Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Poplar Mountain Part 39 by Dellani Oakes
Just when they thought that things were getting better, the sheep shed at the Henry place, catches fire. Unfortunately, someone was in it when it caught fire.
"You think he's the one lit the fire?" Will asked.
"We may never know," Squires said. "It's possible. Or it might've been someone else as did it, hoping the fire would burn him up enough we wouldn't find him."
Dollie and Patty came over to where their men were standing. The deputies tried to hold them back, but Patty pushed past them.
"I'm engaged to Willem Henry and I'll see him now, if you please!"
None of those men wanted to put a hand on a lady, so they let the girls pass. Patty ran up to Will, throwing her arms around him. Dollie took Lucius' hand, examining the bandage. It was a filthy, bloody disaster. Some of the stitches had popped out. Worried, she held his hand cradled in hers.
"We need to have Doc look at this, Luke. It's a mess."
"Yeah, I reckon."
"Do you want another day like yesterday and today?"
"No, I don't."
"Then we're going. He'll understand under the circumstances, but if you don't take care of it right away, he'll fuss."
"You've got a point. Got so charged up by the fire...." He staggered slightly.
"Sorry, Sheriff," he apologized to Squires. "Ain't been myself."
"I thought you looked pretty rough at the funeral," the older man said. "Shame about your...."
Luke held up his good hand. "Don't feel you got to say it, sir. We both know what my old man was like. And neither of us misses him much."
Squires smiled, nodding. "Your hand's a mess, boy. Go have Doc look it over. I can speak to your brother."
"Thank you, Sheriff," Dollie said.
She helped Lucius to the car and drove him to the clinic. Doctor Starbuck had a sort of emergency room going. He had some of the wives and older girls helping him. There were some cuts and a few minor burns amongst the fire fighters, but nothing serious. When he saw Luke, he frowned.
"Did you mess up my hard work, Lucius?"
"Looks that way. We had us a fire." He winked at the older man.
"Sit down and let me look."
Doctor Starbuck cleaned the hand after removing what was left of the bandages. Clicking his tongue, he gave him a shot for pain and removed the torn stitches.
"These here won't hold as well," he warned. "The skin isn't as receptive to the stitches after this amount of time, but we'll try. I've taped it up too, to reinforce it. But if you tear that open again, there's not much I can do."
"I understand. Sorry about that, Doc."
"Son, you had to protect your own, I understand that. Just be careful. I don't want this to get reinfected and make you sicker. You were one mighty ill fella when you came in. Now, I'm gonna give you another shot just to be safe. Miss Belloit, if you'll kindly give us some privacy, I got to give this shot in his arse."
Laughing and blushing, Dollie walked out of the examination room, shutting the door behind her. Mrs. Starbuck found her giggling in the corridor. Worried Dollie was slightly hysterical, she led her to the waiting room.
"You all right, sugar?" Her Georgia accent flavored her words.
"I'm fine, really. Just a bit startled." She told Mrs. Starbuck what the doctor had said about the shot.
Giggling herself, the doctor's wife rocked back and forth with mirth. "Men say the most outrageous things sometimes. One thing I can say about married life, it's never been dull."
"I imagine I'll say the same after Luke and I are married."
"You too?" Ethel Starbuck hugged Dollie tightly to her ample bosom. "I'm so happy for you! Brad will be just delighted to hear that."
"We aren't really making it public just yet. His aunt's remarrying soon. And Patty and Will. We didn't want to steal their thunder."
"Not to mention what folks would think when you haven't courted all that long."
"Exactly. We met over a year ago, but it took him some time to ask me out."
"Luke's always been like that. Will, on the other hand, has got to have it right now. Luke always studied his options. I imagine he loved you the moment you met."
"If he did, he wasn't alone. I saw him and I thought, That's the man I'm going to marry."
"I felt the same way when I met Bradley. I knew he was destined to be mine. I saw him and wouldn't have anyone else."
"What she means is that she hated me on sight and it took me a solid year to get her to go out with me. We met at a dance and I was in uniform. She thought I was the handsomest man in the room...."
"Until he spoke. Then, I thought he was the rudest."
"I made an off-color remark about her—endowments," Doc Starbuck said. "I didn't know she could hear me."
© 2019 Dellani Oakes