“Any more questions, ma’am? Will’s going to be wondering if I made it down the stairs after all.”
Which was a blatant lie, and Sharl knew Hank knew it. Her father could hear one boy sneak out of a crowded bed at midnight, he’d know Hank had managed the stairs.
But the way Mrs. Dowd didn’t quite turn pale, she didn’t know it. “Ah, no,” the shopkeeper allowed grudgingly. “I was just doing my charitable duty as one of the leading citizens of the town. Now that you’re awake… I’m sure you’ll be moving on soon.”
The swish of her skirts out the front door was almost too fast to be decent.
Mark heaved a sigh of relief, and dashed toward the back door. “I’ll go tell Father you’re okay!”
“Now there’s a youngster who knows how to make a strategic retreat,” Dr. Adams observed. Shook his head, and turned a suspiciously bland look on Hank. “I notice you didn’t bother our fine Mrs. Dowd with the exact unit you were in.”
The sergeant-major didn’t quite grimace. “Would it make a difference?”
“I’d like to say it wouldn’t, but I try not to lie to my patients.” Dr. Adams gave him a sidelong long. “I’d better tell Will to think twice before he drags you to another doctor. Anyone who gets a good look at how you heal is going to know something’s up.”
For a moment, Hank looked uncertain. “Does it bother you?”
“Oh Heavens, no. Hole in you I could put my fist into, should’ve been infected six ways to Sunday, and you woke up alive. Whatever you Incarnates have, I wish I could give a little to all my patients.” Dr. Adams squinted at him. “Well, maybe not the scales and the fire-breathing part. Though from what Will’s told me, you don’t have those.”