Just then, the door opened and in walked Mara, carrying a cup of tea. Upon reaching Dixon’s side, she reached for the empty chair situated between him and Lucy.
He jumped to his feet and pulled it out for her. “Here, you go,” he said.
“Are you feeling better?”
“A bit, I guess.” She turned to Lucy and raised her cup. “Thanks for the tea.”
“Certainly.” She paused. “Actually, before I forget to mention it, you all should know that I’ve set up an infirmary in the room next to Vida’s suite. Those children of theirs have introduced the grippe to us. I’ve also made some arrangements with Adele.”
She explained to the others about the catswort tea and how it could help to fend off illness, and of the herbal bundles they’d soon find burning in the palace suites.
“You really all should start drinking the tea right away. In the meantime, I ask that you be on the watch for anything out of the ordinary. We can’t risk having an epidemic of anything truly serious break out.”
“You think that’s possible?” Velia asked, clearly concerned.
“Not likely, but . . . possible.”
Jerrett patted Velia’s arm. “The boys’ll be fine.”
“I agree,” Lucy said. “So far, it doesn’t appear that the illness will have the children down for more than a couple days, as I’ve seen nothing particularly serious.”
She held her finger up. “Oh, and by the way, I’ve asked Clarimonde if she and Vida would allow your children,” she nodded at Velia and Jerrett, “to spend their days with theirs while the two of you are busy. Actually, that will apply to all of the children from the compound. Clarimonde agreed they could do so. In fact, her plan is to run a school here for them all. Since we’ve no current need for the former carriage house, she’ll set things up there.”
“That’s an excellent idea,” Velia said, “although I think we’ll wait until Vida’s children are all healthy again before we send our boys.” She paused, taking a drink of her tea. Then, “Will Nina and Erin teach with her as well?” she asked. “Like they did when we were at the compound?”
“I see no reason why not,” Lucy said. “All right, then,” she turned to Reigna, “how will we gain our intelligence?”
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