The story so far:
Rose could hear shouting from somewhere, but it was indistinct. She opened her eyes, but everything was fuzzy and indistinct. She blinked while her ears cleared up. Jonah Mark was saying bad words again. He was framed by a box, and everything was light in the box. Rose realized she was still in the dumbwaiter, with a lot of rope on top of her. She jerked up as she remembered the creature. Jonah Mark put his hand on her shoulder. Rose noted that his hand was covered in blood, she could feel it seeping into her dress.
“Don’t move, you fell a good distance. I want you to move all your toes and fingers.”
Rose frowned, but did as she was asked, “Where did it go?”
“I handled it. That was a very brave thing you did, drawing it off like that.”
Rose sniffed, as the adrenalin of terror wore off, and she began to realize what exactly happened. Sniffing again she launched herself at Jonah Mark, wrapping her arms around his shoulders. He caught her and pulled her out of the hole in the wall. Rose buried her face into his shoulder and cried. She felt him hesitantly wrap his arms around her. Rose wasn’t sure how long she cried but she knew it wasn’t too long. She noticed how Jonah Mark hadn’t moved his leg the whole time they sat there.
“You’re leg, did you hurt it when the creature tossed you?”
Jonah Mark smiled, “Yes, but it will heal. As will your scratches, though I fear the speech I will get from Dr. Valiant about that.”
“We should let them out.”
“Hmm, we should, but I’m pretty comfortable right here. You go get them, tell Dr. Valiant to treat you first, then come for me.”
Rose pulled herself up and looked at Jonah Mark, noting how pale he looked. She didn’t like that at all. And his head was bleeding. So she quickly moved up the stairs, pointedly ignoring the damage to the hall and the fact that the door to the room that held the dumbwaiter was closed. She crawled swiftly through the access tunnel and was wrapped in several warm hugs and many exclamations. She couldn’t hear them all at once and suddenly Dr. Valiant stood in front of her staring into her eyes.
“Rose, did you hit your head?”
“Yes, but Jonah Mark is worse off. He was tossed all the way across the hall and his leg..”
“You first,” said Mrs. Brown.
Rose sat as patiently as possible while the doctor examined the cut on her head, she didn’t even feel it, or the scratches, and everything would swim in and out of focus. Eventually she got the Doctor to head down to treat Jonah Mark. The doctor moved hesitantly, simply acting in the belief that the creature was still around. Rose strode forward, confident in the work of the door guard.
“Look in there if you must but do come, he was very pale when I last saw him.”
Dr. Valiant did just that, quickly shutting the door, “Rose, have you been in there?”
“No, I was at the bottom of the shaft.”
“Okay, keep out of there, ladies should not witness such a thing.”
They moved quickly to Jonah Mark. The doctor sent Rose to fetch Mrs. Brown for water and rags. Rose moved quickly did as was asked, and was then sent to sit with her uncle while the doctor and Mrs. Brown helped Jonah.
“It’s strange Uncle. It’s over and I should feel alright, but my tummy is upset.”
“Darling Rose,” A hand fell on her shoulder and Rose yelped in fright, “Rose! Its me, your uncle.”
Rose turned around on the floor to give her Uncle a hug as he laid on the couch, “I’m so glad you’re awake! We were all worried about you.”
“Well, look whose feeling better, Mr. Gearwise. I’m glad you are awake, that’s a great sign for your recovery.” Dr. Valiant noted from the door way.
“I imagine its better than not waking up. What has happened?”
Rose stood, “How is Jonah Mark?”
Rose did not like the doctor’s expression, not at all.
Joseph Fletcher stood at his brother-in-law’s gate. He was surprised to see several new windows. He scoffed; unsurprised if those were the results of his overly energetic daughter, Rose. He had hoped all his attempts to get her to act like a lady would work. Joseph rang the door and waited. Mrs. Brown answered the door with an overly wide smile.
“Mr. Fletcher! It’s so nice to see you. Rose has been looking forward to you coming back for her birthday, pity you missed it by a week. But you’re here now. On such a beautiful day too, come in. Rose is in the back.”
Joseph blinked, tugged along by a Mrs. Brown he hardly recognized. He straight up gasped when he saw the main hall, construction workers crawled all over the place and scaffolding lined most of the walls.
Mrs. Brown sighed and became quite still, “Just a little incident. Rose is in the gardens out back.”
Joseph gazed once more at the hall before stepping through the kitchen, also being reconstructed, into the garden. Joseph let his eyes adjust to the light and began his search for his daughter. Joseph frowned when he saw her. She was sitting across from some ruffian character, with a bandage around his head. Joseph walked swiftly over. Rose saw him and ran up shouting, “Father!”
“Rose!” Joseph picked her up, giving her a quick hug. Holding her hand once he set her down, he once again looked at the ruffian she had apparently been playing checkers with.
“Joseph! Welcome back!” Andrew Gearwise chose then to appear. Joseph was convinced he was mad but a safe enough care taker for Rose while Joseph was away on business trips. Joseph looked back at the character by the checkers, pondering if Gearwise was in fact a good choice in guardian.
“Andrew, why is my daughter playing checkers with the help?”
“Help? Nonono. This man saved our lives, suffering bodily harm in the process. Surely you noticed the damage in the hall?”
Joseph nodded the affirmative, unconsciously pulling Rose closer.
“Well this brave soul came along and saved us all. I am letting him stay here until he heals properly.”
Rose looked up, “I want to introduce you to him. He’s quite wonderful, even if he doesn’t know how to play checkers.”
“I’m learning little Rose, give me two more games and you will never win again.”
The man looked at the trio with a smile. Rose laughed and skipped back over.
Joseph frowned, realizing the extent of the man’s injuries included a leg cast and crutches. Andrew Gearwise pulled Joseph forward whispering, “Be nice, Jonah Mark is a good man and your daughter is quite fond of her new friend.”
Joseph looked over the whole scene again, noting Rose’s pony had company in the fields too. He stepped forward, “Sir, I would like to extend my thanks for protecting my daughter…”