Doc Ch. 04bykingkey©
As we rode out Grandpa said "I thought you were going to change out of those funny clothes?"
"I was, but since we need to go to my Power Wagon anyway for the medical kit, I thought I would change there and grab some of my things. I've got clothes there that will look right. Also I have a pair of these Army Remingtons that were converted to take a cartridge. Hell, they might be these same pistols. Dad gave them to me when I was fourteen when I thought I wanted to be a marshal like you. I also have my reloading stuff so I can convert them to smokeless powder so I can still see what I'm shooting at after the first few shots."
"Sounds like a lot of things to carry. We only brought one pack horse."
"We'll just get what we need for now and get the rest later." "I spoke about you being a lawman; why'd you quit?"
"Just got tired of it I guess – the long days on the trail, the loneliness and the constant danger. You never knew from one day to another where ya'd be or if ya'd still be alive. Wasn't any way to live and sure weren't no way to start a family. So I just quit, came here, found this place and settled down ta raise kids 'n' steers."
"Talking about family – who's Dove?"
Looking at me funny, Grandpa said, "Morning Dove is your great grandma but she looks a lot younger'n me. Why, she don't look a whole lot older then you do – maybe 5 or 6 years."
"I feel stupid, but I don't remember ever hearing her name – she was always Grandma or 'your great grandma'. How'd you two meet?"
He grinned. "Hell, I bought her! Traded two horses, three knives, a old musket and 2 blankets for her ... and that was a bargain! You never meet a finer woman. Besides being a good wife and mother, she's a great cook and house keeper. She runs the place with a iron hand – you don't want to make her mad she has a temper worse than a bear with a bad tooth."
"Sounds like quite a woman." I could plainly see the love in his eyes.
"Oh she is. She definitely is."
"Tell me about where we are going."
"Well as you know, the Sioux are nomads following where the hunting is, but we shouldn't have any trouble finding them as they came an' got Dove just yesterday. They are proud and with all the trouble going on and what you say about Custer, I'm not real sure about our welcome, but if Red Cloud is there we should be safe. You – I mean Clay – was with them a lot when he was younger, so I better warn ya that Running Deer and Little Doe, her sister, have been chasing after Clay since they were all just young pups."
We came to the top of the hill and I pointed down the gorge to my truck. "There it is."
"What kind of wagon is that? Where's the horse go?"
"It don't need horses. It goes by itself."
"Things are sure strange were you come from."
We continued on down to the bottom and to my truck, where I started pulling out stuff we would need. I'd had my basic First Aid bag with me, but because Grandpa had said the girl was real sick as well as a broken arm, I figured I needed some heavy 'fire power' so I also got out my SEAL Corpsman bag. It would cover just about any field trauma imaginable.
I had also, over the years, added to and modified the contents so it was even more comprehensive than the already very good off-the-shelf bag. I had added more over the counter pain killers as well as some morphine packs I had 'liberated' while in the Service. I had also added some oral antibiotics and had acquired some veterinary –use pharmaceuticals as well. The nice thing about the vet stuff – it was usually if better quality than the human medical variety, and if you had stock, it was basically over-the-counter from the vet.
"I guess I'm ready." I called from inside the camper as I stomped on an old pair of Justin boots, having changed into a pair of jeans and a flannel work shirt. On my way out, I grabbed my old Stetson hat.
"Well I guess you look a bit more normal even if those pants still look a mite tight. DAMN! I forgot to grab some presents and trading goods."
"What kind of things do we need?"
"Maybe a couple knives, some cooking gear, blankets, salt and especially tobacco."
"I got all that stuff here except the tobacco – I don't smoke... Wait a minute ... a guy I worked with, his wife just had a baby girl. He bought a bunch of cigars but he had 3 boxes saying 'It's a Boy!' so he gave them to me. They might be starting to dry out, but they should be good."
"Boy, they are a gold mine as trading goods – them and the salt."
So, digging back into my camper, I started pulling out things for trading as well as the medical stuff I'd already dug out to, the reason we stopped by here in the first place.
"If you got any guns in there, you better get them too. They ain't safe out here."
Opening the gun safe, I switched the Remingtons for the converted ones. I also grabbed a small Glock for a hideout, dropping it into my medical bag. Closing the door and spinning the lock, I indicated, "I think they should be safe in there."
"Yup, that looks tougher than most banks got. Let's get moving, we still got a fair piece of ground to cover."
We remounted after loading everything we didn't need directly at hand onto the pack horse and started heading south. Five hours later, we entered a grassy plain where we could see Red Cloud's camp not too far ahead. Some riders rushed up to us, and suddenly we were surrounded by eight young braves all pointing weapons at us.
"Whatever you do, don't touch your guns." Grandpa whispered
Then I heard someone shout, "STOP!"
I would like to thank my great editors Eviltwin and Ice wolf they make my scribbling worth reading.