Chapter 191 – Fever Stops All

I walk up to Mrs Struth’s top flat. This beautiful tenement building is immaculate under Mrs Struth’s regimental cleaning regime, ensuring no speck of dust, stain, or blemish exists on the staircase. Above the top flat’s door, a sign reads, ‘Cleanness of body was ever esteemed to proceed from a due reverence to God, to society, and to ourselves.’
I knock on the door, and Mrs Struth opens it.

“I see your new sign.”, I said, pointing upwards.

“Sir Francis Bacon’s wise words from his book ‘Advancement of Learning’, written over two hundred and sixty-five years ago.”, said Mrs Struth.

“How many are sick?” I asked through gritted teeth.

“Nearly a third, but I fear for Robert the most.”

This news shakes my core. On a personal level, Robert is one of my best friends; on a professional level, Robert is the core of my Glasgow Operation. I stand back, “Do whatever it takes. All my resources are at your disposal to protect everyone under this roof.”

A quick nod from Mrs Struth acknowledges the request, and she walks back into her flat, closing the door.

I stand in the silence, considering my predicament. My ship is now on a skeleton crew with five weeks to go until the tramline opens. My goodness, what a shift these weeks will be.

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