The ladies helped Charlie into a chair, much to his fussing and mumbling about how he could seat himself. He glanced around the room, the walls covered with portraits of the former owners of the establishment. He noticed almost all of them had couples, and Madam Bailey’s had only recently been placed on the wall. He could tell because the last person who’d cleaned the room had obviously nudged her portrait ever so slightly and it was askew, showing that the wall was the same shade and hadn’t begun to accrue any dust behind it yet. The walls were all a deep forest green, a very matching color to the dark color of the furniture in the room.
Charlie saw that the door way behind him led off into what looked like a study, but just as he had begun looking, the maid returned with the bowl, strips of clean white cloth, and a salve to cleanse his wound. As the maid moved towards them, she kept her head lowered. She could tell the butler was displeased with the fact that she hadn’t noticed what the commotion was about sooner, the curt inflection of his voice had made it clear.
“Here you are, Ma’am.” she quietly said as she handed the materials to Madam Bailey, “Shall there be anything else?“
Madam Bailey gently lifted the maid’s chin and smiled, “Would you be a dear and get a scotch for Mr. Gablou, Mary?“
The maid nodded, then disappeared into the study that Charlie had only moments ago been looking into. He looked after her to see where she went, but she closed the doors behind her as she made him a drink. Before Charlie could even ponder about it, he was being briskly instructed to remove his suit jacket, his waistcoat, then his button up. Upon removing the button up, it was evident that the end of Mrs. Laikos’ parasol had penetrated the skin and caused a gash that nearly pierced the sternum. Jenielle let out a sharp gasp of horror, which was promptly followed by her fainting. The butler managed to move just in time to catch her before she collapsed onto the floor. He moved her over to one of the chairs and tried to adjust her so that she were comfortable.
“This will simply not do. We must get you cleaned up right away before it gets infected.” Madam Bailey immediately set into the task, dipping one of the strips of cloth in the warm water and cleaning the wound. Mr. Gablou winced as the warm water stung slightly, but did his best to keep his composure while Madam Bailey tended to him. Once she was pleased with the cleanliness of the area, she handed the wet cloth to the butler, who in turn handed her the salve and a fresh strip of cloth. Gently dabbing the salve on and around the wound, she paid careful attention to the center of the hole now blatantly evident. There was a faint prick in the center, which caused her concern. Charlie could tell this from the faint furrowing of her brow.
“What is it, Madam Bailey?” He asked in a somewhat somber tone. The whole ordeal was a tad underwhelming, as it all started over a silly misunderstanding.
She glanced up at him long enough to speak, “There’s a sharp point at the center of where you were, for lack of a better word, stabbed.” she said quietly. Her voice, normally stern, had become soft and sounded saddened. Madam Bailey resumed lightly coating the wound and once she was sure it was the best one could do, she handed the salve and the cloth back to the butler. She made a motion for Charlie to lift his arms, while reaching for the fresh longer strips of cloth the butler was handing her in trade. He lifted, as instructed, and she wrapped his upper torso with the cloths. As she finished, she tied a taught knot with the ends and nodded. “That should do, will keep the area from infection and clean. We will have to redress the wound before you lay down for the night, Mr. Gablou.“
Charlie nodded, “Thank you. I honestly hadn’t thought anything of it, really. Until I saw the blood, that was.” He grinned grimly.
Just as he finished speaking, Mrs. Laikos began to rouse. Then suddenly out of the study burst the maid, who quickly closed the study doors. The maid approached with a glass of scotch on a silver tray, which she offered to Mr. Gablou. He took it and thanked her quietly while tentatively looking at Mrs. Laikos. The maid looked startled as she saw the just freshly risen Janielle. She beckoned to Madam Bailey, “Shall I fetch a cup of tea for the lady, Ma’am?” to which Madam Bailey nodded. Off again she disappeared toward the foyer then into the tea room.
Groggy and mildly disoriented, she looked around at her surroundings and suddenly her face became flush with embarrassment. “Oh dear, look at the scene I’ve caused today.” she shook her head, her soft cheeks turning a bright flustered pink.
“Come now, it could have been worse. No need to trouble yourself, Mrs. Laikos. After all, I’m alive, not dead!” Charlie chided.
Janielle hung her head, sighing, “I’ve made a mess of today, and it’s barely past noon.”
Madam Bailey looked at the two and let out a faint laugh, “You two make quite the pair, I do say. Both overreacting today!” with that, she clicked her tongue, bemused at the twos behavior.
The butler looked at Madam Bailey, “Shall there be anything else, Ma’am?“
She shook her head, “No, you’ve been tremendous, Harold. Go and see about Mary and that cup of tea. I think I could use one myself!” Turning back to Mrs. Laikos and Mr. Gablou, “My word, you two would make a fine companion to one another, if I say so myself.” she chortled.
My goodness another long one today, it seems this very well might become a series! You can read the first and second installments if you haven’t already! I hope you enjoy reading them, feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below!