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Thread: Death Takes From Us In Pairs - 10/7 - Henry/Coralie

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    House Baptiste Henry Baptiste's Avatar  
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    Death Takes From Us In Pairs - 10/7 - Henry/Coralie

    It had been a long week and Henry had finished up his rounds of dropping off and administering the cure but he needed to make one final stop before he could return home. He'd packed his saddle bags and headed off to visit House Macari and check on the Lady of the house, and to see if the cure had taken hold with the Lord, as his last deed before collecting more vials to distribute in other parts of the area. As he rode up, he realized the household was a bit more quiet than normal.

    There were a new group of people who answered the door and Coralie was simply sitting at the table, she did not look up. "Ah! The healer." A man said, looking down his nose at Henry. "There's no one left here to heal." For a moment he assumed they meant that all was well and the Lord of the house was healthy once more.

    "I should probably look over everyone to make sure ..." But as Henry took a step into the door, the man stopped him from entering. "My brother may have believed that you could heal him, but he now is to be laid to rest, faith gets you a dead child and a dead head of house."

    It was with that sentence that Coralie stood and made a path straight for Henry. She was wearing all black as she marched past him and out the front door, taking him by the hand. "No need to treat him poorly, Thomas, as a result of your brother's poor health."

    Not knowing what to do, he allowed the Lady to pull him away, but gave the gentleman a quick nod at his departure. "What has happened? Your Lord husband? Has he passed away?"

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    Junior Member Coralie Macari's Avatar  
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    "I apologize my Lord." Coralie let go of Henry's hand and folded hers before her navel to show she was no longer a threat to him. Hauling the man around was not what she wished to do but he was a kind soul and he'd tried to help her. What more could a girl ask for anymore? "My husband passed away during the night my child ... Our child ..." She didn't want to seem too uncaring but it was her husband who brought the illness into the house. She would not deny that was her opinion.

    "His brother has come in to take over as Lord and has brought his family with him. It leaves no room for myself or the beliefs I carry." She believed that Henry wanted to help them but the new Lord of House Macari held no belief in what he called "playing with plants" to heal illnesses. It was the only thing she could do for him was to save him from the insolence that was her in-laws.

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    House Baptiste Henry Baptiste's Avatar  
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    She brought up her husband's death which happened on the same night as her child's. Her sentence trailed off but Henry nodded his understanding to the woman who stood before him, a widow and a mother who lost her child too soon. "I am sorry for your loss Lady Macari. I wish there was more I could have done." He gestured with his hands to illustrate how hopeless he felt in the situation. This was among the more important lessons his parents had taught him. Even if you've done everything you could and the patient is still lost to you, be sincerely apologetic. According to his mother, it did help in the process of grieving.

    As she explained to him that the new lord was removing her from the household, and she did so with tact that he commended, Henry found himself a bit unnerved. "You mean to say, he's telling you that you must leave?" How could someone, a family member no less, tell a grieving widow that they no longer have a place to lay her head?

    He watched as Coralie nodded in response to his question. His conclusion was correct, they were telling her to leave, and Henry had no idea how to handle the situation. She had just lost her child and now they are telling her she had to move on. Henry would be lying if he said that this didn't upset him a little. He was, in fact, quite a bit annoyed which was uncharacteristic for him. He typically held no concern for people once they left his care, but maybe it was the way she came into his care that was effecting him now.

    "Ride with me, Lady Macari, come back to speak with Lord Yarwood with me. Plead your case to him and see what he can do for you."

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    Junior Member Coralie Macari's Avatar  
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    She wasn't going to be homeless but she couldn't go back to the home of her brother, that was beyond undesirable as far as outcomes were. Coralie could not say she got along with her family, especially after the falling out she had with her father. Her relationship with her brother was, on the best days, tense. It was difficult for her to see the possibility of moving back home.

    No. Her only choice was to move on, to take Henry's suggestion and get on a horse. In minutes she had one saddle bag packed with her precious goods and one more large back attached to the back of her saddle that contained the remaining clothing she owned. Her husband's family did not wave goodbye, they didn't even want to allow her to take her own horse, the slammed the door shut behind her and left her to her own devices.

    With the sound of the slamming door came a certain feeling of freedom. For a moment, she smiled. When she mounted her horse and followed Henry down the roads, she was silent and honestly a bit uncomfortable. No the baby she bore was not large but it did still cause her some residual pain. She would not speak out however, the Baptiste man was taking her as her escort to meet with the Lord of Chatlawn.

    Along the way they stopped at small inns and houses to check on patients Henry had seen to in the days past. In a few situations, Coralie was even enlisted to help the man by handing him things from his bags that he would need, mixing herbs under his instruction, or applying poultices with his guidance. She knew that he was aware she needed a distraction, a calming of her soul before meeting with Lord Elston. His kindness was almost overwhelming to the woman.

    It was when they finally made it to Dawntown castle that worry began to set in, but it wasn't just worry for her own situation, Henry signaled for her to slow down when they arrived to the gates of the Lord's homestead. They dismounted and walked their horses in and took in the sight of servants littering the lawn. They were burning what looked to be clothing and blankets. The traveling pair looked to each other and while Henry's face was calm, and she was sure he was already coming up with the ailments he would be looking for, Coralie was sure her face reflected the panic within her.

