The antechamber that led to the Queen’s bedchamber had been packed with courtiers ever since she’d fainted at the ball. That had been a week ago. Daily a priest was sent in to give her extreme unction. After a few minutes, he’d come out of Pirouette’s room and shake his head. “No change,” was all he would say. Lady Abigail, under Pirouette’s instructions, refused to allow any physicians entrance to her room, but that changed when the Queen lapsed from delirium into a coma.
A physician, who had a stellar reputation for treating the Great Pox, was finally allowed to examine Her Majesty. He ordered that her body be wrapped in red flannel and placed in front of the fireplace. Abigail and the other ladies complied since they assumed that it was too late for the Queen in any case. After a period of time, the doctor ordered the women to wrap her in fresh flannel sheets and place her under a thick down comforter.
Within a few hours, the Queen was conscious again, demanding water. “She will live,” said the physician. “Thank God you called on me. I was almost too late.” When he emerged from Pirouette’s bedroom and declared his prognosis, everyone in the antechamber began to laugh and hug one another. To say that their mood was buoyant would be understatement. The fear of losing their beloved, young, new queen had paralyzed government. Soon church bells throughout the capital began to ring.
By the next day, Pirouette rose from her bed. She drank some beef broth and nibbled on some black bread. Prayers of thanksgiving were said throughout the kingdom. The Queen would live! Not only that, she barely had any scars besides one or two on her forehead and the back of her left hand. The Prime Minister personally gave the physician a lifetime annuity for saving Her Majesty’s life.