At a slight cough from Dr. Cameron, Sir Percy opened his eyes and smiled. "You really should get that cough of yours treated." Sir Percy looked at the time on the clock above his doorway. "Lud! I do believe I dozed off, my dear chap. Daydreaming, I suppose."
Sir Percy thought about his yacht, the Day Dream, and how he was planning to convert one of the cabins below deck to a more suitable living compartment. He hoped that the Skipper remembered to wash off the deck because he usually forgot to do so when Sir Percy wasn't constantly sailing back and forth across the English Channel. The Skipper was good at managing the ship, but wasn't always as responsible in keeping it clean, although Sir Percy paid him handsomely.
Dr. Cameron was still eyeing Sir Percy curiously. "Sir Percy, I believe, before all these... interruptions, that we were having a discussion, about your, whereabouts. If I can recall, you said that you were from the 18th century? That would seem highly unlikely."
"Sink me, I do suppose that you would think so! But I also find it highly unlikely that I would be in the 21st century. It seems the world is full of misconceptions. Are we ever where we think we are or where we want to be? Hmh?" Sir Percy wasn't expecting an answer, but looked at Dr. Cameron as if he did, just to have a bit of fun at worrying his doctor.
"I'm a doctor, not a philosopher."
In truth, thinking about England had raised his spirits and his good-humor. "Oh really? I thought you were a monkey! Curious creatures, they are. One of them stole my quizzing glass while I was in India when I was younger. I never did get it back." Sir Percy finally realized he no longer had his quizzing glass now and felt empty without it. "Dr. Cameron, do you know what a quizzing glass is?"
"I have not the slightest idea. Why would you need it?"
"I believe I had one about 13 days ago. It is sort of an eyeglass with a string that goes around your neck. Do you have it?
Dr. Cameron left the room and came back five minutes later with a pile of clothes. Sir Percy frowned when he realized how horrible a job the nurses had done in washing the linen. They were now faded and shrunk so that they would never fit Sir Percy again. But, Sir Percy was delighted to see that a number of small trinkets were left in a small bag on top. Dr. Cameron placed the entire pile on top of the counter and looked at Sir Percy.
"Ah, yes," said Sir Percy, "could you bring my that small clear bag?" Dr. Cameron reached over and picked up the bag and handed it to Sir Percy's open left hand. Sir Percy opened the bag to reveal several dozen gold coins, his papers that actually said he was "Monsieur Percy Blakeney, Baronnet de Richmond, l'Angleterre," and his quizzing glass. "Sink me! The glass is broken. It is a shame, that was a gift from the Prince of Wales."
"The Prince of Wales?"
"He plays a mighty fine game of hazard though he could do with a wig adjustment. I've been trying to convince him for years, but he just will not listen. He wants all my advice on cravats and cuffs, but never on his wig, what!" Sir Percy set a ghastly look upon his face. "Demmed stubborn man."
"Lud, Sir! Where is my cravat?" Sir Percy was quite calm as he drawled out these few simple words, but his eyes were slightly more opened than his usual lazy, bored look.
"Odd's Fish, Sir, my cravat! The big piece of fluffy white linen that was tied exquisitely around my neck? Where the devil is it?" Sir Percy turned his head in an affected manner to his piles of clothes, but he could not see it anywhere. Apparently, talking about clothes turned the fop on in Sir Percy.
Finally Dr. Cameron spoke up, "Oh, you mean that filthy, rumpled bow that was half-strangling you?
"I assure you, that my cravat is neither filthy nor rumpled."
"This one certainly was, Sir Percy, courtesy of that fine ditch next to the bike path. We couldn't figure out the knot so we had to cut it off and... dispose of it. It was covered in dirt and blood, anyways."
Sir Percy had a look of horror on his face and started to mumble underneath his breath inaudibly.
"I had no idea it meant so much to you, Sir Percy."
Dr. Cameron had taken the pastime of looking at his feet while Sir Percy toyed with the golden coins on his own bed. "I can assure you we can find you another one."
"That would be most appreciated, Dr. Cameron, as I will need it once I leave this hospital and can get out of this-." Sir Percy still didn't know what to call his latest attempt at fashion. It was certainly most horribly tailored, but at least it was one of his favorite colors, sky blue.
