This would fit roughly somewhere into the opening third of the Whitechapel/Spitalfields aspect of ‘Agnes Ross’. Completely unedited incidentally, and only 800 and something words.
Could anyone reading this please reply, and tell me what they understand the reflection of Whitelaw fading into the face of his suitor. Please.
Anyway, read on. Click the picture for tunes and film clip if you aren’t interested in the read. Danse Macabre and some exceptional time lapse art.
Oh, and my mind is not killing me. As for a certain character……………………..
My patients now fell into two main areas. Surgical patients at the London Hospital; clinical and general medical patients as my night time house visits dictated.
My surgical side was suffering. I did not have a regular list, and there seemed to be fewer and fewer patients requiring the knife. I was share purchasing a body every two weeks from black market vendors with a medical student in his final year. We would conduct autopsies, and perform varying surgical procedures. Again, and unfortunately, purchasing anything comes at a cost. Purchasing a body even moreso and it was getting to the point where my student confederate was no longer able to meet the price, and my pocket was not deep enough to cover it on my own.
At the farthest end to this as could possibly be, were my house calls to the Whitechapel, and Spitalfield’s areas. The enormity of the underprivileged, unfortunate, destitute and starving lower class of East London is without compare. In my life time I hope never to experience horrors such as these again. Not a shade of hope is to be found there. It is either the hunter or the prey. Approximately 1200 prostitutes alone worked within that tiny patch of London at that time.
Again as an obvious result, I treated everything from Typhoid, Tuberculosis, Cholera, delivered babies, set bones, stitched cuts, lanced boils and lesions, pulled teeth, practiced candle lit gynaecology in backrooms of pubs and in stables. Ricketts and malnutrition were rife. The list goes on, and all in this tiny hell in the County of Middlesex.
The months, like Napoleon’s troops fleeing Russia, marched on and with a cost. The opportunity to perform surgical procedures was reduced generally to two to three times a week. My apparent nocturnal popularity found me, bag in hand, committing anywhere up to ten hours every night to the unfortunates of Whitechapel. The only saving grace had been the mild summer I was moving within.
May and June came and went. I found I had lost two stone, and that I was developing a hair trigger temper. Rarely was I in my Glentworth St. rooms long enough to attain any more than five hours sleep; this also became the only time and place I would eat. Thank goodness for Mrs. Fox and her greaseproof paper covered food filled care packages she left me nightly upon my writing desk. She was good enough to keep out a brass hip bath filled and near the permanently lit fire within my room, beneath an open window.
July saw my health begin to fail, and upon noticing the same, Moran stole me from my routine for three days under the guise that he required my aid in solving whichever case it was he was presently entwined in. I knew full well that I was in no way needed in the success of this his latest of ventures. Rather that his concern and pity, whilst never outward, was thanks enough for me, so I tarried along, all the while doing little more than guarding the sumptuous rooms he secured for we both in Plymouth.
As such, I did a magnificent job of maintaining the defence of the rooms by sleeping 18 solid hours immediate on our arrival; via room service I ate in three days an amount of food I doubt I had consumed in the four months prior; updated my diaries; read every newspaper I was able to lay my hands on; and lastly to soak in the huge claw footed bath for an hour each of the days we were there.
By the time Moran had completed all that was required of him, taking three days longer than he had anticipated, something I inwardly questioned with a smile, I was rested, fed, and content.
My return journey was not without incident however. Yet again I was to find myself immensely enjoying my own company as Moran had left on an earlier train that morning.
I was to unexpectedly spy my blonde friend once more in the adjoining compartment to my own. I could see him through the glass filled sliding door from where I sat. My reflection having faded to reveal him to me.
Initially it was no more than a sly glance on my part, but as the trip back to London continued, I was to become bolder and bolder in my examinations of him. Minutes prior to reaching Kings Cross Station, my courage screwed into an untidy, gut filling ball. Looking him directly in the eye and mouthed the word “hello”.
To my utter amazement, he too, sensing our imminent departure, mouthed “hello” almost in unison with myself. Completely aghast, I returned my gaze back to his eye once more, all the while the prickling of the hairs upon my nape of neck intensified enormously.
“How do sir?” mouthed I.
“How do sir?” mouthed he.
“Splendid sir.” mouthed I.
“Splendid sir.” said he.