Chapter III

Abigail woke the next morning to the children laughing and running through the corridors. She also heard Jonathan laughing with them and trailing behind. His footsteps were heavier. Abigail pushed the satin covers off her. Slowly she climbed out of her bed. She walked to her wash basin and poured some water there to wash her face. Abigail winced at the contact of icy water, but it woke her up and refreshed her. Once she did that and combed out her hair, she got dressed. Today would be a simple blue dress.

The corset she was grateful her mother had gotten one with the drawstring in the front. It made it easier to dress herself. Abigail knew she no longer had the luxury of a ladies' maid to help with daily morning routines. She was now the hired help and needed to learn things on her own. The back of the dress was much more challenging and with tedious effort, she managed to button the gown. Abigail sighed as she looked in the mirror. This is what her life was now. Her red hair was braided and coiled into a bun behind her head. Two loose, stubborn curls hung from the sides of her forehead, refusing to remain in place with the rest of her hair. A governess, she thought forlornly. This is what I have chosen, there is no reason to have a change of heart now.

She stepped out of the governess' room which was directly down the hall from the nursery and the other children's rooms. Abigail followed the corridor to the direction which she heard the Blaise children had gone. The six of them were all downstairs, laughing and jumping.

"Miss Governess, please retain those children. They are far too deafening as it is." Mrs. Blaise scolded Abigail at the top of the stairs when they crossed paths. "They are acting like wild animals. This is not a zoo."

"Yes, ma'am," Abigail replied quickly as she hurried down the stairs, ushering the children outside.

"Can we go to the zoo, Miss Abigail?" Anthony inquired, excitedly. "Then we could show our Mama what wild animals really look like."

Abigail giggled and sighed.

"Perhaps before the summer is out we shall have to visit the city. But before any plans are made, I must make approval with your father."

The younger children squealed in delight. Once the excitement of the zoo passed, they continued to play other games that summer day. For the longest time, it was a game of knights and damsels being chased and rescued from dragons. Tomorrow, studies would resume.

While the children played, Abigail planned her week. Tuesday would start with mathematics, science and history. Wednesday she would review literature, art in Ancient Rome and Latin. Thursday, she decided her young students would practice some music – studying the renowned artists such as Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. Friday there would be time for studying and doing the homework assignments she provided throughout the week in the subjects. And that is how their studies went on.

Once she finished her lesson plans, Abigail wrote a letter home to her mother and father – something she had yet needed to do. In her letter, she gave detailed accounts of her travels to Colorado, the people she had been introduced to and daily life in the Rockies. Two pages worth of writing to her parents back East. As Abigail folded the letter, she hoped that her parents would be pleased with her new life. Perhaps they would still be gracious enough to reply. She signed their address to the envelope and marked a stamp. The manservant had crossed her path while bringing out lunch for the children.

"Julien, could you deliver this to the post for me?" she asked the manservant.

"Of course, Miss Governess, to whom shall this be sent?"

"The address is enclosed on the envelope, thank you for assisting me."

"It is my pleasure, Miss."

He gave a quick bow and hurried off. Once she had finished everything she needed to, Abigail continued watching the children play. At some point, Jonathan made his way to her. He cleared his throat, noticing her distracted look. She looked up from her spot, startled.

"May I join you, Miss Winston?" he inquired, showing his hand an empty seat beside her.

"You may – though I think your mother would not approve of you talking to the help." Abigail returned.

"The current Mrs. Blaise is not my mother – I care not what she thinks, Miss Winston. I'm sure you know what happened. Mrs. Oakley no doubt explained the situation to you."

"I confess she did." Abigail answered, lowering her gaze – a ghost of a chuckle escaping her. "I am terribly sorry for your loss."

"It happened ten years ago, Miss Winston. I don't think much on it now. Though my father can't stand the sight of me. According to him, I look too much like his late wife. I don't think he can tolerate James or Anthony, either. He barely knows his own children and if he does see us – it is nothing but lectures and how he is displeased with us. That is what you witnessed a fortnight or so ago when Matthew brought you home."

"I'm sure that's not all entirely true, Mr. Blaise."

Jonathan scoffed and threw a twig down at the ground.

"You make me sound like my father – calling me Mr. Blaise. Lord, Miss Winston, my name is Jonathan – if you don't mind. And I'm afraid that most of what I said may be true."

"If it is any succor, my own family is quite displeased with my current state of things. They are rather disappointed that I became a governess. My father would not speak to me when I left home, though they brought me to Grand Central Station."

