thousand five hundred dollars, and John Garret was fined

time:2023-12-03 03:23:20source:Military Suburb Networkauthor:science

His rise had been rapid. He had come from the east three years before, new to the work. Now, he was the one man there. Of his relationships east, family or otherwise, nothing was said. For them his life began and ended in Derby, and Sweetwater could see, though no actual expression was given to the feeling, that there was but one expectation in regard to him and Doris, to whose uncommon beauty and sweetness they all seemed fully alive. And Sweetwater wondered, as many of us have wondered, at the gulf frequently existing between fancy and fact.

thousand five hundred dollars, and John Garret was fined

Later there came a small excitement. The doctor was seen riding by on his way to the sick man. From the window where he sat, Sweetwater watched him pass up the street and take the road he had himself so lately traversed. It was so straight a one and led so directly northward that he could follow with his eye the doctor's whole course, and even get a glimpse of his figure as he stepped from the buggy and proceeded to tie up the horse. There was an energy about him pleasing to Sweetwater. He might have much to do with this doctor. If Oswald Brotherson died - but he was not willing to consider this possibility - yet. His personal sympathies, to say nothing of his professional interest in the mystery to which this man - and this man only - possibly held the key, alike forbade. He would hope, as these others were hoping, and if he did not count the minutes, he at least saw every move of the old horse waiting with drooping head and the resignation of long custom for the re-appearance of his master with his news of life or death.

thousand five hundred dollars, and John Garret was fined

And so an hour - two hours passed. Others were watching the old horse now. The street showed many an eager figure with head turned northward. From the open door-ways women stepped, looked in the direction of their anxiety and retreated to their work again. Suspense was everywhere; the moments dragged like hours; it became so keen at last that some impatient hearts could no longer stand it. A woman put her baby into another woman's arms and hurried up the road; another followed, then another; then an old man, bowed with years and of tottering steps, began to go that way, halting a dozen times before he reached the group now collected in the dusty highway, near but not too near that house. As Sweetwater's own enthusiasm swelled at this sight, he thought of the other Brotherson with his theories and active advocacy for reform, and wondered if men and women would forego their meals and stand for hours in the keen spring wind just to be the first to hear if he were to live or die. He knew that he himself would not. But he had suffered much both in his pride and his purse at the hands of the Brooklyn inventor; and such despoliation is not a reliable basis for sympathy. He was questioning his own judgment in this matter and losing himself in the mazes of past doubts and conjectures when a sudden change took place in the aspect of the street; he saw people running, and in another moment saw why. The doctor had shown himself on the porch which all were watching. Was he coming out? No, he stands quite still, runs his eye over the people waiting quietly in the road, and beckons to one of the smaller boys. The child, with upturned face, stands listening to what he has to say, then starts on a run for the village. He is stopped, pulled about, questioned, and allowed to run on. Many rush forth to meet him. He is panting, but gleeful. Mr. Brotherson has waked up conscious, and the doctor says, HE WILL LIVE.

thousand five hundred dollars, and John Garret was fined

That night Dr. Fenton had a visitor. We know that visitor and we almost know what his questions were, if not the answers of the good doctor. Nevertheless, it may be better to listen to a part at least of their conversation. Sweetwater, who knew when to be frank and open, as well as when to be reserved and ambiguous, made no effort to disguise the nature of his business or his chief cause of interest in Oswald Brotherson. The eye which met his was too penetrating not to detect the smallest attempt at subterfuge; besides, Sweetwater had no need to hide his errand; it was one of peace, and it threatened nobody - "the more's the pity, thought he in uneasy comment to himself, as he realised the hopelessness of the whole situation.

His first word, therefore, was a plain announcement.

"Dr. Fenton, my name is Sweetwater. I am from New York, and represent for the nonce, Mr. Challoner, whose name I have simply to mention, for you to understand that my business is with Mr. Brotherson whom I am sorry to find seriously, if not dangerously, ill. Will you tell me how long you think it will be before I can have a talk with him on a subject which I will not disguise from you may prove a very exciting one? "Weeks, weeks," returned the doctor. "Mr. Brotherson has been a very sick man and the only hope I have of his recovery is the fact that he is ignorant of his trouble or that he has any cause for doubt or dread. Were this happy condition of things to be disturbed, - were the faintest rumour of sorrow or disaster to reach him in his present weakened state, I should fear a relapse, with all its attendant dangers. What then, if any intimation should be given him of the horrible tragedy suggested by the name you have mentioned? The man would die before your eyes. Mr. Challoner's business will have to wait.

"That I see; but if I knew when I might speak - "

"I can give you no date. Typhoid is a treacherous complaint; he has the best of nurses and the chances are in favour of a quick recovery; but we never can be sure. You had better return to New York. Later, you can write me if you wish, or Mr. Challoner can. You may have confidence in my reply; it will not mislead you.

related information
recommended content