What Child Is This?
The woman frowned in frustration. It was getting cold, of course the hospital would be full. It would only get worse as winter came. She stared at the boy as she let Marinette speak to the strange nurse. She stuffed her hands into her pockets to feel around until she found something. She pulled out the small piece of bread, it was a bit hard but hadn't gone bad yet, really. She handed it to the boy.

"See if yer teeth be strong enough ta 'andle this. It'll put somet'ing in yer belly. "She didn't know his language, but anyone could understand when someone agreed to something. Since it was clear the nurse had no interest in putting up with the kid, she could at least hope the woman would have some advice where they could go. This village was not their home and while they knew of a few places, it was next to impossible to just wander into a strange building and ask for help. View would take them seriously or be helpful. There were enough children running wild in the street here as there was.
Catherine nodded politely at Marinette’s words, taking them in, but knowing it was unlikely there was much she could do. “I can examine him, though he seems to be well enough, apart from that--”
Catherine’s eyes widened suddenly as Marinette summoned speech from the boy. “Italian,” she said after a long pause. “He is speaking Italian.” Her lips pursed into a thin line as she watched the other woman offer some food. It was a selfless kindness, very likely the only one the boy had known in the past few days, and, if what Marinette had said was in fact the case, that he was not from Madsmoor...she had met only one other person who spoke it since coming here, a man traveling from out of town, and he had died last night.

“I am terribly sorry to do this, but I need him to identify a body.” There was no sense in jumping to conclusions, but Catherine already feared the worst.
The boy grabbed eagerly at Marina’s meager offering and jammed it into his mouth, stale or no. He gnawed on it in ferocious concentration, the women forgotten for the moment. The nurse, however, appeared to be focusing in on the child with new intensity, as she identified the language he had used, her expression one of mingled certitude and faint dismay. The words that next fell from Catherine’s lips might have shocked or perplexed, but Marinette showed no emotion, only nodding.

She held the child’s hand out to the nurse, having no idea what knowledge the woman meant to gain from this bizarre proposal, or how it would help them along with the issue of who would take this child under their wing. But, even if she neither voiced it nor showed sign of it, Marinette too had come to appreciate Catherine’s breadth and depth of wisdom and training when  it came to caring for the sick, and she trusted that the woman had some utilitarian motive for asking of them what she did.

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