The Queen’s bedchamber had been quickly changed into a sick room. Heavy tapestries covered all the windows. Wax candles provided flickering glimmers of light, but it was difficult for one to focus their vision on anything more than a few feet away. The rose and jasmine incense that fill the room made it feel stuffy and closed in.
After leaving the ball, Lady Abigail undressed Pirouette and put her under a pile of covers. “If she gets much hotter, we will have to soak her in cold water to bring down the fever.” The doctor on duty stroked his beard and shook his head. “Clearly this is a case that requires bleeding.” Tata Sous-sus chimed in with an approving “um-huh!”
Pirouette, who was covered with sweat began to mutter nonsense. “Don’t touch me!” She said. “My lords, it pleases us to see you jump into the river.” It was as though her thoughts were little bubbles popping out of her head and bursting into nonsensical words.
“Bring the Queen’s tub in here and fill it with cold water. Find some ice in the kitchens and have it brought forthwith.” Abby spoke with authority. Grabbing the physician by the shoulder, she pushed him toward the doors of the bedchamber. Clutching the box that held his wares: knives, twine, a jar of live leeches, and even a sleeping sponge, to his chest, the old man tried to protest. Several other of the ladies joined in, shoving the the man in his black, woolen robes from the room.
“Guards!” Shouted Lady Abigail. “Remove this man from the palace!”