hand.