Author: Doc Reid PM
Doc is caught in a range war while helping an immigrant family who are suffering from cholera. Story completed.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Angst - Chapters: 23 - Words: 24,595 - Reviews: 40 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 10-21-08 - Published: 09-20-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4549445
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Festus drew a deep breath before he turned the door knob and opened the door into the doctor's office - and he knew exactly what ol Doc Adams was going to say when he suggests to the physician that he tag along with the doctor while on his trek out into the prairie. It was a semiannual tour to check on the farmers and their families who live furthest from Dodge.
Doc looked over his shoulder at the hill man as he entered the room then turned his attention back to his medical bag which he was packing with the supplies he felt the needed based on his last visit, "Don't even waste your breath, Festus. The answer is no," Doc pulled his glasses off and turned to the deputy as he could feel his stare. "You can tell that to Matt too!" Doc barked. Festus fussed slightly and tucked his thumbs into his vest pocket, "Matthew said I should, Doc," the deputy took a step further into the office.
Doc's eyes narrow, "I bet he did...I know what you are up to, and it ain't gonna work!" he half laughed as he returned to his work.
"But Doc! Honest. Matthew said I should go with you..." Festus was now standing next to the doctor and playing with an instrument. Doc snatched the chrome-plated tool from the hill man's hands, "You are just looking for a few days of not doing any work and fishing when you can..." Doc sternly looked at Festus whose eye brows rose up to his hat band. "Wall it's a fact we have ta eat!" he tried to smile but it was difficult trying to warm the icy look he was getting from his old friend. "It ain't gonna work!" Doc turned and went back to work.
Festus made a face and then slowly walked to the door, "Matthew's gonna fire me for this..."
Doc tried to hide his amusement, "Gee," he looked over his shoulder, "then you'd have to find a real job to earn your keep around here!"
Festus sneered at the doctor, "You think you're so blamed funny - hardy har, har..." he waved his hands in the air out of exasperation and stepped through the door, "I don't know why I even bother..." he huffed as he left the office. Doc smiled and shook his head before he returned to packing his medical bag and prepared to leave.
Kitty was crossing Front Street and noticed Festus piratically stomping down the staircase from Doc's office, "Festus? What's wrong?" she stopped the deputy.
"That blamed ol scudder..."
Kitty smiled, "He said no, huh?"
"He sure did. Foot I don't like seein' him travelling all over the place out thar by himself!" Festus waved his hand to the open sky.
Kitty looked down at her handbag and then up to Festus, "I have to admit, I don't like it much either. But we have to remember that Doc has been doing these runs for a long, long time," she smiled.
Festus nodded, "I know, Miss Kitty," he said with his voice full of disappointment.
"Well,' Kitty tilted her head, "maybe once Doc is back from his business, you and he can go fishin'..."
"I bet pigs will fly first..." Festus muttered.
"I heard that!" Doc barked from the second last step and then stepped down and walked toward Kitty and Festus. The deputy looked like Doc was going to lay a beating on him, "Hiya, Doc..." he said meekly which caused Kitty to burst out laughing. Both men shot glares at her and she stopped, "You two deserve each other..." she mused as she turned and walked toward the Long Branch.
Festus looked at the doctor who was still watching Kitty walk away, "What do you suppose that means?" Festus asked.
Doc looked back at the hill man, "I'm not sure. And I'm not sure that I liked it..." he brushed his hand across his moustache before he began to walk to the livery stable. Festus followed, "Are you sure you don't want me ta go, Doc?"
Doc stopped in his tracks and turned to the deputy, "I'm more than sure! It seems to me that every time you go with me out to see those hill folks, more of your kin folks latch onto me, and...and...oh, heavens, I can't bare to remember..." Doc said and turned back to the livery. Festus stood stupefied in the street - Doc had a point.
From the jail house window, Matt watched the doctor walk briskly to the livery leaving Festus standing alone. Matt pursed his lips and decided to see Doc himself. The marshal pulled his tan felt hat off the wooden peg next to the door and pulled it smartly onto his head before he stepped out onto the street.
Doc had he buggy all ready to go when Matt stopped him, "Hi there, Doc."
"Matt?" Doc sat in the rig and looked slightly annoyed at being stopped, "What's up?"
"Oh, not much," Matt patted Popcorn, "I did ask Festus to go with you though..."
Doc looked at matt like he had crawdads crawling out of his ears, "Oh, no...no..."
"Yes, I did, Doc..." Matt now held the horse's bridle.
Doc sighed, "I'm not going to be gone that long, Matt...I just have a few folks to see," Doc's shoulders sagged out of fear that Matt would order Festus to go with him.
"All right Doc. Have it your way. But I have to warn you, I've heard rumours that the Dyers and the MacGregors aren't quite seeing eye to eye these days..."
Doc nodded, "I've heard that too. I'll steer clear of their lands," Doc smiled.
"Fine. Have a good trip and we'll see you when you get back in a few days," Matt let go of the horse and pat the animal on the rump as Doc flicked his reins and drove passed the two law men.
Festus watched the buggy round the curve on Front Street, "I don't like it, Matthew...not at all."