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A Dr a Day keeps the Apple away III| 29th after 3- Xmas 1677


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The Toledo Residence


Text for Loc post TBA.


Mr Tutill walked up the steps to the now familiar front door of the Toledos house.


His cloak was of a fine english wool, fastened with an enameled Caduceus, his boots neatly polished.


The sense of urgency of his visit had worn off over the passage of the days, so that now he did not think it could be anything so important after all. But still, he visited, curious for a first to how she'd come to know about him? He was not a man with a very high profile in London.


He used the door knocker once.


This time he was surely expected.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Once again the butler answered the door, and this time he actually smiled at the doctor. “Lady Toledo is waiting for you. I will take you to her.”


He led him to the drawing room. It was furnished opulently and its dark masculine colors contrasted sharply with the small fair figure of Sophia, clothed in the same turquoise and pink gown she had worn to lunch with Lord Maldon. She sat by the window, the highlights in her silver-gilt hair glittering in the sunlight streaming through the glass.


Looking up from the book she was reading when the two men entered the room, she smiled politely as her guest was announced, but did not stand up. Her bandaged foot was hidden beneath her skirts.


“Good afternoon, Doctor Tutill. It seems we have caught each other at last.” She was curious as to how he had found out that she was looking for him, for she had sent him no letter. The only person who knew that she wanted to talk to him was the Governor of the Chelsea Veteran's Hospital. He must have told him she had inquired about him.


“Please sit down.” Sophia was ever the gracious hostess. “Would you like a cup of tea?” A porcelain teapot sat on the table beside her chair along with a delicate cup half full of fragrant dark liquid.

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You might imagine the relief that the Doctor felt when the fellow upon the door had good news.


"Excellent!" he replied warmly, and with wipe of shoes upon the doormat he stepped inside. At last! Taking off his cloak, he went to hang it upon a peg, and then smile to the chap in charge of such things as he instead passed the garment into his care. "Thank you."


The garments beneath were now revealed: Dr Tutill was discovered to be dressed in brown tweed jacket with fawn breeches, his satchel hanging at his side slung by a broad leather strap that crossed his body diagonally.


He peered around the corner of the door he was seen to, and then seeing the woman sat there smiled and entered. "Lady Toledo." his bow was not like those she received from courtiers, it possessed all the textbook features of a bow but was stilted and awkwardly done. This was not a man that spent much time with ladies of quality!


"It is no bother at all," he replied, "I dare say you have many engagements to attend to. Which of course only tantalised my curiosity further, to what would make a socialite like yourself interested to speak to a Doctor of my speciality?"


He removed his satchel prior to taking the seat she offered, and nodding in the affirmative to the offer of tea he set it on the floor resting against his shins.

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Sophia noticed the awkward way the doctor bowed. Commoners didn't generally associate with nobles and were not taught courtly manners. At least he tried. He was probably not accustomed to fine houses with opulent furnishings either. “Yes,” she replied politely, “I have been quite busy this season.”


Or course he would be curious as to why she wished to speak to him. She nodded to the butler, who would know to tell one of the servants to bring a fresh pot of tea. The man bowed and exited the room,. The only other person present was Anna, who was sitting by the fire, working on a piece of embroidery. Sophia knew better than to be alone with a gentleman, even in her own house.


“I have recently taken an interest in the patients at the Bethlehem Star Hospital and I heard that you specialize in mental disorders. Have you ever tended to them before?”

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He was more perched on the chair than full sat on it. Nerves you see.


Nerves that eased a little as she explained her interest. A tension that have been strung around him begun to ease. "I understand Lady Toldeo, their brand new premises has created a bit of a buzz around the hospital, it was in all the papers last year."


Yes now it made sense, sliding back into his seat he then smiled.


"You are correct that my speciality is study of mental disorders, but I am not employed by the Bethlehem Star. I am in fact working on a thesis with more of an... ah, focus upon pre disposition to insanity etcetera. Those hospitalised are... well how might I explain. Those under the Hospices care, have more often than not lost their connection to the situations that may have brought about the onset of insanity, and, I am not entirely convinced that once treated, that they are of any relevance to my own field of study."


He looked at her, hoping he'd managed to explain in a delicate enough fashion to not upset a noblewoman.


"That said, I have on one or two occasions, endeavoured to treat persons who have previously been in Bedlams care?" his roundabout reply phrased as a question, as he wondered to the direction of her inquiry.

