I dragged the old Sheriff into the nearby saloon and placed him on top of the first table I came to. Dark red blood flowed from the bullet wound located just below his navel.
“I need a doctor! Someone fetch me a doctor!” I shouted to the room filled with drunks.
I heard a heavy sigh from over in a corner of the saloon and a tall, lengthy man stood up from a shadow-covered table. He picked up a glass mug and gulped the rest of the contents down.
“I-I’m a th-octor,” the man slurred, and a thunderous belched followed his statement.
I watched as the man moved into the light; he was a tall fella and reminded me of a bean poll swaying in the wind as he walked toward me. The man who proclaimed to be the local doctor appeared to be quite aged; his face had more lines on it than a map of the entire western territory. His balding head glistened in the overhead lighting and his long grey beard swung back and forth like a clock’s pendulum.
The doctor approached the table which Sheriff Henry was atop. “T-t-tough day on the jooob, Sheriff?” he asked. “You’re bleedin’ like a stuck hog right before Christmas dinner.”
“ Wilson’s bastard son put a hole in my guts, doc. Can ya yank it clean out?” Sheriff Henry asked, his words laced with pain.
The old doctor stood there for a moment and he stroked his long beard a few times before he answered. “I reckon. But—” The doctor interrupted himself with another thunderous belch. “But, it’s gonna hurt like the devil.”
Sheriff Henry did not reply, but he answered with a simple nod. The old doctor turned to me. His eyes appeared dim, almost as if I watched his life slowly depart from his frail body.
“I need your knife son,” the Doctor spat.
I reached into my pocket and then handed him a small folding lock-back knife. The old physician squinted at the three inch blade as he unfolded it from the inside of the wooden casing.
“Where in the world did you get something’ like this, boy? I hope it ain’t from those damned injuns,” the doctor asked while he continued to examine the knife.
“Uh, no I met a fella by the name of Buck, up in Post Falls, who was making them. He was plannin’ to start a business or something,” I answered.
“Who cares about the stupid knife, Doc, just get this bullet out o’ me!” The Sheriff growled.
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