The Stolen Name

- A Serialized Novel -

A man learns that his name has been used by someone else and sets out to find the man who stole his name and help those whom the imposter betrayed.

Author’s Note: It’s always interesting when both the main characters should be resting. They never want to do it, and there’s always too much going on around them.

Too Much to Discuss

“I think,” Robbie said, still huddled over the bowl, “assuming this is the work of that man is… premature.”

Violet put her hand on his back, wishing he was not in so much pain. She did not care for seeing him this way, and she had to think that she was part to blame. She had drawn him here, hadn’t she? She’d got him to come with her letter, one that had said too much. Of course he’d come to her instead of forcing her to go to his home. He was a good man, a gentleman, and he’d been willing to listen to her even though he knew he was not married. He’d come to see her, to hear her side, and she valued that. Still, if not for her, he would still be safe in his father’s home. He would not be here to be attacked, not by Winston or anyone else who might have done this.

“Who else would it be?”

“It is possible that my father did not leave. Or that someone thought I had his money and tried to take it.”

“Or they might have done it because he hasn’t married you.”

Violet sighed. She had not thought of that, but it was another reason for her to hate the part she had played in him being injured. “Oh, Robbie, I am so—”

“This might have nothing to do with you. We don’t know why I was attacked. It could even have been about the war.”

“I doubt that,” her mother said. She rose, walking over to the door. “Thank you for coming, Doctor. We’ve done what we can for him, but neither me nor my sister is a nurse.”

“You should be in bed, Mrs. Winston.”

Violet grimaced. “I am not the one you need worry about. He could have more than a concussion, and if that’s true—”

“Come now,” her mother said, taking her arm. “Let’s get you out of the way so that the doctor can examine Mr. Winston. You just sit over here for now, and we’ll get you in bed in a few minutes.”

She groaned, sitting back on the chair. She would rather be with Robbie, but she was not a doctor. He needed treatment. They also needed the police. She wondered if they had been searching the park for the man who had hurt Robbie and that was what delayed them. They should have been here by now.

“Mrs. Carpenter?”

“Officer. Thank goodness you’ve come. Mr. Winston found his way here after he was attacked, and I think he was quite fortunate to make it this far.”

“I don’t think whoever it was that hit me expected me to wake so soon, nor did I. I think the worst of it has passed. I already vomited.”

“You’re going to need to do more than that to recover, Winston.”

He grimaced. “I suppose now I have to rest in bed.”

Violet laughed. “At least I won’t be alone with those orders. If it were not completely inappropriate, they could put us in a ward together—or just a room—and let us spend our confinement together. I’d be more willing to stay in bed if I knew you were safe.”

He reached up to push the doctor’s hand away. “I doubt that I would be attacked again the minute that I tried to leave. Not that I would object to having company while I am recovering. I think that the worst part of it of being wounded were those long, horrible hours where I could only lie there, alone. I had nothing but my thoughts, and those thoughts were dark.”

“Then we should not leave you alone this time.”

Beatrice frowned. “Mr. Winston has much to discuss with the police. You can leave him to do that. He has plenty of company. You need to get back to bed.”

“Aunt Beatrice—”

“She is right. Both of you need your rest. Mr. Winston can tell the police what happened to him, and you will lie down again so that the baby does not come too soon. Remember, as much as a child is a blessing, this is a dangerous time for you. Things could—It is dangerous.”

Robbie turned to her, trying for a reassuring look. “I will be in a bed of my own soon, and I would never forgive myself if anything happened to you or the baby because of me. I’m sure that we… We will have a lot to discuss when this is over.”

They already had plenty to talk of, she could not help thinking, but she nodded. She would have to trust that he would tell her whatever the others were trying to keep from her. She would rather stay and watch over him herself, but she knew that was impossible. Not only was it inappropriate, her body and the baby objected to her behavior, and if she was not careful, she’d lose consciousness right here. She had little choice but to let herself be taken back to her room to rest.

“We will talk as soon as we can, Violet. I promise.”

She smiled at him. “I know. I look forward to it.”

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