At first Drenn sat for hours with Saranna, trying to cheer her, but there was much to do on the farm during the summer months, and Drenn was by nature an outdoor, active man.   Soon  he  began  to  stay  away from the sick-room  except for one or two brief visits each day, and  at  night  he slept in a separate room, since Essk had  told  him  this  would  be  better  for  Saranna’s health.   Saranna  felt  desolate,  and  began  to look forward  to Carr’s appearance two or three times a day, to  administer  Essk’s prescribed medicines and set the room  to  rights.   Saranna took the medicine eagerly, for it dulled her mind and stopped some of the pain of thinking.   She welcomed the night-time, when Essk’s sleeping draught brought her complete oblivion, free even of dreams.   She began to fear that she would never be well.  But when winter came again, Drenn spent more time with Saranna, and she felt cheered by his company.   Sometimes he told Essk to bring the child into Saranna’s room too.  Raðenn  was now a big strong baby, and Saranna could hardly hold him.  Drenn would sit  beside  her  on  the bed with his son in his arms, and  they  would  sing  and  play  games for the baby’s delight.  These times were all too short for Saranna; soon there would be the sound of Essk’s knock on the door.

‘Excuse me, master, but it is time for the little one’s bath now.’



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