It was one of those dark grey rainy afternoons in March that seem to last forever. The adults were in the drawing room, chatting about whatever, playing bridge or reading while nipping neatly at the gin to keep off the chill.
As the only children in the manor, Eldon and cousin Felicity understood they were to be seen and not heard, and preferably not even that, and no one noticed when they slipped away.
"Oh Eldon" said Felicity, "I perish from boredom". Though only a year older, she was given to aping her elders and when he suggested they play a game, she
gave him pitying look.
"What sort of a game?" she yawned, but when he replied, somewhat timorously, "Doctor?", a curious smile came to her lips. "Wait here, Eldon" she said, disappearing for a moment and returning with a small valise. She held out her hand and they climbed the stairs to their "secret place" in the attic.
Eldon had naturally assumed he would be Doctor, but when Felicity began asking about his symptoms and laid her slim,cool fingers on his brow, it was almost a relief.
When she said he was very ill, he half-believed her and when she poured the laudanum into a spoon and held it to his lips, he welcomed it like a benediction.