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“It seems they have been forgotten about quickly then. I feel that is my Christian duty to help them. Nobody else seems to care. Lady Buccleuch and I went to the hospital on Christmas day and delivered cakes to them but we were not allowed to see the patients. I think they would benefit from having visitors. They must get so lonely locked away from the world.”


Some people were predisposed to insanity? That sounded quite strange to Sophia, but the doctor would know more about those things than she. Like most Germans, she had a strong, pragmatic constitution and was not easily upset.


A servant arrived with a fresh pot of tea. The young Baroness poured a stream of fragrant liquid into the provided cup and held it out to him. If he had treated people who had once been confined to Bedlam, that meant that the insane could be cured. If they were insane to begin with. “Did the patients you treated improve once they were released from the hospital?”

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He looked momentarily confused. "Excuse me, but 'who' have forgotten 'what'?" he needed her to clarify.


“As to 'nobody caring', you shall need to enlighten me my lady. I do not think we can say that Bedlam is neglected, for the new building cost some many thousands of pounds. Err... perhaps you have something to report?" He felt like he was coming into a conversation half way through, for one moment she asked if he's ever worked at Bedlam, and then next she was speaking about some great wrong-doing? He was confused to what the wrong-doing was?


Lady Toledo explained she'd delivered cakes.


"That was very kind of you." he replied. “It does not surprise me overly if you could not give them out personally, many persons resident there are of erratic and possibly violent incline. Yet for the most part they are voluntarily interred, why I know of one instance of a man who is perfectly fine who continues as a resident. Free to come and as he pleases, but returns each night to his bed.*”


"Ah." her final question perhaps explained the misunderstanding. "I did not treat them while resident at Bedlam, but afterwards. Perhaps she'd misunderstood him previously when he'd said this much in his reply.


"In one instance there was limited success. However her previous treatment had involve removal of the 'madness-stone', which rendered her state to one... particularly... well beyond help I am aftaid. Apparently the procedure had been independently funded, from outside of Bedlam." he'd not made further enquiries of that, in a busy life it's easy to forget. "Perhaps Lord Langdon knows more." although, had he remembered to tell Lord Langdon about that?



* a true fact I found in my research

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“I am sure you are aware that many ladies like myself often help the needy in London. We support various causes, and it seems to me that the mentally ill are sadly lacking when it comes to charity, There is a stigma attached to the insane and I think most people find the thought of visiting Bedlam disturbing. That is probably why the new facility was built … to absolve those people of that responsibility. Their donations financed the new building, and their support ended there. I want to do more for them. I want to make certain that the patients are properly cared for, that they do not go hungry, that they are not cold, that they have everything they need. That is difficult to do when I am not allowed to see them.”


Sophia's eyes widened when the doctor told her that some people stayed at Bedlam voluntarily. Maybe those individuals would not have a roof over their heads otherwise. That was the only explanation she could think of that made any sense. “These people you speak of … would they not stroll in the corridors and enjoy the recreation rooms? We saw or heard no one but the warden and his guards. Does this sound unusual to you?”


The Duchess had mentioned Lord Langdon as well. Perhaps one of his relatives was mentally ill. “What is a madness stone?” she asked curiously.

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"Excuse me Lady Toledo, but where did you hear that Bethlehem Star Hospital lost is' supporters?" He asked as it seemed the teenaged girl had drawn a number of incorrect assumptions of the new building, it's patrons and it's guests. She used words like 'probably' while criticizing it's management, made it sound like she was wildly guessing.


"May I ask you for your source to this information, for they seem to have misled you, and ought to be reprimanded." Who had told her that patients were starving and cold?


She was surprised when he told her of persons resident at Bedlam on a voluntary basis. "You attended with the Duchess, Well, I think that in itself explains why you were given a tour that was limited to the office building." he wondered if she understood.


She'd not yet explained what she meant by her earlier comment, and as she seemed confused with a number of mistruths, he wanted for clarity. So he asked again. "What did you mean by 'they have been forgotten about quickly?" he repeated.


She wanted to know about the madness stone, but he believed her to be of an exaggerative nature where it would be foolish to tell her about something so, controversial. "It is an archaic practise not performed any more." what how he replied.

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Was she overreacting? Doctor Tutilll didn't seem to believe that the patients at Bedlam had been forgotten. He would know more about such matters than she, but if he had never been there, how could he be sure? Sophia had not wanted to reveal the extent of the warden's duplicity but it appeared that she had no choice.