"It's called a hospital gown, Sir Percy." Dr. Cameron explained to Sir Percy, "It's made for the patients at the hospital so that we can do most procedures easily and so patients don't overheat among other things."
Sir Percy was studying his current garments and realized how... open they really were. But being an 18th century Brit, he didn't think much of it. At least the nurses had supplied him with some strange sort of very short britches.
Sir Percy saw Dr. Cameron check his watch. Dr. Cameron didn't want to leave but he had promised his wife and daughter that he would take them out to dinner once he got home.
"It's getting close to the end of my workday, Sir Percy, and I do have plans with my family and I have other patients to check up on before I leave. I will talk to tomorrow. Nurse Suzy-" Sir Percy groaned in displeasure. Dr. Cameron continued, "Nurse Suzy will be in shortly to change your wrappings and get you ready for the night. Good-Night!"
"Good-Night, Sir, and I hope you have the most splendid time with your daughter and wife!"
"How did you-?"
"You had a marvelously done painting in your coin pouch."
"When did you-? Never mind. And Sir Percy?
"It's called a photograph."
And at that, Dr. Cameron left the room, turning right to head to his office. Sir Percy was definitely tired, which could be attributed to his day of upsets and intrigue. He was just dozing off when he heard a small knock on the door and that high-pitched giggling. Apparently, nurse Suzy had a short memory and did not hold grudges as she came right over to Sir Percy and patted his golden curls as if he was a dog.
"Good... Evening... Ms... Suzy..." Sir Percy managed to edge out these four words in between the unsteady knocks on his head. She had barely entered the room and already, if Sir Percy could have moved to the wall, he would have started banging his head against it. He had to make do with shoving his hands in his face.
Percy was a very patient, understanding man, but this woman was just too much to handle. He wished for Marguerite's presence now, not so that they could comfort each other, but so that Marguerite could just make Nurse Suzy be quiet. Percy tried to remain undaunted by just toying with the golden coins in his hand.
"Ah!" exclaimed the nurse. "I see that you found those little knick-knacks that we found in your pockets! Those cloths were certainly hard to remove! Ah!" she said as she saw the coins in Sir Percy's hands. "I almost believed those gold coins were real when I saw them! Haha!" Nurse Suzy clapped her hands together like an excited little schoolgirl and took a coin out of Sir Percy's hands and bit down on it.
"Ouch! Sir Percy, why isn't it bending?" She continued to bite down on it.
"Because that coin is real."
"Oh your accent is just so thick, you could cut it with a knife!" She was giggling again. "It really is very cute!"
Percy was in a struggle to maintain his usually perfect, affected gallantry at this time. "If "cute" is what you wish to call it, be my guest," said Sir Percy, biting the inside of his lower lip. "I say, what are the standards of becoming a nurse at this hospital might ask you?"
Nurse Suzy was still gnawing at the coin. "It is not real! I've never seen any coin like it! I thought that gold coins are bigger with an eagle engraved into them? This is nothing but a small piece of colored metal!" Nurse Suzy was examined the coin once more. She remembered the question Sir Percy had asked her. "Oh! I do believe that I had to attend a nursing school for about two years. I wasn't the smartest in my class-"
"-but I wanted to work at the hospital so I worked really very hard I became a nurse. I was nearly the hardest thing I've done in my life but I managed to squeeeeeeze out that degree. And now I get to wear scrubs with rainbow giraffes on them! Now how about I change your bandages again? Did I ever tell you about the time that I won the lottery? It was only about the $500 one but I still won it though."
"La! What is a Lottery?"
Evidently, Nurse Suzy had not heard Sir Percy talk. "-And yesterday I went to the movies with my boyfriend-"
Who could stand more than minute with this woman and not go insane? Percy attempted to regain his good-humor "What in great God's name is a boyfriend or a movie?"
Again, Sir Percy was ignored as Nurse Suzy continued to babble away. "-Oh! Yesterday I went to the mall and I saw this really pretty dress that had KITTENS all over it-"
Percy had given up and just slowly closed his eyes and tried to go to a happy place where he just daydreamed about saving aristocrats, Marguerite's beautiful smile, and smashing Chauvelin's face with a pie. The usual.
"Why do like having "Sir" in front of your name?" She gasped that little intake of air that people take when they are excited and then whispered, "Are you a knight?"
"Have I not said "Sir Percy Blakeney Baronet" at least half a dozen times in the last twenty four hours."
