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  • "Ahoy! Captain Pete. Hi Ya Carrie." Tom Roubideux yelled from the landing. Carrie waved back and Captain Pete gave a short blast on his horn.

    Tom waited while they finished tying up until Carrie motioned him aboard and showed him their wounded stowaway. Jack was pale and feverish. He drifted in and out of consciousness as they transported him by Tom's car to Doc's clinic.

    Doc was working on an old hound who needed to be put down. She had stage 3 kidney failure and her owner wasn't ready to make that final decision. Doc told her of the pain her hound was experiencing and finally, with a lot of tears, she allowed him to administer the lethal dose of pain killer. The hound only breathed twice more before she was gone. He allowed a few minutes before having his nurse escort the owner to her car. He would take care of the remains and have a container of the ashes delivered to her next week.

    He washed his hands and went to his next exam room. He was pleasantly surprised to find Tom, Pete and Carrie fussing over a two legged patient. Carrie told of how they found him wounded on their deck and hurried to bring him here.

    Doc yelled for his nurse and started hanging a bag of Sodium Chloride from a ceiling hook near the table. "Hold his arm, Carrie" he calmly said as he spiked the bag and his nurse started the I.V. in his arm. "He needs to replace the blood he has lost with fluids as well as antibiotics to help fight infection."

    "Do we need to get something from the drug store in town?" Tom asked and Doc replied, "Most people would object to being treated with animal drugs, but in this case I don't think he'll mind. Besides, they work the same. However if you plan on staying to supper, you might pick up a fresh bottle of drinking whiskey. I don't have enough to entertain the four of us."

    Tom smiled at Pete and Carrie and they sat down in the lobby to wait. Half an hour later Doc came out and said the patient would live. Carrie hurried in to see for herself. She felt an ownership to the man - He was her patient first. She didn't know why, but she didn't want to turn his care over to Doc. She would sit nearby in case he came to. He had responded to her voice and touch before. He might again.

    Doc called Tom aside and handed him a bunch of photos. "I don't know the significance of these, but I want you to stick around when he regains conscious. Looks like some hard questions need to be asked when he's ready."

    Tom raised his eyebrows and slipped the photos into his shirt pocket. Seems their questions would just have to wait...
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