with Riley. Riley felt it more than
"The ornery little cuss!" he com
plained to' his croniesih White's sa
loon. "I lacked him .out, -and, by gum,
he stays out! I neversaw his like!"
When Miss Lucinda took to going
about, very quiet, and looking the
other way when the tloc passed,
sympathy with her was unanimous.
Everybody wanted to kick the doc.
Big Fenton did kick him in publio
And the doc just stood white and
trembling, not trying to run away,
but not doing anything.
"That's what was coming to you.
but, I ain't going to tell you why,"
said Big Fenton. x '
Afterward-it was learned . that he
went to see Miss Lucinda, thinking
she'd be proud of him. What hap
pened nobody knew, but 'Big Fen
ton went home like , a man who had
seen a ghost, and he did not show his
face in public again for weeks.
It was not altogether Miss Luan
da's tongue-lashing that did. this. Big
Kenton's was the first case 'of the
cholera scourge that reduceti Rattle
snake to abject panic. Men who had
.looked death in the face unwinking
ly a score of times huddled in the
back room of White's, and tried to
drown their fears with whisky. The
disease stalked through, the commu
nity' and the" jinderta'ker did a thriv
' Not so "big a one as he might have
done, though. For there was one
man who stalked faster than the
cholera, and that was the little Hoc.
What he did was amazing.
First, he got the town to give him
the" "use of the room over the coun
cil hall. Then he borrowed twenty
beds from the furniture stores.. Then
he fitted up his Impromptu hospital
andtook charge. And he slept there,,
and day and night Doc Smith was
on the job, relieving the sick, comT
fortihg the dying, doing more than a
mortal man could reasonably be ex
pected to do.
- There were deYOted. women in Rat- j
tlesnake who volunteered to aid the
the doc and men, too. But of all,
the one who gave herself the most
ungrudgingly, who risked death the
most calmly and who never tired was "
, "Her fath-er had forbidden it -He
would have taken her east, but she
refused to leave town. It must have
been a strange meeting for her and
the doc inside that pest ward.
' But it must have been stranger
still when Big Fenton was carired in,
screaming as only a cholera patient
screams to the first stages of the dis
ease. And together they slowly
nursed Big Fenton back to life.
By the time the last case was on
the mend and there were no more
cases feared Doc Smith had altogeth
er changed his status. Even Riley
admitted that Riley met him when
he was standing In front of Big Fen
ton's chair. -
"You've got to get well, Big Fen
ton; as fast as you can," the doc was
"Well, I'm doing my best, ain't I,
' "You're well now, but I mean you
have got to get up. your strength,"
said the lilttle doctor. "I've got to
kick you, you know, and; my feet's
just achihg to." ,
"Because," says Doc Smith, "I'd
always said the cholera was coming
and I knew from the way you lived
you'd be one of the first cases. And '
I couldn't-be run-out of town or may
be hanged for murder, when I knew
I'd be wanted here."
"What's that?" yelled Fenton.
The little doc rolled up his sleeves.
Nobody had ever seen his bare arms
before. Everybody gaped. The little
man was nothing but skin and bone
except his arms, and they were like
bars of steel. One blow from that left
or right would have put Big Fenton
"My father was Prof. James, the
strongest man in America," ex
plained the doc. "I inherited hi
arms. I guess that's alL I killed a.
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