Several days came and went, seeming to blend into one another like the wind. Jon had left, soon to return to begin our spying mission. I had not yet told my mother the plan. I knew deep down she would disapprove.
I learned little of this Annabelle girl, who claimed to be Ed's lover. Why had he not told us of his engagement? Was there some other secret he was afraid of telling that came along with it? Yet I was thankful in a way of her presence, she stayed with Ed much of the day while we worked, even though Mother resented her and did not trust her to be around him. I did not dislike her, she seemed to love Ed dearly and was now surrounded by his family, strangers to herself, who did not like her just for the fact she was the secret fiancee of the son. I pitited her, and tried my best to be kind to her in this awkward situation.
Nellie had come each day, but she appeared more quiet and reserved then usual, her eyes grave. I had not confronted her on what bothered her so, knowing perhaps that the best comfort may be compassion and thoughtfullness as she didn't seem to want to share at the moment in time. We all felt she was of such great assistance in times like these, helping us with both the farm and house work.
The past days had been stable for Ed. There seemed to be no decline, which gave us all hope and drive to work harder for him. A doctor from town that Eliza kindly sent assessed his condition yesterday. His fever was extraordinarily high, but the stability was a good sign. There was a small chance that he may recover. However small and unlikely that chance was, we were all glad of it.
Today day was sunny, frilly white clouds painted in the clear blue sky. The sun was high in the sky, a few hours from the evening. After several days rain, it had given us all a lift. I slowly tip-toed through the mud as I collected the days's eggs, stroking and speaking to the hens.
"Katrina!" I heard Jacob's urgent voice from the house. "Katrina, Katrina!"
I came from inside the chicken house, seeing his bright face at the front door. "Get in here! Quick!" he urged, and disappeared inside the house again.
Ed! I gasped and bolted towards the house, nearly dropping the egg basket. I sat it on the counter and rushed into his bedroom, breathless, where I heard a buzz of soft murmurs.
Mother, Jacob, and Annabelle looked up at me, tears in all of their eyes. "The fever has broken!" Mother whispered, smiling as I had not seen her in a long time.
I sighed. Relief, excitement, joy, disbelief was mixed in one odd emotion inside of me as I felt tears developing in my own eyes. Quietly, I walked over, kneeling at his bedside with the others. They had his weak body propped up on a stack of pillows, his incredibly pale, ghostly face gazing at us with half open eyes. "Ed," I murmured, my voice choked. "It's Katrina. I am here."
"Katrina." he hoarsly responded. I laughed, not caring as a few tears spilled over onto my cheeks. Ed was going to make it. I believe I was the happiest I had ever been in my life.
As we all cried and laughed and smiled, a knock came on the door. I wiped my eyes, standing from my knees and rushing to the door. I felt I was myself again, not the melancholy person who had been wandering around in my own body. Opening the door, Jon stood there, his clothes travel worn and dusty. "Jon!" I cried joyfully. Instintively, I threw my arms around him, embracing him and spilling out that Ed was awake, that his fever had broken, and he was going to make it. He was stunned and bewildered as I pulled away, grabbing his hand and bringing him back to Ed's room, where the patient instantly recognized him.
Nellie slipped into the back of the bedroom from being in the barn, and she gave us all smiles and congradulations. But something in her eyes was sad and gloomy, as if she was far away. It was not long before Eliza, Moira, and Alexandra arrived as we had planned.
For now, the discussion of the spying plan was put off as we seemed to have a reason to rejoice. Mother declared to cook up a feast, and with Moira they began baking, roasting, and chopping. Jacob began to stir up some ice cream from our cow's milk as a special treat, and all of us girls and Jon went to go pick fruits from the orchard and vegtables from the garden, as Annabelle brought chairs into Ed's bedroom so that we may dine with him, flinging open the closed curtains and windows.
As we all sat about Ed's bed, eating a large and delicous supper, I felt happier than I had been in a long time. I was seated between Jon and Nellie, my face already hurting from smiling. Ed wasn't out of the woods yet, so to speak, but his chances of surviving were great.