The Pocket Watch(15)

By: Ceci Giltenan

Maggie had worried about what might pass for medicine in this time but she did know that willow bark had a substance in it like aspirin. That should help the pain and inflammation. Bearnas was also right about the best treatment; there was nothing to do for broken ribs but allow them time to heal.

Bearnas continued, “There’s also a small bump on yer head. I’ve heard of people not remembering what happened for a time after a bad blow to the head. Ye’ll remember it all again soon enough, I warrant.”

Lady Carr frowned. “Bearnas, it’s not the accident she’s forgotten. She remembers nothing, not even her own name.”

Bearnas frowned. “Nothing? I don’t believe it.” She fixed Maggie with a stern look. “Do ye find this amusing, my lady? Scaring Lady Davina like this?”

“I—I…” Maggie didn’t know what to say. Bearnas’ accusatory tone left her with no doubt that like everyone else Maggie had encountered, the healer didn’t like Margaret either.

“Nay, Bearnas, I’m certain she’s not lying,” Lady Carr assured her.

Bearnas looked doubtful. “Do ye know anything?” she asked Maggie.

“I know my name is Margaret Grant and that I’m at Castle Carr, but only because I’ve been told that. I don’t know where Castle Carr is.”

Bearnas shook her head. “It’s in the Highlands, southwest of Inverness.”

The Highlands? Scotland? Maggie hadn’t seen any kilts. It must be the fourteenth century or earlier.

“Do ye know what day of the week it is?” the old healer asked.

“Nay,” said Maggie.

“Good heavens, child,” said Lady Carr. “It is Saturday, three days before the feast of St. John the Baptist.”

The feast of St. John the Baptist? Maggie didn’t know a lot of saints’ days off the top of her head, but she knew this one. It was six months before Christmas Eve, the twenty-fourth of June. Three days earlier would make it Saturday, June twenty-first, the day of Elliott’s wedding—hundreds of years from now, that is. Maggie nodded slowly, “So it’s June. Can ye tell me what year it is?”

“’Tis the year of Our Lord twelve hundred and seventy,” said Lady Carr gently.

Holy cow, the thirteenth century? Maggie had gone back in time seven hundred and forty four years. She must have looked shocked for both women stared at her. She knew she should probably say something, but all she could manage was, “Oh.”

Lady Carr took one of Maggie’s hands in hers, patting the back of it. “Don’t worry Margaret, have a rest for now. I’ll send yer meal up.”

“That isn’t necessary, my lady. I can come down.” Maggie was only going to stay long enough to see what a real medieval dinner in a castle was like anyway. Dinner in the thirteenth century and back to the twenty-first century for breakfast.

Lady Carr frowned at Maggie, looking perplexed. “But ye…nay, perhaps ye’ll join us in the hall tomorrow, my dear. Bearnas says ye need to rest. Yer father will be extremely angry if something happens to ye in our care—and that would be disastrous.”

Maggie started to argue, but Bearnas interrupted her. “Nay, my lady, Lady Davina is right. Take this willow bark infusion and rest for the remainder of the day. Perhaps yer memories will be back by morning.”

Clearly they weren’t going to back down, so Maggie acquiesced, drinking the potion and lying down in the beautiful bed before they left.

She stared at the canopy suspended from the ceiling, thinking about all that had happened. It had been an experience beyond anything she could have imagined. As much as she wanted to see what dinner in the great hall would be like, she realized she should probably just say the word and go home. If they found Margaret had passed away, it would be easily explained. After all, they believed she had sustained a serious enough head injury to lose all of her memories.

Still, something nagged at her. Lady Carr had said, Yer father will be extremely angry if something happens to ye in our care. Maggie wondered why exactly she was in the care of the Carrs. Maybe she had been captured and was being held for ransom. Yes, that happened all the time in romance novels and the Carrs seemed none too fond of her. Still, she had been out riding with Logan and she obviously had been given fine accommodations. Wouldn’t she be locked in a tower or a dungeon if she were a prisoner?