She dropped him a low curtsey and was gone. He started up.
“Where be goin’, sir? Sit down; you’m not fit to stir.”
But Mr. Fogo had passed him, and was out of the room in a moment. In spite of the pain that racked every limb, he overtook Tamsin in the porch.
“What are you doing?” she cried. “Go back to bed.”
As she faced him, he could see that her eyes were full of angry tears. The sight checked him.
“It’s—it’s of no consequence,” he stammered, “only I was going to ask you to be my wife.”
For answer she turned on her heel, and walked resolutely down the steps.
Mr. Fogo stood and watched her until she disappeared, and then crawled painfully back into the house.
“An’ now, sir,” said Caleb, as he led his master to bed, “warnin’ et es. This day month, I goes, unless—”
“Unless what, Caleb?”
“Well, sir, I reckons there be on’y wan way out o’t, as the cat said by the sausage-machine, an’ that es—to marry Tamsin Dearlove.”
“My dear Caleb,” groaned Mr. Fogo, “I only wish I could! But I will try again to-morrow.”
HOW ONE LOVER TOOK LEAVE OF HIS WITS, AND TWO CAME TO THEIR SENSES.
But Mr. Fogo was not to try again on the morrow.
For Caleb, stealing up in the grey dawn to assure himself that his master was comfortably asleep, found him tossing in a high fever, and rowed down to Troy for dear life and the Doctor. Returning, he found that the fever had become delirium. Mr. Fogo, indeed, was sitting up in bed, and rattling off proposals of marriage at the rate of some six a minute, without break or pause. He was very red and earnest, rolled his eyes most strangely, and wandered in his address from Tamsin to Geraldine, and back again with a vehemence that gravelled all logic.
“Lord ha’ mussy!” cried Caleb at last. “Do ’ee hush, that’s a dear. ‘Tes sinful—all these gallons o’ true affecshun a-runnin’ to waste. You’m too lovin’ by half, as Sam said when hes wife got hugged by a bear. What do ’ee think, sir?”
The last sentence was addressed to the little Doctor, who, after staring at the patient for some minutes without noticeable result, nodded his head, announced that the fever must run its course, and promised to send a capable nurse up to Kit’s House without delay.
“Beggin’ your pard’n, Doctor,” interposed Caleb with firmness, “but I’ve a-got my orders.”
“I’ve a-got my orders. Plaise God, an’ wi’ plenty o’ doctor’s trade,  us’ll pull ’un round: but nobody nusses maaster ‘ceptin’ you an’ me—leastways, no womankind.”
“This is nonsensical.”
“Nonsensical, do ’ee say? Look ’ee here, Doctor; do ’ee think I’d trust a woman up here wi’ maaster a-makin’ offers o’ marriage sixteen to the dozen? Why, bless ‘ee, sir, her’d be down an’ ha’ the banns called afore night, an’ maaster not fit to shake hes head, much less say as the Prayer Books orders—’I renounce mun all.’ That’s a woman, Doctor, an’ ef any o’ the genteel sex sets foot on Kit’s beach I’ll—I’ll stone her.”