Jezebel's Daughter HTML version

Chapter II.5
Jack attempted to follow her, and look in. She waved him back with her hand.
"Wait at the window," she said, "where you can see the medicine in the light." She took
the bottle of "Alexander's Wine" from the chest, and having locked the cupboard again,
replaced the key in her pocket. "Do you remember it?" she asked, showing him the bottle.
He shuddered as he recognized the color. "Medicine?" he said to himself--troubled anew
by doubts which he was not able to realize. "I don't remember how much I took when I
tasted it. Do you?"
"I have told you already. You took twice the proper dose."
"Did my master the Doctor say that?"
"And did he tell you what the proper dose was?"
Jack was not able to resist this. "I should like to see it!" he said eagerly. "My master was
a wonderful man--my master knew everything."
Madame Fontaine looked at him. He waited to see his request granted, like a child
waiting to see a promised toy. "Shall I measure it out, and show you?" she said. "I
suppose you don't know what two drachms mean?"
"No, no! Let me see it."
She looked at him again and hesitated. With a certain reluctance of manner, she opened
her dressing-case. As she took out a medicine-measuring-glass, her hand began to
tremble. A faint perspiration showed itself on her forehead. She put the glass on the table,
and spoke to Jack.
"What makes you so curious to see what the dose is?" she said. "Do you think you are
likely to want some of it yourself?"
His eyes looked longingly at the poison. "It cures you when you are tired or troubled in
your mind," he answered, repeating her own words. "I am but a little fellow--and I'm
more easily tired sometimes than you would think."
She passed her handkerchief over her forehead. "The fire makes the room rather warm,"
she said.