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.’