Now back inside the central passage, Mrs. Reinhardt pointed toward the elevator, next to the staircase. “The elevator was installed over a year ago when Lord Andrei began having difficulty climbing the stairs. We use it when he wants to enjoy the garden or there is a need to venture into Maryville.”
Ruby followed Mrs. Reinhardt to the staircase. “The house looks so much larger from the outside.”
Mrs. Reinhardt began ascending the white carpeted steps. “As I said before, the house has a southwest wing that is rarely used. You will not need to concern yourself with it.”
Paintings of early landscapes, buildings, and the monastery lined the wall, following the flight of stairs as it turned, and then turned once more, until they reached the second floor and the next flight of upward stairs. The second floor was a long hallway with closed wooden double doors at the south end.
“I will show you your room first, and then I’ll introduce you to Lord Andrei,” Mrs. Reinhardt said, walking to the left. She stopped in front of the second room on the west side of the hallway. “This is your bedchamber. You may go inside.”
Ruby pushed the door open and walked into the room. Before her was a four-poster bed with a flowered canopy and matching bedspread and ruffled skirt. A fireplace with an upholstered wing-back chair in front of it looked perfect for lounging. A desk and chair were against the other light blue wall, next to one of the windows that faced Castle Moldovan. “This is very nice.”
Mrs. Reinhardt walked inside and pointed toward a half-open door and then around the relatively spacious room. “That is your bathroom. You also have a closet and a bureau for your belongings.”
Ruby walked up to the desk, complete with a leather desk pad, pencil cup, tray, and letter opener. She placed the notebook she had been carrying on top and picked up what looked like a patient’s chart. “Is this for Lord Andrei?”
“Yes, it is,” Mrs. Reinhardt said, walking up to her. “Doctor Booker writes his orders in there when he makes house calls. There is also a place for you to record his vital signs, medicines given, and things about his foot wound. I’m sure that is all familiar to you.”
Ruby flipped through the pages. “Yes, this looks pretty standard. Where are his medications kept?”
“The home infusion company delivered a box with the intravenous antibiotics and the supplies he needs for that. He has some supplies for the dressing change to his foot, but I am told that you will order more dressings from your agency. Is that correct?”
“Yes, I’ll do that. I’ll look at his orders and assess the wound and then have what he requires to be delivered here.”
“We take care of his insulin and oxygen supplies, as well as his regular medicines. In fact, Lord Andrei can take his medications himself, as long as someone sets up his pillbox. He even checks his blood sugar and is able to give himself insulin with one of those insulin pens . . . if he even needs any. Would you fill his pillbox every week and make sure he is doing what he is supposed to do?”
“Yes, I’ll do that.”
“Mr. Miller told me, and it should be there in his chart, that he already had his once daily IV antibiotic and the dressing was changed on his foot this morning at the hospital before he was discharged. All you have to do today is assess him and make sure things are in order for today. Any questions?”
“No,” Ruby said, closing the chart. She looked next to the desk and saw that her nursing bag, backpack, and the two suitcases were placed next to each other. “Everything looks to be in order.”
Mrs. Reinhardt pointed to—what looked like a baby monitor—sitting on a small table next to the bed. “This is the speaker that will buzz when Lord Andrei needs anything. When you hear it, you will need to check on him.”
“Okay, not a problem,” Ruby said, hoping he did not push the button at all hours of the day and night. “Does Lady Beth sleep in the same room?”
“No, she sleeps in the room at the south end of the hall,” Mrs. Reinhardt walked to the door. “Are you ready to meet Lord Andrei?”
“Yes,” Ruby said, deciding not to take the chart or nursing bag with her quite yet. Since she was going to be living in the house, it was best to get to know him first before getting down to business.
They walked down the hall, past the elevator and staircase, and stopped at the first door on the right. Mrs. Reinhardt knocked on the closed door. “Lord Andrei, this is Mrs. Reinhardt. I have the nurse here, and she would like to meet you. May we come in?”
Ruby heard a low grunt. That must mean yes, she thought.
Mrs. Reinhardt opened the door. A grayed-haired man in a wheelchair, with a blanket over his shoulders, sat with his back to them. Then he manipulated the electric wheelchair’s controller until it was turned and he was facing them.
Frowning until his gray eyebrows touched, he glared at Ruby as a sneer formed on his sagging face. It was as though he recognized her, or maybe she reminded him of someone he hated. Then, with a thick unfamiliar accent, similar to one from a Dracula movie, he interrupted Mrs. Reinhardt’s introduction and said, “Get her out of here. Now!”