He was halfway down the first page of Elov's journal when the door opened brusquely, startling him from his deep concentration. The ink splotched on the paper and Roel frowned as he looked up at whoever had arrived in such manner. It better not be that insufferable woman--
It wasn't. It was a man. He was big and muscular, taking up almost the whole doorway. His hair was short and black, or at least so it seemed in the twilight--and he was scowling.
"Are you hurt, sir?" Roel stood up, going around the desk to help the man if something was wrong.
"I saw the light on and thought maybe it had been forgotten," he spoke gruffly. "I did not mean to disturb you in your work."
"I was almost done anyway," Roel said, not quite able to keep the annoyance of the splotched ink out of his voice. But he did not want to be rude, even if this was the man he had overheard with Teun the other day. His voice was not to be mistaken. This was the foreman ...
Dark eyes stared down at Roel for a moment before the man swept his gaze over the room in general. "I sent Elov to see you earlier today. He never came back to work." His voice was accusing.
"Elov will be fine," Roel told him. "I ordered him to go home and rest for today. He'll be back fully tomorrow, all healed."
The man seemed to reluctantly look over at Roel again. "You healed his foot?"
"I did." Roel nodded. "Even if I am young, I am a doctor, not a novice." That would tell the man clearly that Roel had heard exactly what he had said and that he did not appreciate it.
Those dark eyes seemed to bury into Roel as the man just stared at him coldly, then he nodded his head once and left.
Roel shook his head as the door slammed closed behind him. That man had judged him from the moment Roel had arrived, but Roel would show him differently. He'd show him just what a good doctor he actually was.
Sitting down on his chair, he sighed as he took a new piece of parchment and started over on Elov's journal. He wanted everything to be done before he left for the evening, he wanted everything to be perfect.
Because he could not let the foreman be right.
He was going to prove himself, he was going to help the people of this dreadful coal village and hopefully bring some life back into the tired people he had seen so far.
And the foreman ... well, he could be as judgmental as he wanted. Eventually he'd have to see just how good of a job Roel did, especially when his workers came back healthy. Eventually, he would have to admit it and Roel could not wait.