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    House Baptiste Henry Baptiste's Avatar  
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    It wasn't unusual, on such a nice day, to see so many servants outside. They could be beating rugs or hanging laundry, but on this day it was obvious that they were not doing simple chores.

    "Lord Baptiste!" They had been spotted and servants were running to meet with them as they crossed the yard. A young boy, who had been a stable hand if he remembered correctly, took the reigns from them and Henry turned to grab his medicine bags while Coralie ran to his side to help. "Did George find you!?" one of the maidservants demanded.

    The Baptiste shook his head in response as he handed one of the two bags to Lady Macari. "Tell me what I should know before I head in." He would rely on the staff of the household to fill in on the information he'd need to begin to assess the damage.

    "I told you not to send George! I told you he was sick!" Another woman began to argue. "Enough! Tell me what I need to know now!" He noticed Coralie flinch in the corner of his eye, as did the woman he shouted at, but first woman who greeted him began to speak immediately. The children were dead, the lady of the house seemed on the verge of passing and Lord Elston seemed out of time as well. Lady Rose was missing and they could not find her.

    Henry's eyes flicked between both the woman and then to Coralie. "I left Lord Elston with enough of the cure to save him and his family in case it made it's way to his household." The women looked to each other and then back to him. "M'lord said he couldn't find it. That someone had stolen it."

    He audibly groaned as he made his way into the castle. The cure worked but not so far as to redeem the bodies of those who were too far gone and full of infection. He knew he still had to try and with Coralie to help, he would work as quickly as he could to put forth maximum effort.

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    Junior Member Coralie Macari's Avatar  
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    After the verbal exchange, Henry was all but sprinting into the house, and Coralie was hot on his heels with his bag in her hands. As he slung his bag over his shoulder, she looked around to see the horrified faces of the house staff. If it were true, the children dying first, they must have felt so helpless and she could understand the looks they all wore.

    A hallway or two, a flight of stairs, another hallway, and they entered the room of Lady Yarwood just in time to see a servant cover her body from head to toe with a sheet. Henry had pushed the door open, startling the servant who had her face covered, but she was able to gather herself quickly and shake her head to the Baptiste man. They were too late.

    He swore but turned on his heels and marched after the servant who was now leading them to Lord Yarwood's bedside. The sight in that room was not much better. There were two men in the room who were attempting to get the lord to drink water. One man was trying to prop Lord Elston up, holding his shoulders and head. The other was tipping a glass against the Lord's lips but he wasn't drinking the liquid, it was just pouring down to his bedclothes. As the pair approached they could tell that Lord Elston was slipping away but Henry would not allow the illness to take the man before he put all his effort into saving him.

    Henry barked orders and Coralie did as he demanded. They worked over the Lord of Chatlawn Hills but it seemed to be futile. For hours they applied wet rags and poultices, as well as administering the cure. All their efforts, however, were for nothing. Three hours after the pair arrived, Lord Elston passed away.

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    House Baptiste Henry Baptiste's Avatar  
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    The plague took children quickly, that was the nature of the beast, but the parents would have had a few days. He could have only imagined they sent word, hoping it would get to Henry, then busied themselves with attempting to do what they could to save the Lord and Lady. When word never arrived they should have sent another, he only could assume that time had gotten away from them. When his eyes had fallen upon Elston, he knew they were too late. His bedclothes were drenched in sweat but his skin was cold to the touch. His breathing was shallow and he hadn't eaten anything or drank water in days.

    He did all he could with Coralie by his side.

    After helping to bury those of the household that passed, a few servants were included but were gone long before the pair had arrived, Henry made it a point to speak with the woman who was head of the castle's staff. He convinced her to keep Coralie on, to lie and say Lord Elston willed it if need be, but she had some knowledge now and would be of assistance in this dreadful time. The head of the household staff agreed. Coralie now had some knowledge of medicine, not an extensive amount, but enough to keep her afloat all while writing letters to Henry in case anything else had gone awry.

    Henry left a bag with Coralie, instructions and a book he found important. "I will write to the King, he should know what's happened here." Coralie nodded that she understood.

    He was leaving her behind, which, in the end was what they'd planned all along.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Coralie Macari's Avatar  
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    "Henry .. " She looked down to the book in her hand, a journal written in his own hand. Inside were instructions and recipes, everything she'd need to at least pretend she knew what she was doing.

    "Thank you." She originally had seen the man as a means to an end, but now that she was encountered with his departure, she actually felt as though she'd miss him. Cora gave him a lopsided smile and he'd held out his hand to shake hers.

    "It was a pleasure to meet you Lady Macari, I do hope that we do not meet again on such dreadful circumstances." They shook hands and she felt it oddly informal but he also seemed as though a hug would not be something he'd want from anyone.

    Henry had spoken to the staff and they were nice enough to give her a room and keep her safe until such a time as she could find a new home for herself. She told the women that she'd recently lost a child and all hesitation about her seemed to slip away, though it was replaced by pity, Coralie found their hugs and kind words to be a bit stifling.

    As the Baptiste turned and exited the castle, she watched him receive his horse from the stable hand while the women shut the door behind him. She was now alone, no child, no husband, no friends.

    Alone.

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