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I wanted to lay your concerns to rest, ma'am," Ham drawled. "It was kind of you to call Doctor Evans, and I apologize for being generally impossible to live with."

Maeve looked at him in astonishment. "Doctor Evans said you were feverish, and you seemed to be in pain. Hamilton, what happened last night?"

"Last night, ma'am?" Ham seemed to be thinking hard. "Would you believe me if I told you Nat Grover drugged our punch and hired someone to try to kill us?"

"What?" Maeve stood up. "How can you stand there and speak such a lot of nonsense? Why do you hate Mr. Grover so much? What has he done to you?"

"Since that's how you respond, you got a bit faint and I got a bit thirsty and I sent you home and went out and wet my whistle."

Maeve appeared to be studying him. "You were drunk, and suffered from a hangover," Maeve summarized finally.

"In essence, that is what must have occurred, since Mr. Grover is sacrosanct from my unprovable accusations."

"Hamilton?" Maeve said suddenly.

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