Boss arrived at 10.30 as agreed, as made quite sure Mrs Payne was shut up in kitchen before answering the door. Boss fearfully pale and barely seemed to have energy for sarcastic quip asking if we were having a Jamaican Christmas this year on account of temperature.
Got down to business, as did not want to keep boss here on my account, and concluded necessary comments on my work to see me through to start of next year. Asked boss if he would perhaps like a drink, gladly accepted on account of not quite feeling up to driving back just yet. Showed some concern over this and asked what the matter was, quite sure it was Mrs Payne's cake. Inevitable answer came back that he and Horseface had ate something that disagreed with them.
Stalked into kitchen quite prepared to give Mrs Payne what-for on account of wilfully poisoning fellow man, but seeing my part in horrid affair thought better of it. Unfortunately in kitchen Mrs Payne, unable to entertain herself otherwise, was making another abomination to all things culinary in form of another cake, and found this quite the last straw. Said in no uncertain terms to stop her devil's work immediately, as boss was in lounge quite unwell due to cake. Mrs Payne quite upset by this and covered in flour as always went into lounge to apologise most profusely as to her cake.
Boss quite unprepared for tearful lady asking about his health looked deeply panicked and after one or two faint words passed out in chair! Quite panicked by this myself, and with not a jot of first-aid training, immediately telephoned for ambulance. Following this proceeded to open windows to get temperature to acceptable level, avoiding still tearful Mrs Payne in process. Had no option but to tell Mrs Payne to pull herself together and go and get a glass of water, which duly did, quivering all the way.
Managed to drag armchair towards window, which seems to help situation as boss came back to us, apologising for upsetting "Bitty". Said not a bit of it, after all she had been instrumental in his condition. At this point Mrs Payne returned with glass, and boss weakly took a sip or two. Seemed most distressed to learn I had called ambulance but said quite firmly that he was to rest and wait for their arrival.
Inevitably arrival of ambulance positively forever in coming, but eventually turned up, sirens and flashing lights. Waved them inside, and let boss explain situation. Mrs Payne had scuttled into kitchen and quite too furious as to see what was the matter.
Ambulance man made diagnosis saying temperature and lack of liquids was likely culprit, and I had done quite the right thing to bring him around. Thought this an incredible relief. Said no trip to hospital would be necessary but perhaps someone could take him home. Said I would be quite able to do this.
Set off for boss' home, having seen ambulance men to door and informed Mrs Payne as to plan, still in kitchen pacing. Boss still weak on journey, but made odd query as to what I meant saying Mrs Payne had been instrumental in his condition. Replied that it must have been cake that had done this to him, and I was equally sorry for condition of his wife. Horrified to learn that not a crumb of cake he or his wife had eaten, and rather it was rather poorly selected fish that had caused the upset. Had gratefully received the cake, but was quite unable to entertain it.
Rest of journey was made in silence and upon arriving at boss' home rushed to open car door and help him into the house, although informed this quite unnecessary. Apologised most profoundly for excess temperature and to boss feeling he needed to see me, but boss said not a bit of it and he was feeling better already. Asked, with regards to cake, whether we had any more. Not being able to eat it themselves they had put it out for birds, but nuisance pigeons had eaten a quantity of it, and promptly keeled over stone cold dead. Cake, therefore, was great success at getting rid of vermin, and would gratefully receive more for future use. Too taken back to reply to this, but bid boss to get well soon and left.
Returned to find Mrs Payne still in kitchen, tearfully committing earlier progress of new cake to bin, saying she would never make it again. Explained she was never trying to poison anyone. Assured Mrs Payne as to boss' small recovery, but heart leapt a little when informed there would be no more cake.