Haaaapy Friyay, Hearties! We’re inching closer to the first weekend in May! I got all excited, thinking it was this weekend, then I looked at my WCTH calendar, and realized I had miscounted my days! Sadness! But I’ll live…somehow. 😉
Okay, I won’t keep you from the story any longer! Will anyone else get sick? Will Bill, Henry, and Mike succeed on their mission? Will Faith figure out how to make everyone well? Find out now! (At least in part.) And if you’ve missed parts 1 and 2, simply go to the 2 previous #FanFictionFriday posts. 😀 Enjoy Romance: Quarantined Part 3 by Sarah Nitsch and Kami Clements.
“Are you trying to hit every hole in the road? I think my backside has bounced into my throat by now!” Bill complained.
“Well, you and your backside had better become accustomed to a few bumps, Bill, because there is no way I’m letting you get behind this wheel,” Henry grumbled.
Bill still wasn’t the least bit pleased with the prospect of countless hours in the same vehicle as Henry Gowen. It had already been eight, and he was exhausted! He didn’t like the feeling of not being in control of a dire situation, so to cover, he had to think of a way to fire back. “You let Rosemary Coulter in that driver’s seat at Christmas.”
Henry grimaced, and inwardly cursed himself. He knew that decision would come back to bite him. He’d had his reasons, but they weren’t for Bill’s ears. He had to retaliate, but he crafted his words carefully. “Would you have had me deny a pregnant woman a pram, and the whole town their Christmas dinner entrée?”
Mike sat in the back seat shaking his head and sighing. He rubbed a hand over his worn out face, then switched to massaging his sore neck. He’d tried to refrain from looking back and forth between the two bulls locking horns, but to no avail; and it was beginning to take its toll…in the form of whiplash. After the first two hours, he’d tried breaking things up by talking about how great the weather was for the drive, and that they hadn’t gotten stuck in any mud, not even once. That had been fruitless; Bill had just waved a lazy hand in his general direction, and plunged right back into whatever they’d been arguing about. Maybe he should try again. Well, no time like the present!
Mike put a smile on his face, and scooted up in his seat, trying to put some distance between the two, hoping to get a word in edgewise. “Bill!” he began cheerfully, clapping him on the shoulder.
Bill turned his glare to Mike, then Mike’s hand on his shoulder, then Mike’s face again. Mike timidly cleared his throat, and slid his fingers down the back of the seat until they met with his other hand, and clutched both together for dear life. He continued, but in a much more subdued tone. “Um…did you hear about…the new head saw Mr. Coulter ordered? It came in just before we left.”
“Is that a fact?” Bill asked unenthusiastically.
“Yes, it did,” Henry proclaimed. “I installed it with a team myself, and it runs twice as fast. We’ll be able to double our production,”
“It’s a miracle the engine didn’t burn out before we left!” Bill quipped snidely.
“And you think the town won’t burn down with the brand new Mountie you left in charge?” Henry retorted.
Mike blew his breath out his silent lips, realizing how futile his attempts were. He sat back in the seat, trying to get comfortable, resigned to tuning out the two carrying on. His head rested on his hand, and he groaned softly as he watched the scenery passing. “I should have brought a book!”
Faith sat beside Dorothy’s cot, holding her little hand in her left, and wiping at tears with the back of her right. Gently and reverently, she let go of Dorothy’s tiny fingers, laid them at her side, then covered her face with the sheet. The back of her hand returned to her face, this time to muffle the sound of her crying. She was careful not to let her fingers touch her skin and spread germs, but felt she would explode if some of this emotion wasn’t released!
Faith felt another hand ease onto her shoulder and instinctively grasped it tightly. “She’s gone,” she said, more clarifying it out loud for herself than anything else. She couldn’t believe it! A soft whimper escaped with the declaration.
“You did everything you could,” came Molly’s soothing reply.
