Essex in the 1840s: Dr Tabor goes to visit Dr Cake to talk about ways of alleviating consumption and diseases of poverty.
Dr Cake has had some successes in his village.
But he is sick himself and has other things on his mind that he would like to talk to Dr Tabor about.
Both doctors seem to have been poets in their youth.
Dr Tabor grows less and less certain as to who is actually in front of him.
Could Dr Cake be John Keats?