"Oh, Sir Percy, you are so snappy, you naughty little boy!" Sir Percy had been anything but snappy; he had just talked in the foppish tone known so well at all social events. This woman was just delusional and couldn't think about one single thing for more than ten seconds.
"Awe! It's that blue-jay again!"
Could this woman ever stop talking? While he could be off in France, saving condemned aristocrats, he was stuck, listening to this woman gibber. She talked as she retrieved the wrapping from the cabinet. She talked as she removed the seven-layers of cloth from Sir Percy.
Sir Percy again saw the black caterpillar swimming in a small red pond along his side. She talked as she poked at it slightly, making Sir Percy all the more uncomfortable.
"Oh no, it's seeping again. I'll go find Terri. She's better at this kind of stuff." And Nurse Suzy left the room, leaving Sir Percy with his wound completely uncovered and his hospital gown rolled down.
"Aren't you going to-" but Suzy had already disappeared. Sir Percy was starting to get a little chilly and a little uncomfortable with so much flesh left bare. "This situation is demmed uncomfortable," sighed Sir Percy, but he just stayed there and began examining the popcorned ceiling again.
At least for once in the last twenty minutes there was peace and quiet. He was alone for more than ten minutes when another female nurse poked her head in. Nurse Suzy was nowhere to be found.
"It's Percy right?" Asked the tall, blond, Marguerite-aged nurse. (Don't start thinking like that, it's not going to happen).
"Sir Percy, if you will."
"Okay... How long have you been waiting like that, with all... that... uncovered?" She wasn't wearing the giraffe-covered scrubs like Nurse Suzy, but rather reserved light-pink colored ones.
"Lud! It's been a demmed uncomfortable ten minutes now, I suppose." Sir Percy couldn't help but be relieved that this nurse was neither giggly nor bubbly, but maybe a bit shy and all the more serious about her work. "And it is quite chilly in here. So if you wouldn't mind, Miss?"
"It's... um... Terri. But I am so sorry that Nurse Suzy just left you here. I didn't see her... come out, but just now she told me to... come check up on you and then I find you like this." Terri was uncomfortable in her current position. "I might have to talk to Rupert about this."
She was shy and she felt very uneasy about reporting Suzy to the Chief of Medicine. There was quite the awkward silence as Terri found the wrapping and continued to finish the job Nurse Suzy had barely managed to start.
"Has Dr. Cameron informed you of any of the details of how you came to be at the hospital?" She said when she while wrapping Sir Percy.
"Dr. Cameron informed me that I was found by a young lady, face-down in the dirt and was dressed in those clothes. She called the hospital and they took me here where I regained consciousness twelve days later. Correct?" Sir Percy raised an eyebrow in question. "But it seemed to me that I was-" he was interrupted when an announcement came on that indicated the end of the shift for most of the doctors and nurses and that the on-call doctors would be taking over.
"Never mind that, I have to take the night shift anyways. You were saying?" "Oh, never mind." Percy had thought better than telling another person here of his previous whereabouts. He didn't know these people and he wasn't a person just to trust blindly.
"No, please continue. What seemed to you?" Though Terri had heard about a particularly strange patient in the ICU and how he came to be at the hospital, she hadn't heard a lot of the rumors.
She finished wrapping Sir Percy, put the wrapping down and looked at him. No, it wasn't to stare at his beautiful golden locks, but to try to figure out the reason why Sir Percy was in this hospital bed in front of her.
"It seems that I was in the completely wrong century," said Sir Percy.
Terri wasn't expecting that. She certainly hadn't heard that rumor. She was completely bewildered and her previous look of questioning turned into a look of utter bewilderment.
"You mean, metaphorically speaking, right?"
"No, I mean I was in the completely wrong century. One minute I was galloping on my horse off to Calais to board the Day Dream and sail back to England to finally spend some time with my wife and then the next minute I had some devilish pains in my leg and my side. I fell off and I hit my head and then I see Mon-sewer Chambertin looming over me, everything goes dark, and then I awake to find myself here." Sir Percy was being completely cool-headed and talked slowly, as if everything that he had just referenced happened daily.
"Pardon, 'tis monstrous bad habit, Chauvelin."
Terri had heard that name before. She didn't know where from, it had an odd ring to it, but she couldn't quite place it.
