Title: Sweetapple Cove
Author: George van Schaick
Release Date: September 8, 2004 [EBook #13396]
Character set encoding: ASCII
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By George van SCHAIGK
From John Grant’s Diary
Have I shown wisdom or made an arrant, egregious fool of myself? This, I suppose, is a question every man puts to himself after taking a sudden decision upon which a great deal depends.
I have shaken the dust of the great city by the Hudson and forsaken its rich laboratories, its vast hospitals, the earnest workers who were beginning to show some slight interest in me. It was done not after mature consideration but owing to the whim of a moment, to a sudden desire to change the trend of things I felt I could no longer contend with.
Now I live in a little house, among people who speak with an accent that has become unfamiliar to the great outside world. They have given up their two best rooms to me, at a rental so small that I am somewhat ashamed to tender it, at the end of every week. I also obtain the constant care and the pleasant smiles of a good old housewife who appears to take a certain amount of pride in her lodger. As far as I know I am the only boarder in Sweetapple Cove, as well as the only doctor. For a day or two after my arrival I accompanied the local parson, Mr. Barnett, on visits to people he considered to be in need of my ministrations. Now they are coming in droves, and many scattered dwellers on the bleak coast have heard of me. Little fishing-smacks meeting others from farther outports have spread the amazing news that there is a doctor at the Cove.
With other pomps and vanities I have given up white shirts and collars, and my recent purchases include oilskins and long boots. This is fashionable apparel here, and my wearing them appears to impart confidence in my ability.
My only reason for writing this is that the Barnetts go to bed early. Doubtless I may also acquire the habit, in good time. Moreover, there is always a danger of disturbing some important sermon-writing. In common decency I can’t bother these delightful people every evening, although they have begged me to consider their home as my own. Mrs. Barnett is a most charming woman, and never in my life have I known anything like the welcome she impulsively extended, but she works hard and I cannot intrude too much. Hence the hours after nine are exceedingly long, when it chances that there are no sick people