Bluestone
© Telynnia 2000-2

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*First thing... writers' block is EVIL!!! So is everything else that tends to get in the way of writing, eg: classes, work etc. Anyway this is the first half of Chapter 8 I still haven't managed to finish the rest yet. :( But I thought I should at least give you guys *something* to read. Thanks to everyone who's reviewed.. and to answer a few questions: I'm not from England, I'm actually an Australian who is going to be visiting England in the near future. Catherine finds out what she has to do in the next few chapters. And finally, I haven't given up, I'm trying (key word: trying) to find some time to write and you can read more soon!!*

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Chapter 8a: I've written it yes, but so far it's still untitled...

After taking my leave of Catherine I started outside, having been most certain that I had heard a shout from Robert. He rarely ever spoke and would only shout in such a manner if something was amiss.
'Master Christopher!' The shout came again, much closer this time and it was most certainly Robert. He nearly knocked me down as we both crashed through the front entrance at the same time. Robert quickly ushered me out the front doors, muttering something about Daniel as he gasped for breath. He was quite clearly worried, eyes wide and cheeks pale. I took him by the shoulders and looked into his face.
'Take a breath my friend and tell me what happened.' Robert nodded and started his story again.
'I was walking into the stables and I saw Daniel laying on the floor out cold, blood's coming from somewhere, please Master Christopher we must hurry.' I had a rough idea as to the reason why Daniel was unconscious but I prayed that I wasn't right. And without another uttered word, both Robert and I were headed straight to the stables.

Daniel was laying in a crumpled heap on the stone floor a few feet away from an open stall. Hay mixed with the blood as it slowly trickled from a wound on his temple. Chance nervously shifted in the open stall just opposite Daniel's still form, wondering at the commotion we were causing. I was surprised that it hadn't run away. It seemed as if Chance had kicked Daniel as he was trying to put her back in the stall. That was before I saw another figure standing just near the door holding a farriers hammer.
'Look's like the boy just saw the wrong end of a hoof Christopher. Doctor's been called, nothin' for you ta be worryin' about. Heart's fine, he'll just be a bit outta it for a while.'
'But why would Chance kick Daniel? Second to Master Christopher he was the only one who could tame her...' Robert's question quickly trailed off at a sharp glance from Jeffery.
'It's a horse, it don't have ta have a bloody reason to kick an eavesdropping fool like the boy.' He growled. I took a few steps towards Jeffery, my anger building. He'd just called Daniel an eavesdropping fool, and that meant just one thing. He knew that he'd been overheard earlier this morning.

'You did this didn't you? You hit him you bastard!' In the background I faintly heard Robert gasp, probably at my slight use of profanity but I was to angered to care.
'And why dear boy would I want ta do that?' Jeffrey cocked his head to the side as the slightest smile flitted across his features. That just infuriated me even more and my hand itched to wipe that smug look of his face. For the second time that day I had to smother my temper.
'Don't think I don't know about you Jeffrey and hear me I will see that you get what you deserve.' Suddenly the stables were filled with a flurry of action, the doctor had arrived followed by half the staff employed at the manor. I was still fully focused on Jeffrey and didn't miss his closing comments.
'We'll see boy. And hear me on this, it will be sooner than it'll be later.' He smirked and disappeared out the back of the stables.

Marianne arrived in a flurry of skirts, immediately dropping down to sit with Daniel. She spoke to him softly, one hand brushing blood-matted hair from his face. I watched her closely and had to smile faintly, there was something between the two that I hadn't known about. There had to be something for Marianne to fuss over Daniel, whom she hardly ever spoke to, in such a way.
'Is he going to be alright?' She asked, tear-filled eyes. I opened my mouth to reply but a new voice answered for me.
'Let me have a look at the boy and I'll be able to tell you Miss.' Dr McFarland had arrived.

After spending, what seemed like hours, examining Daniel, Dr McFarland swiftly ordered that he be taken to his rooms. Dr McFarland gave me a curious look when I instructed that Daniel was to be staying in the guest bedrooms, not too far from Catherine's and my own. At the very least, that was I would be able to keep closer watch over Daniel just in case Jeffrey decided that he needed 'finishing off'. Marianne kept pestering the doctor with worried questions about Daniel's condition. While they were perfectly valid questions, it was quite obvious that they had begun to grate on the doctor's nerves. I kept out of his way and let him continue his work. The sooner he finished bandaging and examining Daniel's head, the sooner we would be told about his condition and the sooner Daniel would be well. Marianne hovered around as Dr McFarland settled Daniel in his bed. She scooted out of his way and coincidentally knocked over his bag, spilling medical instruments and pills all over the floor.
'God, girl! Cease that fluttering about, the boy will be fine.'
Marianne muttered a quick apology as she stooped down to retrieve the fallen items. 'He just looks so ill, and he hasn't opened an eyelid since he had the accident. That cannot be a good sign. I'm just worried about my Daniel.'
The word 'my' didn't go missed by my ears; there was definitely something between the two. Dr McFarland softened his gaze, and placed a comforting hand on Marianne's shoulder.
'It's alright Miss, he just needs some rest. He'll wake in a few hours, a day or two at the most.'

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*Part B is coming... honest!*