But Faith wasn’t soothed. “And yet, I still lost her!” Her voice was tinged with anger. In her entire career, she had only lost a handful of patients; certainly none of them were as young as four years old! Her hands balled into fists, and smacked her thighs. “If only I had figured it out sooner!”
“Faith, calm down,” Florence advised somewhat sternly. She and Rosemary had joined them. “You won’t do your other patients any good by making yourself upset.”
Rosemary piped up, but a little softer. “Faith, you can’t do that to yourself. You’ll go crazy, and you know it.” She knelt to be closer to eye level with Faith, so she could make sure she was heard. “You are a smart, capable, wonderful nurse, and you are doing an incredible job of caring for everyone, especially with Carson sick too.”
Faith emitted a small moan at the mention of Carson’s name, and let her eyes wander to his still and weakened form. All three women followed her gaze.
“Faith, go!” Molly urged. Faith looked up at her. “Really, it’s alright. We know you want to so badly. Go sit with him, even just for a little while.” Molly looked to Rosemary and Florence to make sure that was agreeable with them, and both nodded eagerly.
Faith looked longingly at Carson, and even took a step in his direction. But she shook her head, shaking herself from that dream. “I’ll give him his medication, but then I need to get back to work. We all should do the same.”
A brief look of concern passed between the other three. They recognized the signs of a woman staying busy to keep herself from worrying. At this point, however, it was better not to stop her.
“I’ll have Jesse and Constable Grant take care of little Dorothy,” Rosemary volunteered.
“I’ll go inform her parents…poor things,” Florence chimed in.
“And I’ll help you administer the medication to everyone,” Molly said on her way to the bar. She came back with the two bottles of quinine, and Faith was shocked to see how little was left. “It’s almost gone,” Molly noted nervously.
“I know,” Faith said with just as much concern. “We’ll be lucky if we make it two more days.” As long as no one else gets sick, her mind added.
Everyone dispersed, leaving her standing there, anxiously rubbing the bottle in her hands. She only hoped the men would come back soon…before she lost anyone else.
“Are you sure we’re going the right way?” Henry asked skeptically. He, Bill, and Mike dodged their way in and out of people’s paths as they made their way down the streets of Toronto.
“Of course I am,” Bill said indignantly. “The grocer said it was a right turn at the church, then straight down the street a ways. WE just needs to keep walking.” The three men were exhausted from the long train ride, but the adrenaline of being so close to the cure kept their feet moving.
Still, Henry continued his interrogation. “I just think we should be able to see it by now.”
Bill’s blood was starting to boil. He was just about to take a swing at Henry on a public street when Mike said from behind them, “Well, what man hasn’t gotten lost in a big city a time…” Bill and Henry stared him into submissive silence, but not before he finished with, “or two.”
They forged ahead about twenty more minutes before arriving at a large stone marquee that read “University of Toronto: School of Medicine”.
“Aha!” Bill gloated. “I knew we’d find it. Now all we need is to find the stables.” He started charging at the first person he saw, which happened to be a young female student.
Henry caught him by the arm, and smiled smugly. “You’ll frighten the poor girl off. Allow me.” Henry made his way over to the young woman.
Bill and Mike watched Henry tip his hat politely, and engage her in conversation. Bill huffed. “We don’t have time for niceties.” He watched Henry a moment longer, then scoffed. “He thinks he’s such a charmer.”
“Well…” Mike began, but Bill gave him the look that could freeze fire. “Never mind.”
Henry tipped his hat to the young lady again, then rejoined the other two. “It’s just around this way,” he pointed.
They walked around the campus until they came to a large, weather-beaten, barn with a smaller side door. Bill heaved the door open, and stepped inside to find several people in aprons and lab coats, as well as many horses. Henry and Mike entered behind him.
“Excuse me!” Bill called out, and everyone looked up. “We’re looking for Dr. John FitzGerald.”
A man came out of a stall in the middle of the barn, wiping his hands on a yellowed cloth. “I’m Dr. FitzGerald. How may I help you?”
Alrighty! We’ll see you next week Hearties! Ive got some great surprises in store! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!