Hard Time Marrying Part 2

“These young’uns is got scarlet fever. You ain’t leaving ‘em for this town to deal with. Jist take ‘em on back where you come from.”  The sheriff steadfastly refused responsibility for the children.

“But they ain’t mine.  I don’t even know their names.”

“Ya married their ma ago ain’t cha?  Then they’s yourn!  I hate it for ‘ya, but I ain’t gonna letcha leave ‘em here to sicken the whole town.  We’ll getcha some provisions to help out, but that’s it.  Ya got to git out’a town with them sick young’uns.  Pull this wagon out to that mesquite tree ‘n  I’ll git ‘cha some supplies.

Morosely, Joe waited on the edge of the sorry town as a wagon pulled up.  Shouting at him to stay back, a gimpy old geezer rolled off a barrel of flour, putting a burlap bag of beans beside it, and piling a few cans of milk, a bolt of material, and a few paper wrapped parcels on top of it.  He went on his way, leaving Joe to wrestle them into the wagon the best he could, stowing them so they wouldn’t crush the burning children.

Joe felt as low as he’d ever had, pulling up to his rough cabin. He knew nothing about children or the sick.   Maybe these poor wretches wouldn’t suffer too long.

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21 thoughts on “Hard Time Marrying Part 2

  1. When I was little we all caught scarlet fever at the same time. We were all laid up in a row, burning up. I don’t know what we ate or what they did for us other than the wet washcloth on the brow. None of us died miraculously.

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      • I didn’t know it was the same however we developed the rashy type and intense fever. Several in our school had come down with it, only all four of us kids got it one right after and simultaneously. What a mess! I have an irregular heart beat, but nothing more and I don’t know that my siblings got anything from it. I later got what was then called the Hong Kong flu in my twenties and I thought I was going to die. It was horrible but not the worst. Have you ever heard of ovarian mumps? That at the same time as glands was just as bad. Soooo painful.

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