She would think about it more later, but now continued with unraveling the story of Sir Percy. She had heard the rumors of how Sir Percy got to be at The Boston Hospital. "Sir Percy, you weren't just found on the side of a biking path and taken here." She stopped, wary of continuing any further.
"What ever could you mean, Miss?"
"Sir Percy... you... you died before you arrived at the hospital." She bit her lower lip, not knowing how this strange man would react.
"Odd's Life, Madam! What you suggest is preposterous!" Sir Percy was completely astonished. He raised his eyebrows in surprise and threw his arms up again a little too high and started coughing. Terri rushed to the air mask.
"Sink me! I'm quite all right." Said Sir Percy in between coughs. "Just give me a moment or two and I'll be as good as new. Well, not as new because I don't believe I as born with a couple of holes in my side and leg." Sir Percy had regained composure and was speaking in his lazy drawl. Terri couldn't help but start laughing.
"Lud, madam, what did I say to make a lady as pretty as you laugh?"
"Oh, it's just your accent. I've never heard anyone say, "Sink me!" before!" She started to laugh even harder and Sir Percy was now chuckling as loudly as it was comfortable.
When they had stopped laughing, Sir Percy found that it would be of no use to try to hide behind the fop and talked in the tone somewhere in between the dandy and the adventurer.
Terri continued much more softly, "But Sir Percy, I heard you were devastatingly injured. Nobody had seen you get to where you were. You were sort of concealed in the ditch, but luckily there was also a man who came biking along. He saved your life. You were losing so much blood and he used his own shirt to stop the bleeding, but your heart stopped. He didn't give a name, but just went along his way when the ambulance* arrived. The paramedics thought you were a goner. They couldn't use the defibrillator-"
"What is a defibrillator, I might ask you? said Sir Percy. Apparently, Terri didn't know that Sir Percy had no idea what any sort of modern technology was and not to use any kind of modern-day vocabulary involving them.
"The defibrillator. It is a machine that uses electronic pulses to start your heart again. You couldn't use it because you had two open wounds and even if your heart started, you would bleed to death, but then all of a sudden, when the ambulance was just coming back normally to the hospital again, your heart started pumping again. The paramedics said they'd never seen anything like it." There was a long silence. "I've never seen anything like it."
"La!" exclaimed Sir Percy. "I don't find anything about that hard to believe! I am British, after all. And you're an American! What?" He had unconsciously switched to the good-humored fop that delights late 18th century parlors.
"Sir Percy, please don't try to change the subject. I know that you think that you're from the 18th century, but that's impossible," said Terri who had moved to the armchair besides Sir Percy's bedside.
"And wouldn't you suppose that I think it is impossible that I came more than two centuries into future? Odd's Fish, miss, I've already had this talk with that Cameron fellow. This is just as strange to me as it is to you, except that I am the one stuck in a hospital in a completely different country. Hmh?" Sir Percy brought the broken eyeglass up to his eye out of habit, but wasn't thrilled when he couldn't see through it.
There was another long silence. "Sir Percy, there is nothing more that I can do to help you, but if there's anything you need, feel free to ask." Sir Percy didn't say anything and Terri made to exit the room.
"I wouldn't mind to have some real food! All I've had to eat is that awful liquefied solution that tastes mighty monstrous." Percy's stomach grumbled as he thought of a nice brisket with a mug of hard cider.
"I'll talk to Dr. Cameron about it, but I don't think you can eat solid food just yet." Another long silence. "I have to go talk to another doctor. Goodnight, Sir Percy." She left the room and dimmed the lights slightly, leaving Percy alone.
Sir Percy was definitely tired, but found it hard to sleep, the same as the night before. He just felt cold and empty without Marguerite besides him. His mind kept spinning but it kept reverting back to the same though, Marguerite. Percy had had so many plans to rescue the various French aristocrats and now he couldn't know if he would ever save another soul again. But eventually he closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.
*Ambulances were started in 1792, just in time for Sir Percy to know about them.
Any time differences can be attributed between Sir Percy "blanking out" and a time wrinkle between the different centuries and possibly universes.
Sorry it took me so long to update. I just had a lot of time to write while I was on vacation and when I got back I had to do summer reading and more Basketball camps and stuff. "Life of Pi" was an... interesting book, though I don't think I'll be writing any FanFiction about it. Hehe... no.