~ the raven chronicles ~ 46

20 Oct

(Chapters are arranged chronologically in ARCHIVES)

Dr. Sylvester Agnostica, MD.
Sterns-Carson Sanitarium
Green Pines, Ohio

November 22, 1932

I have always considered myself a realistic and practical man, therefore, I cannot lie about today’s visit from Jacob Drummond; I survived a squall, but the storm is not over. At most, I have been granted a reprieve. I know full well that time is limited, and it is imperative that I separate fact from fancy in order to solve the real problems that lay spread out before me.

The first order of business is the banishment of my fanciful notions regarding Eliza Drummond. The seductive apparition of two nights ago in the snow was nothing more than a hallucination brought on by the combination of stress and fatigue exacerbated by the consumption of brandy and laudanum; any sane man will manifest projections of the id under such circumstances. The same psychological cocktail was the cause of my daydreams of defiling young Molly, the kitchen maid, and the subsequent ravishing of my wife later that same day; an animal cornered and confused, will lash out

Unfortunately, I am sure that whispers defaming my character have already spread from the lips of molly portraitthe nurses who witnessed Molly’s groundless rantings that appeared to implicate me in some type of carnal knowledge of the young girl. Fortunately, the hospital staff is still in quarantine, and the wagging tongues of those harridans have been turned back upon themselves.

Before any employee leaves this institution, I will make certain that the reputation of Sterns-Carson Sanitarium has been polished like agate, and shines crystal clear to the outside world. Though I would never be so foolish as to consider him an ally, it serves Jacob Drummond’s best interests to support me; his endorsement will subsume the tide of any petty gossip and swallow it whole like Jonah’s whale.

It is a nearly inescapable conclusion that the case of Rhea Sinclair is hopeless, beyond the reach of any remedy at my disposal. I have literally locked the door to her cell, and the most expedient thing for me to do is figuratively throw away the key. Her husband is dead, and I am sure that as a result of Mr. Cannon’s machinations, her father has assumed legal receivership of all her assets and the physical disposition of her person. Eliza Drummond can visit her sister from now until Doomsday if she so desires, for now that I have had a face-to-face meeting with the great man, it is plain to see that she has no sway over his decisions, and will have none over mine, regardless of her ability to arouse my erotic impulses. I will clothe my dignity in a suit of armor, impenetrable to her wiles, immune to her vulgar posturing.

Free from the machinations of the Drummond clan, I will be able to focus on restoring order to this hospital; the Lord knows my list of problems here is extensive. Upon finishing this entry, I will seek out Mr. Jenkins and find out what news he may have of Evans, or the cadavers once ensconced in the attic; I have a strong suspicion that Hargest may have had a hand in their disappearance, he is the only individual here at Sterns-Carson openly hostile to myself and the rest of the staff. He would need no other motive than his own black heart, which leads me to conclude that I may just be able to indict him as the perpetrator of the chaos that has engulfed this hospital in recent days; I feel certain that Mr. Cannon would gladly explain the legal niceties of personal assassination; he undoubtedly is adept at the art.

nurses and doctor agnosticaThe matter of the feral boy, Zeke, must be handled forthwith; he does not belong in this hospital; he is one step removed from an animal and belongs in an institution capable of keeping him locked away from civil society. Mrs. Wallace will not be happy in the least, but if she chooses to fight me on the point, I will show her the door without hesitation. She is a once-fine nurse whose argumentativeness and obstinance are near to blotting out her better qualities. I hate to lose qualified help, but once things are in order, I believe that I will be able to attract skilled medical assistants to staff this hospital who will be willing and capable of carrying out their duties without insubordination.

I read this page and believe that at last I have found a way out of the morass here at Sterns-Carson carefree agnosticaSanitarium. Once free of those shackles, I will contact Priscilla, go to bended knee if must be, and convince her that I am a changed man and worthy husband. She comes from the very society peopled by Jacob Drummond, Walter Astrich, and other titans of our time. With her standing by my side once again, I just may be able to arrange an entre’ into that elite circle, where I am sure there are new opportunities awaiting a forward looking physician such as myself.

©2013 j.edwardfitzgerald all rights reserved

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