Christy – Faith, Hope, and Trust
Author Notes: Don't own anything, just my imagination! Hope you enjoy!
Summery: These first four months at Cutter Gap had it's ups and downs and it's rewards, but it had also been rough, but never as rough as what lied ahead for me, Miss Alice, David, and the people in Cutter Gap….
Chapter 1 Shock
I thought living in Cutter Gap and having to witness the poverty was rough. I thought the smell of bad hygiene was rough. I also thought that my unending strength for these children was rough, but nothing was as rough as what had happened that afternoon…
I turned with a smile to the children sitting all itching with excitement in their seats. I looked at each child, teasing them with my silence.
Then with a smirk, I opened my mouth and giggles escaped, "Class dismissed."
The children all laughed and yelled, hopped and hollered as they darted out of their seats, down the isle, and down the steps of the chapel. I followed them out and stood on the porch, watching them proudly as they ran home in their various directions.
Fairlight was waiting for her children, hugging each one. She then told John to mind the children on their way home. As her children left, she looked at me and smiled.
I couldn't help but smile back as she approached me. "Hello, Fairlight."
"Afternoon, Miss Christy."
We went into the chapel to start her reading and writing lessons. She had improved tremendously in these four months. It was amazing to witness her progress and to see the sparkle in her eyes as she read each new word. It truly touched my heart.
After her lesson, we said farewell and I walked slowly toward the mission. I found Miss Alice unsaddling her horse.
"Hello, Miss Alice," I smiled as I almost skipped towards her.
"Miss Huddleston, thou art in fine spirits this afternoon." She smiled.
I nodded, "It is just so fulfilling and rewarding to see how much the children have learned and how quickly Fairlight has learned. It is just so exciting." I left my heart was as light as a feather.
"Well, Miss Huddleston, thou has worked hard here and it is not easy work, but God rewards those who are faithful."
I nodded, I don't think I could have been flying any higher.
Just then I heard rhythmic hoof beats approaching and I turned. I couldn't imagine how my mouth could smile any bigger as the curly haired doctor slowed his horse to a halt and dismounted.
"'Ello, Alice, Christy," He greeted in his dignified Scottish accent as he tied the reins of his horse in front of the mission.
"Neil," Miss Alice removed her hat and hat pin, "I'm glad I caught thee, we are in need of some supplies. Also, Mrs. O'Teales has requested thy presence."
He nodded, "I shall not be keeping them then." He collected his reins.
"I will have the supplies ready for you tomorrow afternoon." He mounted his horse.
I couldn't help but notice dark circles under his eyes, "And while you have the time, I suggest you get some rest. You look a little tired," I said lightly as he mounted.
"Are you my doctor now?" The corner of his mouth twitched upward.
I grinned, "Yes. Now see to it you obey my prescription."
"Aye, that I'll do, when I find the time. Good day," he smiled at both of us then prodded his horse down the road.
"He is such a hard worker," I commented as I followed Miss Alice leisurely into the mission.
"Yes, I presume harder than we think. Not only does he travel from patients to patients, but he is constantly researching for answers of medicine."
I shook my head, "It is unbelievable how much love he has for these people."
"Thou also has much love for these people, as do I." She grinned then went into the kitchen for some water.
"Miss Christy? Miss Christy?" The red headed Ruby Mae came rushing into the room like she always did.
"What is it, Ruby Mae?"
"Preacher. He asked me to fetch ya. He's callin' for ya at the chapel."
"Thank you, Ruby Mae." I left the mission and ventured toward the chapel, wondering what David needed. I hoped it was good news.
"David?" I found him in profound thought over an unfolded letter in his hand.
He blinked away his thoughts and smiled, "Christy, thank you for coming."
"Is everything all right?"
"Couldn't be better. I just wanted to tell you the good news. I have received word that several donations have been sent for our specific needs. They are truly a miracle, I did not even write a letter asking for supplies of any kind."
"David, that's wonderful!"
"Preserves, clothes, seeds, and textbooks, and Bibles," he rattled off the list of things that he read that were being sent.
I jumped into his arms and he twirled me around. God truly worked in mysterious ways at Cutter Gap and seemed to answer our prayers as certain supplies became sparse.
"When will they arrive?" I asked.
"Within the next few days. The children will be able to sit in school and have their own Bible to read from. Clothes for the winter that they can trade for."
I couldn't have thought of a better day than this. It was almost more than I could handle. When I was walking through the trails, I came to a clearing and found the urge to run across the clearing and do several cartwheels in a row. I praised God for His mighty blessings and his answers to prayer.
That night I could hardly sleep, my mind spinning with the good news to tell the children in the morning. Every single child was going to have their own Bible to read from during school. The moon shone so bright that I could hardly sleep. Obviously the moon was just as happy as me.
I don't know when I fell asleep, but I knew I had sweet dreams that night.