"What made you become a governess, if you don't mind my prying into your affairs?"

Abigail gave him a small smile.

"I wanted to make myself useful. I saw my empty life in New York – it was all the same mindless people and tradition. My family are the Winstons of New York – not quite old money but affluent nonetheless. Mama was displeased when she heard I was to be a governess. I had ruined all hopes of a good match. No one would ever marry a governess, she told me."

"You are the heiress to Winston Mills Co?" Jonathan exclaimed, awestruck.

"The very one," Abigail said, ruefully. "But unfortunately, my father may detach me from any inheritance unless I return home and marry within the year – and I must marry well. Much to his discontent, I have no intentions of marrying any time soon."

"Well it seems a proposal is out of the question then, eh?" Jonathan replied, with a laugh after he saw Abigail stare at him in shock.

"You have only just met me."

"I was teasing you, Miss Winston, though I would not mind having a wife such as you, if you don't mind the compliment."

"I am not quite used to such flattery – I apologize if I haven't the slightest idea what to say."

Jonathan glanced at the young woman before him. She was quite a lovely thing, she had striking brown eyes and beautiful fiery red hair. When she smiled, he liked to look at it. Though once again, her attention was on the children. He went to touch a loose strand of hair on her head, but she pulled away. Abigail looked at him with confusion and he cleared his throat.

"Forgive me, Miss Winston, I meant no harm."

"I really ought to bring the children inside for their music lesson." Abigail got up quickly, grateful to make an escape from Jonathan.

She had no idea what was going on in his head. And she certainly had no desire to know. Jonathan watched as the young woman nearly ran from him, making up some ridiculous notion having to be with his siblings. There were no studies this week – that much he knew. In irritation, he pulled out a cigarette and lit it with a match. Somehow, he would find a way to get under her skin – to enter his way to her heart. She would someday be his – despite the fuss she would put up. Jonathan knew Abigail would put up a fuss about his pursuit, though that did not stop him from wanting her.

.::*::.

Matthew sat at the kitchen dining table with his mother and father, enjoying a cup of coffee and a slice of pie. He had missed his mother's cooking. Once he finished his second slice of homemade apple pie, he took a third.

"Good lord, Matthew – that's your third slice already! Slow yourself down before you get too much sugar in you." Mrs. Oakley chided.

"You know how I've missed your cooking and your baking, Ma. Nothing in the world beats it." Matthew commented, with a smile.

Mrs. Oakley sighed in defeat and smiled at her son. The reverend chuckled and flipped the newspaper, distracting himself again with more news stories. The grandfather clock in the living room chimed, breaking the new silence within the house.

"How did you find the young Miss Winston?" Mrs. Oakley asked, smiling lightly at her son.

"I had not seen her in fifteen years – she did not recognize me, but I found her very agreeable."

"She did not remember that we had two sons." Mrs. Oakley replied. "Abigail was only a little girl the last we visited New York."

"I think tomorrow I'll pay Jonathan and Abigail a visit."

.::.*.::.

It was Sunday. Abigail was grateful to have the day off. She found sanctuary within the library – a small corner window hidden behind a large burgundy drape. The bench had cushion and it was a comfortable seat. She smiled to herself as she read her copy of Wuthering Heights. Before leaving for Colorado, Abigail had read Jane Eyre by Currer Bell. She had fallen in love with the world of governesses and tragic romances. She wondered if a small part of her wanted to be a governess because of the novels she had read. Though she was grateful that this was nothing like Jane's story. Abigail found it a relief that there was no crazed wife living in the attics of this grand house.

Abigail also knew that deep within her, she yearned for a romantic love someday – though she had no desire for it now. Novels satisfied her. She was content to read of grand, tragic romances, rather than experience it herself. Abigail had been so immersed in her book that she had not noticed the company entering the library. The presence of another was made known when he cleared his throat. The young governess jumped and dropped her book. It landed with a thump on the floor. She looked up flustered, feeling rather embarrassed she had not noticed anyone entering the room she was in.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to startle you, Miss Winston." Mr. Matthew Oakley said, as she got up.

"Oh, no – it's quite alright, Mr. Oakley. I think any further reading would have never let me return back from England." Abigail said, with a ghost of a laugh.

"What are you reading, if I may inquire?"

"Wuthering Heights by Ellis Bell," replied she.

