Trials of the poor

Players: Bennet and Remy

Summary: The doctors talk over a troubling case among some of the poor Irish outside of town

Date: June 9, 1883

Trials of the Poor

Bennet Household

It was quite late. The house hold had all gone to bed. Except for Remy. Awake and in her workshop / office, she is burning the midnight oil, literally. If one were to look through the windows, one would see her going from books to microscope and back to books again. Then perhaps scrabbling a bit of notes.

And one creature is stirring. James had indeed put Isabella to bed and retired to his dormitory…Though that hardly met the man had gone to sleep. Files, papers, and folders all lay on the vacant side of the bed….Lily's side. In his hands, however, was a first edition copy of The Count of Monte Cristo…Signed by Dumas himself. A gift from the doctor's mother. After several hours of quiet contemplation, those brilliantly green eyes rise from the pristine pages and glance toward the window. The window that was lit dimly from the room below. With a sigh, a chuckle, and a shake of the head, Bennet rises, pulls his robe tightly about his torso and heads downstairs.

Remy writes another set of notes and then looks over to the book. " couldn't be that..but perhaps it is. I simply have to be absolutely sure…", she says to herself as she continues to work. Moving toward one of the bookshelves, she pulls down a tome that James had loaned her about diseases and opened it, searching the index again.

"But what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and my Remy is the sun…" Bennet leans gently in the open doorway…The priceless book still clutched gently in his hand, crystalline eyes focusing gently on the figure within. "Arise fair sun and kill the envious moon, who is sick and pale with grief that her maiden art far more fair then she…" A gentle smile graces those lips just as the chipper Bostonian accent fades into nothing.

Looking up from her work, Remy offerse a tired but warm smile. "Thank you, my Romeo…", she says, laughing just a bit. "I am sorry..did my work keep you awake?', she asks, moving to put the samples she's been working on away.

"Oh heavens no. My sleepless state is to be blamed on Alexander Dumas and Alexander Dumas only." Soft eyes trail the young woman, trying to deduct the late night going's on. "Something I can help you with, my love? I'm more then just a brainless surgeon, you know…"

"Of that I have no doubt, my dear…." Remy says quietly, shaking her head. "But I am afraid my mind is rather frazzled at this point. I simply cannot figure out why the McLellan children are all so ill. It looks like typhoid on the outside..but I wish to find the culprit."

"McLellan…." James offers quietly, lowering his eyes to study the hardwood floor. All in an instant, the young doctor changes from his home personality to his professional, analytic one. "That's a reasonably poor family, is it not?"

Remy nods and frowns still. "An Irish family, outside of the main Irish community here. They have eight children, six of whom are ill. The father is ill as well. But some are not having all the typical symptoms of such. I wish to find the culprit so that, once they are through the worst, it will not reoccur."

"All of those that are ill….Are they male?" James asks quietly, moving further into the room and setting that priceless novel on the table beside Remy. "And also….What is the condition of their outhouse? Well used or new?" His head slowly descends, staring slowly into the microscope and biting his lip.

Remy nods, looking over her notes. " Yes, all male. The girls are well. Their outhouse…", she pauses, looking back through her pages of observations. "Overly used. I do believe they should move it."

James nods dimly, adjusting the magnification of the microscope slowly….Carefully. "And their well. Located anywhere near the outhouse? Lets say within…..100 feet?"

Remy nods again, still looking at her notes. "Are you thinking, perhaps, contamination with feces or urine, perhaps? Would that carry the disease? Of course it would…..of course!"

James smiles warmly, gently pushing the microscope forward on the table. "Often in these poor families, the boys of the family are forced to work outside to keep the gardens and grounds in repair. Often, it's when they're working outside that the men will drink directly from the well. Usually, water is boiled within the household. With ten people in the family, they are bound to overuse their latrine in a tremendously short period of time…And…honestly….that..mess…seeps." He studies her a bit more closely, a familiar emotion appearing within those eyes. "A very elegant solution, hmmm?"

Remy wrinkles her nose up a bit. "There may be other ways of transmission as well…", she says, making a few notes again. "They will need a new well, then…and a new outhouse…and everything will need a good scrubbing, I should expect.", Remy says, finally raising her soft eyes toward him. "And if there is a death, the body must be..burned…I would think."

"You took the words from my mouth, dearest." Bennet offers with a loving smile. "You're absolutely brilliant, young lady. Has anyone ever told you that?" He wrinkles his nose a bit, winking.

Remy offers a tired smile and laugh in response. "Why thank you, Doctor…", she says with a bit of a nod. "I will travel back out there tomorrow again to check on them. There is little I can do until it runs it's course, don't you think?", she asks, moving to turn down the lamp.

"You can do absolutely nothing but give then a laxative and hope." James chuckles, scooting up onto the table even as the light is lowered. After a slight pause and a shy smile, the man reaches over and retrieves his book, stroking the cover absently. "I do love you, Rem…"

"Not a laxative. That would make things worse…", Remy says as she turns down the last lamp. She turns her smile to him. "And I love you, James. Will you walk me back upstairs?"

"It'll empty their system. It's always nice to start with uncontaminated contents in their stomachs." The man scoots softly from the table and offers forth his arm. "And of course I'll walk you upstairs, sweety."

"But they're already having the green, loose stools. I am afraid of it making things worse. But perhaps things will look different tomorrow…" Remy says as she takes his arm. "What book is that you are reading?"

"The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas…" The doctor answers with a warm smile, leading his far-too-professional fiance out of her office. "It was a gift from my mother….When Isabella was born."

"I do not believe I have read that one. Perhaps you it to me? A bit? I do so love your voice?" Remy says, slipping him a gentle, warm smile. "Or, if you prefer, I could read it when you are finished?"

"I'd love to read it to you, darling….Anything to keep you by my side for a few more hours each day…." He returns the smile, eyeing the door to his daughter's room for a moment as they pass. People could say anything they wanted to about James, but he was a -very- dedicated father.

Remy watches as his gaze moves to the door of his daughter. "And I would enjoy the time with you as well. Let us go to our own rooms and not wake her, yes?', she says quietly.

"Sounds like an astute plan." James answers gently, eying the double doors to the master sweet with a dubious eye. It had felt strange to be alone since Lily left. When, at long last, they stop before her door, the doctor smiles. "And may the sweetest of dreams grace your slumber, Remy.."

Remy turns to face James as they pause before her door. She'd caught his look toward the master suite as well. One they would likely share when they were finally wed. "And may Morpheus grant you rest, James…", she says softly. Taking a step forward, she brushes his lips softly with her own in a chaste kiss.

Bennet matches her gentle kiss before allowing his lips to turn in a smile. "Goodnight, darling." Two steps backward, and a slight bow later, he leaves her in her doorway. Heading toward his own. "Eventually….We'll actually get to be together." The man mutters to himself quietly…..Pushing his own doors open.

Remy watches as he goes to his own room. "Eventually…", she says quietly and in an almost dreamy way before opening her own door and retiring for the night.


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