most generously , as his nurses , posed like some sort of theatrical ballet troupe , wearing masks and standing completely still in front of dull , stained curtains . They were all completely still , and I felt a prickle of unease twist up my backbone .
The doctor wore the ancient plague mask , which struck me as most anachronistic !
“ Welcome , my dear friends !” the Doctor said , moving with a flourish . “ Please come in , and take a seat . Please don ’ t mind the mess .”
A nearby nurse kicked a bloody something under the table .
The Doctor approached , the nurses spreading out as if in a dance formation , all gathering around us . The Doctor observed me most closely saying , “ Now I don ’ t want to alarm you , my dear , but you certainly do look ill . Open wide and say “ ah ,” so that I may observe your heart beat .”
I thanked the doctor for his concern , and continued by indicating that it was Percy , not I , who was very clearly ill and had a fever . However , I knew something was wrong here in this asylum , and I also suggested that we might , perhaps , come back later .
The nurses locked the door at that moment , and that was when I realized it was the inmates who were running this asylum . I know not when or how it happened , only that it happened very near the day or time of our arrival . We were now sequestered in this institute for the insane !
“ Nonsense ,” said the Doctor . “ I promise to take care of your beautiful little sister .”
“ Why are we at the theater , Missus Dashwood ?” Percy asked , delirious .
I could not correct him then , for the nurses guided Percy away from my protection . He was in no state of mind to heed me anyway . They began to try to remove his clothing , to which I objected . It is never proper to prepare for a hospital bed in