""He shall never know I love him: and that, not because he's handsome, but because he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made out of, his and mine are the same." Matthew said, picking the book up.

"You've read it?" Abigail asked, in astonishment.

"Yes, it was not a requirement for any reading at William and Mary – I read it simply to read."

Abigail wondered if he noticed her cheeks flush. She certainly noticed her face grow hot – whether it was embarrassment or another feeling, she could not say.

"What, if I may ask, is your critique of the novel? Did you enjoy it?"

He smiled, giving her a small chuckle.

"It is very gothic – almost too tragic for my taste, but I rather enjoyed it. I had to finish it – to know whether Heathcliff and Cathy stayed together, even after all they endured – would it have been worth anything?"

"My sentiments precisely, but since you have finished it and I have not, don't be a spoilsport." Abigail replied, excitedly.

"On my honor, I'll say nothing."

He raised his hand upright as to make his oath complete. Abigail chuckled and placed the book on the desk. Matthew turned to look at the books and brushed his fingers along some of the spines, reading the titles as he did.

"What brings you to the Blaise House? Were you looking for Jonathan, if you don't mind my asking?"

"No, not at all," Matthew said, quickly. "I did come here to find Jonathan – as well as you, Miss Winston. I hoped we could perhaps take a walk in the gardens or to town."

"Mr. Blaise should come back from church soon. If you like, I could call for tea or coffee?"

"That's quite alright, thank you. If you don't mind, I'll wait here – perhaps read a classic."

After choosing a book, he sat down in the armchair by the fire. Uncertain of what to do, Abigail picked up her own book and sat at the desk, hoping to pick up reading where she left off. She felt rather uneasy at the prospect of being unaccompanied in the same room as a gentleman. What would her employers think if they were to stumble upon them sitting in the library? Certainly, there was nothing suggestive occurring. It was nonetheless concerning.

Abigail found it difficult to focus on Wuthering Heights. She found herself gazing at Mr. Matthew Oakley who was now fully immersed in his novel. What would her own dear mother say of the prospect? A farm boy turned university student; to her mother, it would be laughable. She would never allow such an engagement, neither would her father. Jonathan would be more to their fancy. There was an aftertaste about the young Mr. Blaise that Abigail didn't like. Dwelling on the matter, she was grateful to not have been discovered in a room alone with him. She hoped she never would find herself in such a place. Abigail much preferred the present company in the room.

In the distance, she heard the carriage rolling up the drive. She got up, startled by the realization she was alone with Matthew. Quickly, Abigail left the library, much too quickly for she missed Matthew calling out to her. Unsettled by her sudden reaction, Matthew placed his book down and followed her. He found her in the foyer, waiting for the Blaises to come in.

"Miss Winston, why did you leave so abruptly?"

"It is highly improper for us to be seen alone together. I am unaccompanied, we are not engaged or in any manner of courtship. It would be disreputable for them to see us as we were." Abigail answered, whilst blushing.

Matthew noticed how her cheeks flushed when she spoke of engagement and their being in the library without other company.

"Forgive me, Miss Winston, I did not wish to cause you any trouble or concern," said Matthew, holding his hand out. "I hope you don't mind I'll be staying along to speak with Jonathan."

"I don't mind, Mr. Oakley." Abigail replied, taking his hand.

Abigail felt her heart fluttering again the strange way it did whenever she saw Matthew.

"Please, call me Matthew." he said.

Footsteps were heard, and the doors opened. The children came in one by one, followed by Jonathan. His father and step-mother came in the rear. As the first handful of children entered, Abigail immediately released Matthew's hand – her own now feeling cold.

"Matthew, what a pleasant surprise!" Jonathan said, greeting his friend. "Have you been here long?"

"Not long at all, Miss Winston told me you were all at church this morning. I decided to wait until you returned."

"You don't attend service on Sundays? How odd for a reverend's son," Mrs. Blaise drawled.

"My father knows I was not there. I went for a ride in the morning, hoping to see some of my old haunts. Then I came here. Miss Winston was kind to let me in."

He glanced at Abigail as he said her name, a kind smile on his face. This did not go unnoticed by Mrs. Blaise. She sent Abigail a cold, hard stare.

"Miss Governess, please send the children upstairs and remain there with them. Send them down at six for supper." Mrs. Blaise nearly scowled at Abigail.

