Horse Pills – Part 2

Posted: November 13, 2016 in Book I Terror in Texas

Millie handed Penny a fan of cardboard and a wooden handle she had found inside the cabin.  One side was a picture of Jesus and the other the words of the Lord’s Prayer.  She patted the child on the head.  You and Jesus here can watch over our boy while you make a little breeze.

Penny accepted the fan and using both hands, made wide arcs.  Della adjusted her grasp and showed her how to make short even movements. She pulled the netting closed leaving Penny on the outside fanning with a determination that made Della smile.

“Will you stay and watch him?”  Della asked. “I’ll be back soon.”

Della got to her feet and carried the supplies back in the cabin.  Once inside she washed her hands and put all the bottles back in the shoulder bag keeping out the Cipro. She carried the supplies and the medical bag to a corner table and left them.

At the table, she accepted a bottle of cold water and pushed the hair from her face. “I hope this works.  It would have been better for an IV and solution but they had nothing like that.”

Millie turned from cast iron pot on the wood stove. “You’ve done what you can.”  She added the last of the pieces of squirrel into the pot.  “He has a chance.”  She chuckled.  “What’s this I hear about horses?”

Della smiled.  “They followed me home.”

“That might be a good thing. They would present an alternative to the truck.”

Della shrugged.  “None of us ride.”

“Speak for yourself, gal. I ride better’n the Lone Ranger.”

Zack appeared at the back door. “We don’t have saddles. Besides, the only one that acted like he even liked people was the black one.”

Della laughed.  “That was a mare.”

“Whatever. He retorted.

By dusk, Millie had made biscuits and thick gravy.  “It’s cooled off should Zack bring Steve back inside?”

Della sighed.  “I think his temperature has gone down a little.  I hate to move him but it’s just not safe to be outside the cabin at night. If any infected stumbled across him, he’d be defenseless.”

Zack took a few minutes to move Steve back into his bed.  With Della’s help he brought the mattress and bedding inside and restored it to the top of the bunk.

Millie sat the table and readied the table for the evening meal. She turned up the wick in the kerosene lantern.  She called out. “Darlene, come on inside.  We keep an eye out from inside, now.”

Della fixed a small plate with biscuits and gravy.  She walked to the bed where Steve slept.  She pulled a pillow from the bunk overhead and slipped it behind him.  “Steve?  You have to try to eat something.”

Steve groaned. He turned to face Della’s voice.  She scooped a spoon of gravy and biscuit from the plate then brought it to his lips.  He opened his mouth and accepted the first mouthful.

“Not hungry.” He whispered after he swallowed the first bite.

“May be, but you have to eat.  I need to give you more antibiotics and you need food and take in more fluids.

“Bully,”  Steve whispered as he opened his mouth to accept another mouthful of food.

Della raised a cup of water to Steve’s lips. “Drink.”

After three more spoonfuls of dinner, he slumped back and sighed.  “No more.”

“You have to take the Cipro.”  She held out two pills and he reached for the willow tea.

He slipped the pills into his mouth and took two long drinks of the tea to wash them down. “You know, that tea tastes terrible.”

Della shrugged.  “Sorry, horses don’t take aspirin.”

He forced a smile and laid back.  Della sat and watched until his breathing grew slow and steady. He was sleeping. She walked to the kitchen table and added more biscuit, meat, and gravy to her plate.  She ate quietly then helped Millie clean up the remains.

“He’s better,”  Millie asked as she sipped willow tea. Della raised a brow.  “My arthritis.”

“I think so. I’m sorry I didn’t find anything you can take for it.”  Della responded.

Millie chuckled. “You don’t need to worry ‘bout me.”

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