Harry tossed restlessly, unmindful of what was going on around him. His heavy, rapid breathing filled the place. Once in a while he moaned slightly, every sound of this kind going through Tom like a knife.
A particularly deep moan caused Tom to shiver and close the book. He went over and felt Harry’s hot, drier skin.
“Jim,” he directed, “I’m sure that, somehow, we should force the perspiration through his dry, parched skin. Take some of the blankets out of my bunk and spread them over Harry.”
“It’ll make his fever worse, won’t it?”
“I’m sure I don’t know,” Tom admitted helplessly. “We’d better try it for a while, anyway.”
Then Tom stood looking down at the flushed face of his chum, muttering below his breath:
“Harry, old fellow, I wish your mother were here. She’d know just what to do. And for your mother’s sake, as well as my own, I’ve just got to blunder into something that will cure you.”
Heaving a sigh, Tom went back under the lamp to read with blurted eyes.
At last he struck a paragraph that he thought bore on the case in hand. He read eagerly, praying for light.
“I’ve got it, at last,” he announced, moving over to the bunk, beside which Ferrers stood.
“Got what?” asked Jim.
“I believe I’m on the track of the right stuff to give poor old Harry.”
“What’s the name of the stuff you’re going to give harry”
“There are three medicines mentioned here,” replied Reade, holding up the book. “They’re all to be given.”
“Three medicines!” gasped Jim. “By the great Custer three are enough to kill a horse!”
“I’m going to try ’em,” sighed Tom stolidly. “The poor fellow will die if nothing is done for him.”
“Wouldn’t it be better,” suggested Ferrers, hopelessly, “to try one medicine on the lad and then wait ten minutes. Then, if that doesn’t work, try one of the others on him! If that doesn’t work then you know that the third kind of stuff is the right sort of bracer.”
Despite his great anxiety, Reade could not suppress the smile that Jim’s advice brought out. It was plain that Ferrers, good fellow as he was, would be of no use on the medical end of the fight that must be waged.
Tom searched the chest and found the medicines. Then he looked up the doses and started to administer the remedies as directed.
Even over the steadily increasing gale the notes of the supper horn reached them faintly.
“It’s too tough weather to expect the cook to bring the stuff over here tonight,” said Jim. “So, if you can spare me, I’ll go and eat with the boys. Then I’ll bring your chuck over to you.”
Alf came out of his corner, pulling on the ragged overcoat that he had picked up in a trade with an undersized man down at the Bright Hope Mine.
Left alone, Tom drew a stool up beside the bunk, and sat studying his chum’s face.