1. Alec is quite definitely poorly: the sort of ill that it's easy to deal with because he has an obvious fever and takes himself straight back to bed after breakfast.
2. He perks up, however, when the landlord arrives to fix the roof. He brings his son, who is Alec's age and a splendid little chap, solid and sturdy where Alec is tall and lanky. He asks all sorts of questions and accepts each answer with an "Oh," which I like because you know he's heard and possibly understood.
3. There is a nice easy, no thinking required cold chicken from the butcher for lunch.