I do not know how long did I sleep.
In my dreams, I ventured to distant lands, bearing all sorts of adventures, living the roles of a thousand characters.
I opened my eyes, and saw the ceiling beams, the sun was shining through the hole in the wall, covered with linen.
I tried to sit up, but then I passed out from the pain.
When I woke up, they were sitting beside my bed.
The very old man was mixing and grinding something in a mortar with a pestle, the rich looking man was staring at the window.
* * *
- Master Cathal. How are you ... ha, this is stupid. You can not know. Shall we tell him ?
- The... Doctor.... and the Keepers...
- They don't know you're here.
- Did you... cover up? For me?
- Yes. All this theater, i hope it was strictly necessary ?
- There was no other way ... I could stop them following me.
- I should give you a stern talking to for endangering the life of ... i guess you know by now... my half-sister, Frances.
- She was... never in... physical danger...
- Even though you were leading her directly into the line of fire of the hunters?
- If you follow ... the river downstream... you will find... her dress... and body...
- How ?
- We waded in the ford... and we both got shot... but then, she has been picked up alive from the river bank?
- Yes. Is that... the Doctors' doing ?
- I guess... and the Keepers. They have done some kind of ritual... nobody could stop them, and no one saw them... I suppose they caught one of the faeries in the wood, and sacrificed it ...in a dark ritual...
- I did hear of such things... never occurred to me they used it on Frances?
- I suppose, you can start convincing yourself by starting to dig in some fresh graves... or in suspiciously fresh pits in the woods...
- I believe you... I do... it just seems so... dark... did they really inflict the curse of not-dying on her?
- Yes... but they did it... with a different purpose in mind... I think, it actually was the single way her maritime-born disease could be treated... the blood of the sacrificed faerie brings her back out of danger... But they couldn't control her will, and something there, her character, wanted to die ... only now, she can't. I saw this happening ... a few times in her room... they carried away her body while her character reappeared on the bed. There is something in her that has this death wish... She wouldn't talk about it... I tried... I'm weak, governor... for my deed to be complete, everybody out there, including her, has to be convinced absolutely, that I died ... I left my dispositions to that effect... for the Doctor to enact.
- What next ?
- There is a plan... but first I have to lay low for a while... I will come back one day... in a different personality...
- Why are you doing this ?
- Let's just say... Doctor and his Keepers, it's not their first venture into this kind of treatment. But they evaded us so far really successfully. Not long though, I will have the story that sweeps them out of this life... I still don't know what caused Frances to become this death wish embodied... I really want to help her...
- Sirs if I may - the very old man interrupted - but did you really not know the story of the Queen of the Pirates?
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