The predictable result of spending hours in the cold and damp was a fever. For several days I drifted in and out of consciousness. When I was in a more lucid state, Kathy attempted to feed me broth and water. As a slimming plan, it was excellent, but otherwise this diet had little to recommend it.
Eventually the fever broke and, slowly, I began to feel more like myself. I was still very weak, with little energy to leave the house. I hated feeling like an invalid, so I spent my time puttering about, sulking, and generally getting on Kathy's nerves.
In an effort to both cheer me up and get me out from under foot, Kathy said, "What you need, dear sister, is a trip abroad. We should travel to New Babbage."
I sat up on the couch. "New Babbage? Because the air there is exceedingly healthy?" Sarcasm dripped from my voice.
"Scoff if you like. It is true that soot is not in short supply throughout Babbage, and thus may not be a suitable destination for those with weak lungs - your tuberculosis patients, or elderly aunts with asthma. You, on the other hand, are a healthy young lady who needs to regain her strength and, just as importantly, occupy her mind. Strolling about New Babbage is likely to help on both fronts, as we have always found it to be a fascinating place to walk about, and you always seem to be able to find trouble on her streets."
"Hmm, when you put it like that... You might be right. I must protest, however. It's not as though I go looking for trouble. It is true that trouble does seem to have no difficulty finding me." I struggled to my feet, letting a wave of dizziness pass. "You can make the travel arrangements. I'll pack a trunk."
Kathy booked us passage on one of the big passenger airships that plied the Steamlands trade. We were to take the train to Port Caledon in the morning, embark on the airship that evening, and arrive at the main air dock in New Babbage two days later. She wired ahead to Brunel Hall, where we were able to obtain a room for a month. I had to concede that my convalescence had left me terribly bored, and looked forward to seeing what intrigue was currently occurring in Babbage. With some excitement, I retired to my room to pack.