She didn't ask him to elaborate on the madness stone. It wasn't relevant to her investigation, and if she really wanted to know, she could find a book about mental illness in the palace library.


“The warden deceived us,” she began. “I asked to sing for the patients. He said he would gather them together so that they could enjoy my concert. He left us in his office for a very long time, and when he returned, he led us to a room in which several people were gathered. None of them looked insane. The Duchess and I recognized one of the guards among them and we accused him of having his employees pretend to be the patients. He eventually admitted it, and again said that it was for our own safety.”


Sophia sighed. “If he has nothing to hide, why would he have done that? He could have told us that they were too violent or that they should not be disturbed. Instead, he put on an elaborate ruse to fool us. There was no reason for him to go to such lengths. We would have accepted a simple explanation. Even if it was not true, we would never have been the wiser. Do you not agree that his behavior was suspicious?


“Have you ever met him? Perhaps he is mad as well.”

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"I had not heard of a recital to be held there, had I known I'd have attended."


Sophia's immature outlook added a non existent drama to it all. The Warden had treated them the best he could under the circumstances of the surprise visit, though indeed he'd let her perform for his staff rather than the clinically insane, he did not want to put the duchess in harms way. Sophia had drawn a number of conclusions as soon as she'd seen the finery in his office, and assumed that the rest of the building was suffering as a result. It was a pity she'd not attended the meeting upon his invitation, she might have seen how Bethlehem was actually run. Meanwhile however her mind, unchecked, leaped to imaginings of villainy.


Tutill nodded as she explained, which included the Wardens own explanation. All seemed sound. Sophia did not seem to think that was a good enough excuse however.


"Yes I have met him a number of times at Gresham. He's as sane as you or I."


"And so this is what you wanted to see me about?" He asked, desirous to bring her back onto topic, namely his visit. Bethlehem Hospital was not his workplace after all, it was not his problem if the Ambassadors wife was upset at them! Still. “If you wish I could ask the Warden if he could meet with your husband, to allay your concerns.” Better to talk with a gentlman he thought, rather than a plainly emotional and upset female. She seemed upon the verge of hysteria, which had Tutill wonder if the man had been neglecting his husbandly duties. (Whitehurst had had great success with that certain treatment.)

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“I came up with the idea to sing for the patients while I was there. It was not planned in advance.”


He said nothing about her accusations. Could it be that he was the warden's accomplice? Maybe for the right price, he would declare an inconvenient relative insane so that their family could be rid of them. Now Sophia wondered if she should have agreed to meet with him at all.


“I am trying to understand the situation there. That was why I wished to speak to you. I do not want to believe that something untoward is going on, but everything the Duchess and I experienced supports that conclusion. The warden went out of his way to deceive us and what you have told me so far is not reassuring. If most of the patients are there voluntarily, I think we would have seen a few of them, unless they locked themselves away to be alone.”


When he suggested that the warden speak to her husband, Sophia shook her head, her blonde curls bouncing about her shoulders. “I do not want to add to his concerns. He has many responsibilities already. It is the Duchess and I who have taken up this cause. We wish to encourage other ladies to volunteer at Bedlam and bring cheer to the patients. But how can we do that when the warden will not be honest with us?”


Her husband did neglect his marital duties, but the young Baroness did not suffer from hysteria (although if she knew what the treatment was, she might pretend she did, particularly if she could choose who administered it). Leaning back on the brocade cushions of her chair, she took a sip of tea. “I would also like your professional opinion on something. Do you believe that music can be beneficial to the mentally ill?”

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“Ah, so you caught them unprepared, yet I dare say the Warden did not want to offend you by declining.” Tutill nodded as he understood they had been caught on the hop, and around about the day of the special cases escapes no less. The poor Warden must have rued the impossibly poor timing.


“The situation at Bedlam.” The Doctor appreciated her desire to understand, and so attempted to explain Bedlam. “is that Families at times reach a point where they are unable to look after an individual themselves anymore. Sometimes it is that they are unable to keep watch over the family member all the time, for they need to work etc, so the family member is placed in care days, or sometimes nights. Sometimes the affected person is simply so demanding, that the family is driven to desperation, why I have heard of times when families have put someone into Bedlam before they do them an injury. Or some are a risk to themselves. Violent, etc. Others are sent to Bedlam for specialist treatments that are offered there. Usually there is a term of two weeks to two months stay for the patients, though some remain far longer.”