Abigail gave a quick curtsy before ushering the younger ones upstairs. It was obvious there was no friendship between the mistress of the house and her governess. Mrs. Blaise was unkind and spiteful. Matthew looked on at the spectacle – how much distaste Mrs. Blaise had towards Abigail. The young governess had done nothing, though she was still treated with malcontent. Once Mr. and Mrs. Blaise had departed, the young men went into the library.

"Why does Mrs. Blaise treat Miss Winston unkindly?" Matthew asked, sitting in the armchair he sat previously.

"I think she might be jealous of Abigail. She is very, quite pretty – isn't she, Matthew? Did you know that she's the heiress to Winston Mills Co in New York?"

Matthew looked at Jonathan astonished.

"I did not, she – she failed to mention that."

He wondered why she had sought a position as a governess when she had the luxury of the world at her finger tips. There should be no concern now for Matthew about possibly courting her. She would not have him, if he asked. She was an heiress – what would an heiress want with a country lawyer?

"I've gotten to know the young Miss Winston well since I've been home. I'm only surprised you haven't called." Jonathan said, with a chuckle.

"I haven't had time. I've been helping my pa with the harvest. At least one of us is entertaining Miss Winston."

"I doubt she much cares for my company. The other day she left abruptly after I teased her about possibly making an offer of marriage."

"Then perhaps you shouldn't."

"Shouldn't what? Propose? Are you jealous, my friend?"

"No," Yes. "I just think you shouldn't tease a poor girl with marriage proposals only to break her heart."

"Poor girl, indeed," Jonathan scoffed. "I don't mind toying a little with the governess. And what if I do propose to her? What are you going to do about it? Come riding in on a white horse hoping to steal her away to your family farm?"

Matthew glared at Jonathan. The man was an ass – how in the hell could he say something like that? No, he wasn't a man – he was an idiotic boy with no civility or respect for women.

"Why do you have to be so foul about the whole thing?" Matthew asked, infuriated.

"Have I offended you in some way?"

"You shouldn't insult Miss Winston because she is a governess. It's an honorable position."

"To hell with honor, many governesses have affairs with the eldest sons and husbands of the family."

Matthew, without a moment's hesitation, rolled his fist into a ball and threw a punch at Jonathan. He hit the man's nose – sending Jonathan's head back. Jonathan stumbled and cried out in shock.

"I've had enough of the disgusting things you say of others," said Matthew.

"Get out!" Jonathan growled, clutching his now bleeding nose. "I shouldn't be surprised if Miss Winston chose me over you. I would have much more chance than you. If only she saw how temperamental you are…"

"I will gladly leave. I thought you might have changed, Jonathan, clearly you haven't. University has only made you even more arrogant than you already are."

Matthew left the library with his jaw clenched and his fists closed. If he stayed a moment longer, he would have severely wounded his friend. He barely noticed Abigail descending the stairs. He stopped and looked up at the young woman before him. His flared temper settled when he saw her, anxiously watching him. Matthew released a heavy sigh and looked down, ashamed she had seen him so infuriated.

"Is everything alright?" she asked.

"Yes, I was just leaving. I ought to head back to the farm. My pa will be needing me." Matthew hesitated before continuing. "Before I go, may I ask you to dinner this Saturday with us? I'm sure my ma and pa would be thrilled to have you again, as would I."

Abigail suddenly felt her cheeks go hot.

"I should like that very much, thank you. I'll let Mr. Blaise know."

"Of course," Matthew said, as she walked up to him.

He held out his hand like earlier. Abigail grasped his hand. Much to her surprise, he gave her a small kiss on her hand. He bowed his head and hurried out the door. Abigail kept her smiles to herself long after Matthew Oakley departed.

.::.*.::.

Abigail refrained herself from the smiles as the Blaise family entered the dining room for dinner. She ushered the children in after the eldest two went in. Abigail was dismissed by Mrs. Blaise to the kitchen until the children were ready for bed. She sighed with content after the youngest three were finally put to bed. Jonathan was nowhere in sight. Once the girls had fallen asleep, Abigail left the nursery to her own room. There was faint chatter coming from downstairs as Mr. Blaise and his wife continued talking. She found the door to her room and went to open it. There were two candles lit and the fireplace. One of the scullery maids must have come in earlier to do this for her. She began to undress and brought the top layer of her gown to the wardrobe adjacent to her bed. The corset felt tight, she felt as though it was constricting her – draining every inch of air out of her lungs. She felt relief as soon as the strings loosened their grip around her torso, breasts and hips. Abigail looked up at the roof, releasing a heavy breath.

