“Well, I’ll stay right here and have you look at it every day. It’s too serious a matter for me to trifle with. By the way, my mother is coming up, and I dare say she’ll want me to go to Boston. Our family doctor is an old fossil and I don’t like to trust him with this thing. You’ll be doing me a favour, doctor, if you keep me here until I’m thoroughly well. I intend to tell my mother that it will not be wise to move me until all danger of blood poisoning is past.”
“Blood poisoning? There’s no danger now, sir.”
“You never can tell,” said Bonner sagely.
“But I’d be a perfect fool, Mr. Bonner, if there were still danger of that,” complained the doctor. “What sort of a doctor would they consider me?”
“They’d certainly give you credit for being careful, and that’s what appeals to a mother, you know,” said Bonner still more sagely. “Besides, it’s my leg, doctor, and I’ll have it treated my way. I think a couple of weeks more under your care will put me straight. Mother has to consider me, that’s all. I wish you’d stop in to-morrow and change these bandages, doctor; if you don’t mind—”
“Doc” Smith was not slow. He saw more than Bonner thought, so he winked to himself as he crossed over to his office. At the corner he met Anderson Crow.
“Say, Anderson,” he said, half chuckling, “that young Bonner has had a relapse.”
“He can’t be moved for a week or two.”
“Will you have to cut it off?”
“Certainly. That’s the only thing that pains him, ain’t it?”
“I think not. I’m going to put his heart in a sling,” said Smith, laughing heartily at what he thought would be taken as a brilliant piece of jesting. But he erred. Anderson went home in a great flurry and privately cautioned every member of the household, including Rosalie, to treat Bonner with every consideration, as his heart was weak and liable to give him great trouble. Above all, he cautioned them to keep the distressing news from Bonner. It would discourage him mightily. For a full week Anderson watched Bonner with anxious eyes, writhing every time the big fellow exerted himself, groaning when he gave vent to his hearty laugh.
“Have you heard anything?” asked Bonner with faithful regularity when Anderson came home each night. He referred to the chase for the fugitives.
“Nothin’ worth while,” replied Anderson dismally. “Uncle Jimmy Borton had a letter from Albany to-day, an’ his son-in-law said three strange men had been seen in the Albany depot the other day. I had Uncle Jimmy write an’ ast him if he had seen anybody answerin’ the description, you know. But the three men he spoke of took a train for New York, so I suppose they’re lost by this time. It’s the most bafflin’ case I ever worked on.”