the hospital murder case (part five)

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The next half hour was tense. The Jinx sat patiently in the waiting room, apparently completely calm, but they weren't having a very calming effect on anyone else. Lucy didn't seem to be able to stay still for more than a minute, and Mona had become unusually quiet.

Then a nurse named Portugal came out and approached us. She carried a clipboard, and she pointed to it as she asked, "Are we going to get any more information about this 'Felix' person? The forms were not filled out properly." She frowned. "Or, indeed, at all." She looked at us sternly over her half-glasses.

Mona jerked a thumb at me. "That's as per Mr. Government here, Miss P. Take it up with him."

"The circumstances–" I began.

"Be that as it may," Portugal continued, "I am told that you require constant updates regarding his condition."

"Well, not–"

"So," she continued, removing her glasses and letting them hang around her neck by a slender chain, "He has a concussion, we believe–"

"Please excuse me," I said quickly. I saw that Neil was looking at me, so I just nodded. He got up and came over.

"Neil," I said, "this is Miss Portugal." She curtseyed. "Miss Portugal, this is Neil." She extended her hand, with the palm down, as if he was expected to kiss it, but he shook it instead.

"Enchanté," she said, making a minute adjustment to the tiny white cap which was perched on top of her luxurious dark hair. "You are related to Felix?" she asked.

He nodded. "By blood."

"The evidence indicates that he has a concussion. We believe his ankle is only sprained, not broken. X-rays are being taken of both areas as we speak. After that, as the film is being processed, we will check him into a room where he can rest. Now, purely as a formality, sir, are you to be regarded as his next of kin, or is it the individual who follows him everywhere, weeping?"

"I will make any decisions," Neil said. "The woman's name is Dorothy. She's not with him in the x-ray room, is she?"

Portugal chuckled, as if this was a very witty suggestion. "Of course not. She's waiting outside."

"Please ask her to come talk to me, then. Thank you."

Portugal curtseyed again and left with her clipboard.

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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