"I don't understand why women must cover every part of them. You are quite lovely as you are in that thin chemise."

Abigail was about to scream but Jonathan got up, covered her mouth and pressed her against the doors of her wardrobe. She looked at him, horrified. How had she not seen he had been lying there in her bed – watching her undress? She felt dreadfully scandalous. Should either of her employers walk in, Abigail would be sacked for impropriety. Abigail squirmed against Jonathan, pleading for him to release her.

"If you promise not to scream, I'll release you," said Jonathan, leaning closer to her. "Stop being so stubborn."

She sighed and stopped moving. Jonathan dropped his hand from her mouth but kept her up against the wardrobe.

"What on earth are you doing in my room? I could lose my position!" Abigail hissed.

"I wished to speak to you, now, will you comply?"

"Not in this state!" Abigail exclaimed. "I am indecently dressed, and this is improper."

Jonathan gripped her arm, his fingers gently brushed over the part of the chemise that covered her breast.

"Will you join me on a picnic tomorrow?"

"I cannot – I am teaching your brothers and sisters. Please, release me and go!"

"I will, but you must agree to spend some time with me while I'm here. Will you agree to this?"

"Yes, now release me and please exit the room!"

Jonathan chuckled and slowly released her. Once he was far enough away from her, Abigail quickly covered herself. He left slowly, but once he was out of her room, Abigail went to lock her door. She hoped he would never do as he had done that night again. Shamelessly, he had touched her through her chemise. She heaved a great sigh as she pressed her back against the door, staring at the now empty bedroom in utter disbelief.

Abigail knew of men like him – coming from the East and from New York, she knew more than enough about men who enjoyed some roughhousing with women. Never did she expect it to happen to her. This was not as severe as some, though it still shocked her that a gentleman's son would do such a thing to her – an heiress of New York! Wrong, Abigail, you are a governess now – I doubt Papa will ever allow me to inherit anything. She sank to the floor – properly now missing her home. It had been three months and not a single word from either of her parents. Abigail brought her knees up to her chest. She buried her face into her chemise and robe to muffle her sobbing. And then there was Matthew to consider. What would he think of her being alone, indecently dressed, with her employer's son? It would be enough to cause great scandal.

She dearly hoped that Jonathan would say nothing of their unexpected, intimate meeting. Even the slightest disgrace could ruin her chances of finding a suitable husband. Who would ever make an offer of marriage should her reputation be ruined? Abigail wondered what Reverend and Mrs. Oakley would think of such things. Would she be dismissed from their company? Surely as God is forgiving, the reverend and his wife would be so…Abigail wondered. Oh, she could see the headlines now, young heiress turned governess causes havoc in Colorado! The press would have a field day with tidings such as these. It would be front page on The World back home. As soon as word reached New York by means of telegram, it would all be over.

Once her tears subsided, Abigail looked up. Surely, Jonathan would have to respect her wishes – to not reveal what had gone on between them. She knew him very little, but she had even the slightest hope that he would keep his end of the bargain. Somehow, she had to convince him to keep this misdemeanor between the two of them. Abigail would be humiliated if he were to tell any of his family or the Oakleys.

She got up off the floor. Abigail walked to her bed and adjusted the sheets and pillows to her liking. There was a pause in her movements when she thought of going to the library to get the copy of Wuthering Heights she had been reading earlier that day. However, she had no way of knowing if Jonathan was still awake – or if Mr. and Mrs. Blaise were up and about. Abigail decided she was for it. She wanted to know what happened to Heathcliff and Cathy – to be able to discuss it with Matthew. The downstairs foyer was still lit with the electric lamps at the front door. Julien, their manservant, had yet to turn all the lights off. Quietly, Abigail unlocked her door and opened the door – praying it wouldn't creak. She looked down either end of the long corridor between her and the stairs. It was clear for now. She slipped from between the crack of the door and made her way stealthily towards the stairs.

Abigail descended as quickly as she could down the stairs, hoping to not fall. She released a sigh as she made it safely down and without being seen. The door to the library was not far. It made one small creak when Abigail came to open it. She winced at the dreadful sound, hoping it hadn't been heard by anyone in the house. A few seconds passed before she slipped in. She sighed of relief for making it safely. At the desk, she flipped the switch on the lamp and went to the books on the shelf. There was the copy! Abigail grabbed it in a hurry. She turned to the writing desk adjacent to the bookshelf to write a note to Mr. Blaise that she'd borrowed a book. She would return it as soon as she'd finish it. Once she finished that, she clicked the light off and made her way out.

