The Marriage Cure

The Marriage Cure by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy Read Free Book Online

Book: The Marriage Cure by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
the rocking chair.”
    â€œYe’re sure?” She was not going to argue and that pleased him.
    â€œI am.”
    Her sigh heaved hard enough that he could feel the exhalation.
    â€œAre ye ready then?”
    â€œAye.” He hoped he was for he felt he might faint.
    She stood up first, her right arm still bracing his waist and used her left hand to pull him up . “Stand up then . It’s one step, then two, and ye’re there.”
    He collapsed into the rocker, eyes blinded with brightness again, panting as if he ran a mile . The chair shifted, rocking back and forth, enough to cause a surge of dizziness . This time, he would faint, he thought, but she pushed his head down.
    â€œ Amadon, ” Sabetha said but her voice was tender . “Raise yer head up slow when ye can.”
    When he could and did, he gripped the arms of the rocker for support . Sitting up in a chair felt strange, very odd as if he had never done this before but stronger, he felt he won a victory . Once he caught his breath and the dizziness vanished, she brought him sassafras tea.
    He sipped it, glad for the warm, strong drink to spread through his body and sighed, happy.
    â€œYe’re all right, then?” s he asked.
    â€œAye, I am.” Now that he managed the feat, he felt cocky and far more confident . She put a hand on his shoulder, and then surprised him by cupping her hand to his cheek.
    â€œThat’s grand, ” Sabetha said, smiling . “I’d never want ye to relapse.”
    He spent two hours sitting up, loving every moment, but fatigue set in, growing heavy as an unwanted blanket and even he knew he should go back to bed . He had less trouble with the three steps back, however, and managed to lie down using his own power . By then, Johnny was so tired that he wanted to do nothing more than stretch out and close his eyes so he did as she whispered,
    â€œSleep then, mo chroi. ”
    He woke ravenous, devouring fried rabbit and fried ‘taters with onions . Johnny finished with a cup of milk with cornbread crumbled into it, eating it with a spoon as Sabetha watched . Then he insisted on rising again, sitting in the chair for another hour . Although getting there remained strenuous, it was easier than the first time . He hoped soon to be able to go outside, to feel the wind in his face, to breathe fresh air and told her so.
    â€œSoon, ” Sabetha promised. “Ye mustn’t run afor e ye can walk, Johnny.”
    â€œAye, but I can try,” h e said, somnolent and satisfied .
    â€œDon’t,” s he said. “Do ye know the song, Maidrin Ruadh ?”
    â€œAbout the fox?” He loved the familiar old song, sung by his father when he bounced him on his knee . “Aye, I know it well.”
    â€œW on’t ye sing it with me, then?”
    So Johnny Devaney, who thought all music had been leached from his soul by tragedy, erased by bitterness, sang with Sabetha, sang the words about the feisty little fox with the fine fat goose until she broke off, laughing . A month ago, he would have said he would never sing again but here he was, singing with a beautiful woman, and alive after a terrible fever that would have killed most men . It was more than he ever hoped to have again and for the moment, too much to contemplate so he feigned fatigue and let her put him to bed where he could think.
    Although his itchy rash was almost gone, she rubbed soft wool wax over it again, her hands rubbing the creamy substance into his skin, marvelous, but he could not think deep thoughts now, could think nothing but how good her touch felt upon his skin . He was almost asleep by the time she finished, barely alert when she slipped into bed beside him but he was aware of her presence, reassured by it.


    Sabetha Mahoney Trahern

    She watched him sleep; marveling at how much better he was now, compared to the worst hours of his illness . More than anything, she wanted to see him

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