On the fourth morning since their arrival at Court, both Lady Marguerite and Princess Devant awakened with severe headaches. By the middle of the day, the pain became nearly intolerable. Not only that, but they developed sore throats. That night, both women were obliged to drink mulled wine with poppy seed oil. Despite these ministrations, neither of them slept well until the royal physick administered leeches to their right and left temples.
To the intense alarm of the old King and his Court, the next day found the two ladies even sicker. They’d begun to cough up blood, black clots the size of one’s thumbnail. While everyone else sat down to a marvelous breakfast in the Great Hall of the palace, Princess Devant and Lady Marguerite couldn’t rise from their beds. Tables set against the two long walls groaned under the weight of dozens of esculent viands and treats.