Merivel Making the Rounds in Marshend
(Continued from The Return: Derron and Merivel)
Merivel nodded, and soon headed out the front door of the cottage himself.
Left to his own devices, Merivel stepped out of the front of the cottage, in contrast to the exit that Derron himself had made. His eyes cast up briefly to the sky as he did so, and it seemed that the Maester pondered that sky for a few long moments.
He sighed. His trip to and from Holdfast had gone so very wrong. And he wondered as he looked skyward just what was going on, back there. Did they think him dead? Did they even know what had befallen him on the road east?
And then, idly, he wondered if anyone had cared for his raven back in Clearwater while he was gone. Thoughts of ministering brought Merivel back to focus. There were things to do while waiting for Niko to reach Clearwater and return. He had patients and things here to attend to.
Thusly, Merivel went in search of the Septa.
He found her resting, weak but seemingly healing - and she greeted him with a weary smiling.
"What news, Maester?"
"Things seem to be quieting down for the moment." Merivel said, appraising her health as she approached. "Or at least the number of visitors in and around your cottage. You'll be stuck with Derron and I in Marshend for a little while longer, at least, however."
"News I am more interested in for the moment is the state of your health." Merivel added.
The Septa, a lifelong nurse, furnished Merivel with explicit details of her condition, with a simple brevity that showed no false modesty. The wound on her arm needed redressing, but she held it out, confident that he would find no infection there, for she felt no symptoms of it.
Merivel listened intently, asked questions, and probed gently, verbally and physically, to monitor the status of the wound.
As he dressed it (a nice, clean wound now and healing well) she asked, "Where is Aerin?"
Merivel had a look of relief on his face as he dressed the much improved wound. As the Septa asked her question. he furrowed his eyebrows. "I do not know." he admitted. "I did not see her when we broke our fast, although I recall you mentioned bading her to visit the river."
"Is it needful for me to go and find her?" Merivel enquired. "I'm certainly at liberty to do so, if you need her."
The Septa nodded anxiously. "I would be grateful," she said. "She is in my charge as much as the boy ... "
Merivel gave short bobs of the head in agreement and acquiescence. "Is that the last task you set for her, then? The visit to the river? Or has she not returned from some other errand?"
"The river," said the Septa. "And she has been gone a long time, hasn't she?"
Merivel nodded slowly at the Septa's words. "Since the early morning, and everything that we've said and done since then has passed." he said, in a tone of voice that the latter phrase was by rote or by memory from something quoted. He closed his eyes briefly and folded his hands together.
"It would be well for me to find her quickly, then." Merivel said. "My own injury does not plague me this morning, fortunately." he added in a tone of relief.
"If you could briefly describe the geography of the areas around, and where the river here, I will set out." Merivel said to her.
"I don't know the lie of the land here," said the Septa. "I was unconscious with fever when I was brought here." She sounded apologetic. "Septa Mariam can help you. Or the Steward. By now he'll have looked around."
Merivel considered this for a moment and then nodded.
"I will ask Mariam for her advice on the geography and then I will set out to find the girl for you. I do know Derron has several things he needs to accomplish while here. I have learned not to get between his hammer and the anvil, so to speak." Merivel smiled. "I shouldn't have trouble getting oriented once I have a few pointers."
"Anything else, good Septa?" Merivel enquired.
The Septa shook her head.
"All right." Merivel dipped his head, and headed downstairs.
(Continued in The Search: Derron and Merivel)