After getting his bearings the young man and the caretaker went about their routine. The young man took his turn in the bed and fell asleep quickly. Sometime during the night however he woke up in a cold sweat. The room was spinning and he felt very weak. He tried to get to the door but his knees buckled and he collapsed before reaching the door. He felt himself being lifted up and placed back into the bed. A cool cloth was placed on his forehead. The last thing he saw before passing out again was the caretaker’s face. He spoke in a soft reassuring tone to the young man. The next time he came around the bedroom door was open and the young man could see the caretaker sitting at the table in front of the empty chess board. He could hear the same soft tones as the caretaker rested his elbows on the table and bowed his head in prayer.
Outside the storm was raging. Harder than before and in the middle of the day which was unusual for the island. The young man’s eyes closed once more. Again he woke up and this time the caretaker was sitting on the edge of the bed with a cup of broth. As the young man sipped from the cup he could taste the medicinal herbs in the infusion. It was bitter but the treatment was working.
Afterwards, the young man managed to stay awake. The caretaker came into his room and checked his fever. He gave the young man a pat on the shoulder and a thumbs up. Then he went back out of the room and started to work in the kitchen. The young man rose from his bed and sat down in front of the fire. He wondered how long he had been sick but really didn’t know how to ask. The caretaker looked at him from across the room and held up three fingers. Then pointed to three days on the calendar. The young man counted his blessings. He could have been on his one man vessel when the sickness struck. He would have been at the mercy of the sea.