Just as she came out of the library, Julien walked out of the dining room towards the doors to shut the lights off there. Abigail was near petrified when she saw him, but he merely greeted her with a kind smile and bid her good night. She nodded once before hurrying up the stairs to the safety of her own room. Once in the comforts of her own room, she went into bed to read. Before she could get a sentence read, a loud wail came from the nursery. She dropped the book and rushed out of the room to where the cries were coming from. It was from the boys' room this time, much to her astonishment. It was usually Louisa or Fredricka who had nightmares. She found the boys' room, she spotted Anthony sprawled on the floor sobbing. James and Mark looked on at the spectacle in horror.

"What on earth is going on?" she exclaimed, rushing over to Anthony.

Anthony vomited on the carpet beside his bed. Abigail shut her eyes, her own wave of nausea overwhelming her.

"He was fine when you said good night and now he just woke up, saying he felt sharp pains in his stomach." James answered at last.

The young boy in her arms continued weeping – his face pale as he looked almost cross-eyed at his brothers. Abigail wrapped her arms around Anthony and gently lifted him up onto the bed. He gagged in his mouth, nearly ready to vomit again.

"Get me that bucket," said Abigail to James.

Just as James obeyed, Mr. and Mrs. Blaise came into the nursery room. Mrs. Blaise looked at the children and the governess irritably.

"Why is he wailing in the middle of the night, governess? I thought you had put all the children to bed." Mrs. Blaise exclaimed, angrily.

"I can assure you, Mrs. Blaise, they were in bed. Anthony is ill. He needs to either see a doctor or –," Abigail paused and looked away as the young boy vomited into the bucket he was holding.

"Let us see how long this lasts and if it lasts longer than a day, I will take him to the doctor in town." Mr. Blaise said. "James, go fetch Julien and have him come with the scullery maid to clean this vomit off the carpet. Miss Governess, you stay with Anthony. Mark, go to the other room and you may sleep in the extra bed there. Mrs. Blaise, you may go back to bed. There is nothing here to concern you."

Abigail watched as Mr. Blaise worked in action. She held Anthony's hand and with her other hand she stroked his hair, gently brushing it aside. Anthony wept and rested his head on her lap. She looked at him and released a sigh. Poor child, to be sick like this. Heaven knows how this happened. Abigail thought, grimly. Julien returned with the young woman whom Abigail had seen working in the kitchens. She had everything in hand, ready to clean the mess on the floor. Abigail gently urged Anthony up so the maid could get to work. Mr. Blaise had bid them good night once the servants arrived.

"Anthony, go lie in Mark's bed for now. We'll change his sheets in the morning." Abigail said softly.

The mess was cleaned properly. Abigail bid the scullery maid and Julien good night. It had been a long night for them. Julien had left her the medical kit to take care of Anthony. She placed a cool towelette on his forehead. On another rag, she damped it with laudanum. Abigail placed it under the boy's nose and he breathed in slowly.

"This will help calm you. I shan't give you anymore until morning." Abigail continued. "Try to get some rest."

"Can you – could you stay here tonight?" Anthony croaked.

"Of course," replied she.

James had gone back to bed and was sleeping when Abigail stepped into Anthony's bed. She kept the light on for some time, hoping to get some rest. Every half hour or so, Anthony would get up and vomit into the bucket beside his bed. The laudanum did nothing to help calm the boy. There was a small glass and beside it a bottle of whiskey that Julien had left. He told Abigail should the laudanum not work, have Anthony take the drink, that it would for the night stop the vomiting. It would help him sleep. Abigail did just that a quarter past two in the morning. Anthony was still awake; his breathing was hoarse.

"Will this ever go away, Miss Abigail?" he asked her quietly.

"I'm quite certain you'll be fit as a fiddle tomorrow. But you must stay in bed and rest. You will catch up on your studies later then. Here, take this. Just swallow it quickly and don't smell it. It will help settle your stomach and help you sleep."

Anthony swallowed whatever small amount of liquid that was in the glass. His face grimaced into an almost scowl after the whiskey had gone down. Abigail waited a few moments, hoping that it worked.

"Good night, Miss Abigail. I think I'll be alright now." Anthony muttered as he rolled onto his side.

She gave a small smile and bent down to kiss his forehead. The switch for the light was turned off and Abigail returned to her own room to a much needed sleep.