The next day was filled with excitement, cheers, loud noises, talking, gibbering, and hollering. Although it was music to my ears, I couldn't help but yearn for some peace and quiet. I had told the children of the shipment coming and they looked like they were ready to bust with excitement. We sang several hymns in praise and read several chapters of the Bible throughout our studies.
Late that afternoon, I found myself along the river bank. That peace and quiet was much needed.
The still sounds of God's creation. The rustle of the leaves in the trees, the rushing of the water as it slapped the rocks and splashed down the current, the sweet sweet smell of the wind. It was just so beautiful.
I wondered if everyone took time to realize what was around them. I wondered if they stopped like I did and just listened. Listened and looked around. I smiled at the thought of ever taking this beauty for granted. I bet the folks around here did every once in a while. Having lived here all their lives, they saw the wonderment of the Lord every day and just got use to it.
I knew I never did, nor did I ever want to get use to it. I never wanted to take it for granted.
My thoughts were interrupted when I heard the crunch of the leaves and pebbles. I turned and saw Doctor MacNeill walking slowly along the river's edge hunched over and looking at the ground. He looked out at the river and heaved a sigh.
"Doctor MacNeill," I called.
He stopped, almost startled at my presence. He lightly laughed at himself for getting startled and smiled at me, "Christy, what are you doing here?"
"I wanted some quiet. Noisy day." I turned to look again that the beautiful portrait of landscape in front of me, "Isn't it beautiful?"
"Aye," he breathed, not seeming to really be there with me.
"Is something troubling you?"
He looked at the ground and was quiet for a little bit. I almost grew worried by his furrowed brow.
He shook his head and half-smiled, "No. Everything is just fine. My mind is just spinning away."
"Did you follow through on my prescription?" I asked playfully.
He huffed out a short laughed, "Sadly, no. I was needed in El Pano. The next thing I knew the sun was rising."
I gave him a light punch on the arm, "You work too hard. You deserve a rest."
He held up his hands in surrender, "I confess I haven't been good on resting, but do not worry. I will surely rest this evening, don't you worry about me."
"I'll have the supplies for the mission later this afternoon."
"David and I will stop by. Thank you."
"Well, I best be going. I have to check up on the Spencers. Lulu was feeling a bit peeked yesterday. Good day, Christy." He smiled, then walked off and disappeared in the trees towards his house to retrieve his horse.
I couldn't help but replay his words don't you worry about me. The circles under his eyes were deep and something to worry about. His face looked worn. He didn't seem himself, and I definitely did worry.
The day ticked slowly by. I fussed about the mission and the chapel; reading, grading, chores, but I couldn't seem to think of nothing else but the doctor. I replayed our conversation over and over in my mind. It wasn't like our normal conversations or should I say disagreements. He just looked worn and sad.
I was a little relieved when David reminded me of the supplies that we needed at the mission. We saddled our horses and made our way to MacNeill's cabin. I almost couldn't wait. I wanted a different conversation with the doctor to get the dreary and worrisome one we had earlier out of my mind.
I saw his cabin emerge from the trees as we approached. "Doctor MacNeill," I called.
We stopped our horses in front of his cabin and dismounted.
"Is he fishing?" David said as we stared at the silent cabin.
"He knew we were coming for the supplies." I said as I approached the steps, "Doctor MacNeill." I climbed the steps with David not far behind.
There was still no reply.
I knocked on the door.
There was still no reply.
"I don't like this, David. I'm going in," I looked at him and he nodded. I hesitated a moment then opened the door. "David!" I screamed.
Doctor MacNeill was lying unconscious on the floor.
I fell to the floor. My legs had gone numb from the thought... I couldn't think the thought.
David put his fingers on the doctor's neck, "He's alive. His heart beat is weak."
I looked down at the doctor, his head in my lap. His usual flush pink skin was pale and clammy. Dark circles ringed his eyes. His curls were sweaty. I felt his forehead, "David, he's burning up. What should we do?"
"I'll stay with him and you ride for Miss Alice. She should know what to do."
"You're the faster rider. You should go. I'll be fine."
After a moment David then agreed. He stood, "I will be back as quick as I can. He'll be all right." With that, David raced out of the cabin.
I prayed and prayed as fast as I could that the doctor would be all right.
I looked down at him. Tears had fell from my eyes and onto his forehead. I wiped them away quickly and stroked his hair.
What was wrong? What made him look so ill? Would he survive?
I had grabbed a cloth and soaked it in some water that was sitting on the table and placed it on his forehead. I wished there was more I could do for him, but this was all I knew. I grew angry that I could not help him in any way. All I could do was sit. Sit and wait.
The silence was unbearable. Every noise, every sound seemed to echo in my ears as something threatening.
"Lord, dear Lord keep your hand on MacNeill. May he be all right." I recited this over and over again.
As I sat there on the floor I realized that these first four months at Cutter Gap had it's ups and downs and it's rewards, but it had also been rough, but never as rough as what lied ahead for me, Miss Alice, David, and the people in Cutter Gap...as seeing MacNeill lying unconscious on the floor.
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