“Those families pay if they can. Richer families paying more for higher quality rooms etc. Then there are also the Hospitals patrons, such as the Duchess I suppose, though supply of some cakes is a very minor contribution compared to the running costs of such a establishment. Those funds are managed by the committee. There are meetings, weekly for the most part. Doctors that work there attend, along with Administrators, and the Warden too. I dare say that your visit would have been discussed at the meeting this week. Perhaps if you apply to the committee you can receive a copy of that part of the meetings minutes. In any case my lady, it is unlikely that there is any misappropriation of funds when an entire committee is involved. That naturally does not rule out the usual flow of bribes, stamp duty, etc, which are a standard practise in any office of England, and are no grounds for criminal repercussion, but are the grease upon the wheels of facilitation.


“You cannot assume that there is any maltreatment of the patients, when you have never laid eyes upon one. Men of my profession do our best to look after the most vulnerable person of society. There is scant little reward for it, and that the warden manages to have a pleasant office within such a career is hardly grounds to think ill of him.”


As Sophia said she did not want him to talk to her husband, he frowned. “He does not know of your visiting Bedlam then?”


He could see where she was going with her transparent question. “I do not believe in any carte blanch treatment, but that an individual assessment of each person by a qualified doctor is the first step for any possible improvement or prevention or further deterioration of their condition.

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“So instead he offended us by misleading us and for believing that we were not intelligent enough to see through his trickery. The way we were treated was insulting.”


Sophia listened as he explained how patients were admitted and some of the reasons their families had no choice but to relinquish them into the hospital's care. She felt sorry for those poor lost souls, trapped within the prison of their own troubled minds. Lady Buccleuch was going to the meeting. She would be able to tell her everything that went on when they met that same day.


Maybe the petite blonde should have canceled her plans and went along, but spending time with the dashing Lord Chatham sounded far more interesting than sitting in s stuffy room with equally stuffy gentlemen. The doctor said that there were meetings nearly every week. She could go to one of those as a potential patron and see how she was treated then.


Sophia nearly dropped her teacup when he said that the committee would make certain that the contributions were not misused. And then he mentioned the warden's opulent office. She had not spoken of her concerns about misappropriated funds or the fact that the warden seemed to live above his means. Why would he bring those matters up unless something dishonest was going on? And how did he know what the warden's office looked like if he had never been to Bedlam?


“Very true, but I also cannot assume that the patients' needs are being met for the very same reason. I have not seen them.” Surely he couldn't argue with the logic of that statement.


“Yes, my lord husband is aware of my visit to Bedlam. He supports my charity work. I did not tell him that the warden wronged the Duchess and myself. Spaniards value honor above all else and I am afraid that he might take action if he knows that his wife was presumed to be a fool.”


Either he misinterpreted her question, or his answer was too technical for her to understand. “I know that music cannot cure them, but I think it might cheer them up. A song could possibly reach through their fragile minds and comfort them.


"Would it not be worth researching? If my theory proves true, just think of what such a discovery would do for your career. You would get full credit for it, of course. If you speak with the warden, he may allow me to sing for the patients if the event is planned is advance and precautions are taken for my safety.


"The hospital's committee can attend as well. It is very rare for me to sing outside of court events but I have recently felt compelled to use the talents that God gave me for charitable causes as well."

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Tutill was not here to argue, the lady held to her upset and would not see the Governer as anything but a villain. It slowly occured to Tutill that by talking to her today, the creative woman was likly decide he was crooked also.


"So you do not think that your concealing truth from your husband is also an insult to his intellect, such as you accuse the warden of?" He would far prefer to talk to a reasonable man about this, rather than an emotional woman who was beyond reason.


"Ah, but my visit is distressing you I see."


She did not understand his reply, but still held that she had some magical cure that trumped all the years of study put in by the professionals. "Another topic for you to speak to your husband of." he paused, and then added, "You do realise you have no grounds are all for your claim, and that I have no desire at all to be attached to a young ladies baseless speculations." She'd never met anyone beleaguered by mental illness as far as he could make out.


“Yet I shall indeed seek out your husband, to advise him of our conversation her today.” He did not want to be misquoted, and thought it only fair to warn the Ambassador of his wife’s madcap idea. He’d recommend her sedation, hers was plainly an over agitated mind.


By now he was standing. "It has been a most interesting meeting." he bowed, intent to leave.

