Last week Sir Nicholas came to Henry's rescue, after Henry was attacked by some of the area troublemakers. This week Sir Nicholas meets poor little Beth, Henry's little sister.
Nicholas was about to insist on going when he heard a commotion on the stairs along with a cough and a little girl with black hair and large green eyes stepped into the room.
“Henry, you’re home early. Mother’s not back from the market yet.” The girl began coughing again.
Her brother guided her to a chair well away from the fire and put a blanket over her lap. He patted her arm and said “There now, Bethie. I have brought someone to meet you. This is Sir Nicholas.”
‘Bethie’ looked up at her brother. “Who?”
That's the snippet, but I'll add a little bit below. Thanks for visiting.
“The one who bought the chestnuts for us.” Henry said with a smile of mixed adoration and exasperation. He clearly loved his little sister, but just as clearly thought her the smallest bit stupid.
“Oh!” the girl’s face lit up. “Thank you, sir!” After a moment she burst out “Henry, what happened to your eye? Mother won’t like it if you’ve been fighting.”
Henry’s face fell.
“Henry has not been fighting.” Nicholas said firmly.
“Well, someone has,” Beth argued, “unless he ran into a lamp post.” She started coughing again.
Between the growing bruise on the boy, and the unsettling cough from the girl, Nicholas was wondering what to do. He knew nothing about respiratory ills, but he did have some experience with blackened eyes. “Henry, would you show me to the kitchen?”