Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (21) Love at a Trot (Part 03)
Having moved the riding school up to Copper Beach Farm another of fates dominoes toppled.
One day when she was sitting on the bench in the yard talking to Anthony that it happened.
The moment at which everything changed for the three of them without them even knowing.
Charlotte Clode appeared from the stable block looking more lethargic and leggy than was the norm.
She was walking towards them or at least towards the farmhouse with some paperwork for the office but when she got closer Anthony noticed a pallor to her countenance.
“Are you alright?” he asked with concern
“I’m fine” she replied unconvincingly
“You don’t look it?” Lynda added
“I’m fi…” she began and fainted into Anthony’s arms
Anthony guided Charlotte’s limp skinny frame onto the bench and tried to revive her.
“My God she’s burning up” He said as he touched her cheek
“I have something in my bag that will bring her round” Lynda said
“What is it smelling salts?”
“No Horse liniment” she replied
He removed the cap and held it under Charlotte’s nose and she came around in a few seconds but she wasn’t with it at all and she began shivering…
“She has a proper fever” Lynda said
“I’m not surprised she got soaked to the skin yesterday” Anthony said
“Let’s get her to bed”
“Ok” Lynda said and took two steps towards the stables until Anthony said
“Let’s get her into my bed, there’s an en suite in my room”
Anthony helped Charlotte up to his bedroom and laid her on the bed then he took her boots and socks off, next they sat her up again and slipped her overalls straps off her shoulders and as she got her to her feet the dungarees fell to the floor, then as Lynda pulled back the duvet and they had her ready to lay down she suddenly got a burst of energy and started to resist.
“Don’t make a fuss” she insisted “I told you I’m fine”
So he let go of her but after a few moments she went a bit wobbly so he sat her on the bed again.
“Fine are you?” he said crossly
“There’s a thermometer in the bathroom cabinet” he said to Lynda who duly obliged and when she returned he switched it on, zeroed the reading and put it in her mouth, a moment later he removed it.
“You’re fine are you?” he said “just below 104, now get into bed”
Charlotte reluctantly complied.
While Lynda finished settling her into bed Anthony went downstairs and phoned the doctor.
He phoned the Doctors surgery in Purplemere, and after a lengthy interrogation by the SS trained receptionist he was finally put through to a Doctor Browning.
“Have you taken her temperature?” he asked
“Yes its 104”
“Ok give her paracetamol for the fever, keep her warm and give her plenty of fluids and I will call in this evening” the doctor said