Julia Hoffman was about to enter
her office when the desk nurse called out. "Dr. Hoffman
"There's someone waiting for you in your office."
"Who is it?"
"She wouldn't give her name, and there's a little girl with her."
Julia frowned. "Then I'll go in. If Barnabas Collins calls, put it through."
The woman was sitting on the divan, her arm around a little girl. When Julia entered the woman smiled nervously and said, "Hello, Julia."
"Angelique." Her mind wasn't on the blonde woman, however; it was fixed on the little girl at her side. Julia doubted she would ever be able to forget those features.
"Darling," Angelique said softlyl, "This is the doctor I told you about. The one who might be able to help make you well. Dr. Hoffman."
The pale, sharp features were solemn. "How do you do, Dr. Hoffman."
"I'm quite well, thank you. And what is your name?"
"Sarah," the child answered.
"Sarah," Julia repeated, and a glance at Angelique found the promise of an explanation later. "What seems to be your problem?"
"I'm sick," Sarah said simply, then looked up at Angelique. "Mother, I'm so tired."
"I know, darling. Is there someplace she can rest, Julia? It was a long drive-"
"Of course." She picked up the telephone. "Carol, could you come in here?"
The young woman opened the door, her smile inquisitive. "Yes, doctor?"
"This is Sarah. Sarah, Carol. Could you find a room for her, Carol? Her mother will take care of the paperwork later."
"Alright. Come on, Sarah."
"And Carol -"
"If Mr. Collins calls, tell him I'll call him back later."
Angelique handed Julia a manila folder filled with papers. "Here's a partial record of Sarah's treatment, Julia."
For the next minutes, Julia was just a doctor, looking over the records of a prospective patient. "She's been seen by some of the best hematologists in Europe, Angelique."
"And they still haven't been able to find a cure - or even find the cause of her problem."
"I don't know what you think I can do."
"Come now, Julia. Don't be so modest. You've worked a miracle or two in your time."
"Surely there is somewhere else you can go, -"
"I gave up my powers, Julia. A year ago. That's why Sarah is with me."
Julia looked again at the papers. "I notice there's no name down here under 'FATHER'."
Angelique turned away. "Sarah's father doesn't know about her."
Julia stared at the woman's back until she turned around again. "I know that. If you want me to help - or try to - I need to know the entire story."
Angelique moved to stare out of the window, looking out at the busy shipyard across the street. "When Barnabas married me in 1795, I was a little over four months pregnant-a result of our last night together before he left Martinique to return to Collinwood. I didn't know I was with child until I had put the curse on him. I certainly couldn't have
told him then."
"No," Julia agreed. "I suppose not."
"That's one reason why I left Collinwood after Barnabas was chained in his coffin. When she was born, I named her Sarah."
"Out of a sense of guilt?"
"I admit that I had a hand in Sarah's death, Julia, but I was not the only guilty party."
Julia frowned again. "But- she's only ten."
"I was a witch, remember? Witches aren't supposed to care about having families - especially children. I was finallly allowed to keep her until she was nine, and then she was taken until such time as I returned to Hell forever-or gave up my powers."
"And you gave them up a year ago."
"Exactly. She became ill soon after. She's such a sweet child, Julia. So very much like her namesake."
"I think Barnabas should know."
"No. He has enough reason to hate me already, Julia. You of all people know how he feels about children. Especially little girls."
"So do you. Keeping her existence from him is- cruel."
"I won't let my daughter be torn between us. And I know she would be, Julia. Barnabas and I can't live together, Julia. We always end up destroying each other. Too much has happened for either one of us to forgive comepletely."
"How do you think you can keep it a secret when Barnabas is right across that street at the shipyard?"
"I'll manage. He'll have no reason to see Sarah - and I can say I'm just here for a visit."
"Spending all your time here?" Julia shook her head sadly. "It won't work, Angelique. It will be better for him- and you- if he hears about his daughter from you."
"I can't, Julia," Angelique insisted. "Don't you understand? I still love him. I'll never stop. And to earn any more of his scorn - "
she shook her head. "I couldn't."
"If you don't,-" Julia began, only to stop as Angelique whirled to face her.
"Don't threaten me, Julia. We're talking about a very sick little girl. And my only concern at the moment is her health."
Julia closed the folder. "I'll go examine her and start some tests. You can wait here."
"Thank you. You know, I wouldn't blame you for refusing to take the case at all."
"I'm a doctor," Julia reminded her. "And doing that would only be
punishing an innocent child for her parent's stubbornness."
Sarah was less pale when Julia
entered the room. "Are you feeling better?"
"Some. Where is Mother?" the girl asked.
"She's waiting in my office while I examine you."
Sarah sighed, having been through this many times. "Okay."
Barnabas stopped at the nurses' station upon entering the hospital. "Is Dr. Hoffman in?"
"She's with a patient, Mr. Collins."
"I'll wait in her office, then. I'm sure she won't mind."
"The mother of Dr. Hoffman's patient is already there," the nurse said. "But - I suppose it will be all right."
He frowned, turning toward the door. Julia didn't usually treat children. A light tap on the door signalled his entrance. "Excuse me," he said to the blonde woman at the window as recognition set in. "Angelique?"