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“I have not concealed the truth from him. My lord husband knows that the warden substituted his employees for the patients and that we got him to admit what he had done.” Esteban had been with her when she had explained the situation to the Queen. “I just did not tell him that I felt as if I had been played for a fool. That is what would anger him.”


Sophia blinked when he surmised that she was distressed. Not once had she raised her voice or sounded the least bit perturbed. She was discussing the subject as calmly as she would discuss the latest fashions. He wasn't a very good judge of character. How could he treat the mentally ill if he could not tell when they were upset or not?


What if he was just pretending to be a doctor to swindle unsuspecting people out of their money? Maybe he really was in league with the warden and by speaking to him, she was hindering her own investigation. Nor did he seem the least bit curious about the effects of music on the insane. A real doctor would have at least considered her request.


Sophia smiled sweetly. “Do not all important discoveries start with speculation? Speculation is the seed that produces the fruit of progress. Without it, there would be no cures, no inventions, no evolution of society. No speculation should be dismissed out of hand. Music has already been proven to have a soothing influence. If you do not wish to research my theory, then I will find someone who will.”


The young Baroness stood as well, holding onto the back of her chair so that she would not have to put any weight on her injured ankle. Pulling herself up to her full unimpressive height, she looked down her nose at him, her fine breeding apparent in ever nuance of her demeanor. “You may speak to my lord husband if you wish, but I do not think he will be pleased when I tell him that you humiliated me by insinuating that my ideas are foolish, which, in fact, I plan on doing right away.”


One flaxen eyebrow rose when he called their meeting interesting. “I think pointless would be a better word, At least I learned something from it.” The next time she decided to speak to a doctor, she would check his credentials first. This fellow was such a quack that she was surprised he didn't have webbed feet and a beak. “The butler will see you out, Mister Tutill.”

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She explained she was selective with the truth to her husband, and justified herself. "I dare say the Warden could justify his selectivity with the truth also." had she thought he would not vouch for his fellow working in mental health.


No she did not raise her voice. He has guessed she was upset because of what she was saying, because of the way she did not listen to his reasons and explanation, but held to her preset ideas instead.


"Actually Lady Toldeo, most discoveries come from study of the subject. Experimentation is not to be rushed into, and these are real people we are talking about. One need tread with consideration for their delicate mental state."


"My lady, I had already deduced that you shall malign me after I leave, I do not expect to hold any higher regard in your esteem than that you have for the Poor Warden." he explained honestly as she threatened him trying to stop him from talking to her husband. Threats did not deter him, rather it endorsed the theory that the husband needed to be informed. She was hiding somethng.


"Madam." he bowed, and putting his satchel on over his head joined the servant.




OOC: I wonder if Sophia realises she found out where there is someone mentally ill she can experiment on? Perhaps when she calms down she will remember?

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"But I did not deceive my lord husband. I was honest with him. The Warden was not honest with us. He could have been but he chose not to. One cannot justify that kind of duplicity.” Now Sophia was certain that he was the Warden's accomplice and that the patients at Bedlam were being mistreated. Otherwise why would he defend a man he had never said he knew well?


“Ahh, but those studies start with an idea, do they not? I just gave you one and you rejected it. I do not believe anyone has been harmed by listening to music, as long as it was performed well. I would never suggest anything that would hurt another human being. Once again, you insult me.”


The Ambassador's wife stood her ground, even though her ankle was aching dreadfully. “At least you have no unrealistic expectations.” Sarcasm practically dripped from her lips. She almost played her trump card and told him that the Queen had been notified about the situation at Bedlam, but he would just tell the Warden and they would come up with a plan to mislead her too. It was better for them to be surprised by Her Majesty's investigation, if indeed she decided to look into it.


Sophia glared at him when he bowed to her, and after he had gone, she called for her carriage. The Embassy was only a short walk away but she would never be able to make it with an injured foot. As the butler helped her with her fur cloak, she thought about the woman the fake doctor had spoken about, the one who was probably related to Lord Langdon. Singing for her might test her theory and see if it merited further study. However, she didn't know the Earl well, and had no idea how to approach him about such a sensitive subject.


That was a problem for another day. As soon as her carriage was ready, Sophia set off to find her husband and tell him what had transpired this afternoon. If he was too busy to speak to her, she would tell him about it at dinner that evening.



~finis~ and thanks for an interesting thread.

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