A Country Doctor and Selected Stories and Sketches eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 534 pages of information about A Country Doctor and Selected Stories and Sketches.
after another.  Getting old! all the good old-fashioned people on the farms:  I never shall care so much to be at the beck and call of their grandchildren, but I must mend up these old folks and do the best I can for them as long as they stay; they’re good friends to me.  Dear me, how it used to fret me when I was younger to hear them always talking about old Doctor Wayland and what he used to do; and here I am the old doctor myself!” And then he went down the gravel walk toward the stable with a quick, firm step, which many a younger man might have envied, to ask for a horse.  “You may saddle him,” he directed.  “I am only going to old Mrs. Cunningham’s, and it is a cool afternoon.”

Dr. Leslie had ridden less and less every year of his practice; but, for some reason best known to himself, he went down the village street at a mad pace.  Indeed, almost everybody who saw him felt that it was important to go to the next house to ask if it were known for what accident or desperate emergency he had been called away.

VIII

A GREAT CHANGE

Until the autumn of this year, life had seemed to flow in one steady, unchanging current.  The thought had not entered little Nan Prince’s head that changes might be in store for her, for, ever since she could remember, the events of life had followed each other quietly, and except for the differences in every-day work and play, caused by the succession of the seasons, she was not called upon to accommodate herself to new conditions.  It was a gentle change at first:  as the days grew shorter and the house and cellar were being made ready for winter, her grandmother seemed to have much more to do than usual, and Nan must stay at home to help.  She was growing older at any rate; she knew how to help better than she used; she was anxious to show her grandmother how well she could work, and as the river side and the windy pastures grew less hospitable, she did not notice that she was no longer encouraged to go out to play for hours together to amuse herself as best she might, and at any rate keep out of the way.  It seemed natural enough now that she should stay in the house, and be entrusted with some regular part of the business of keeping it.  For some time Mrs. Thacher had kept but one cow, and early in November, after a good offer for old Brindle had been accepted, it was announced to Nan’s surprise that the young cow which was to be Brindle’s successor need not be bought until spring; she would be a great care in winter time, and Nan was to bring a quart of milk a day from Jake and Martin’s.  This did not seem an unpleasant duty while the mild weather lasted; if there came a rainy day, one of the kind neighbors would leave the little pail on his way to the village before the young messenger had started out.

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A Country Doctor and Selected Stories and Sketches from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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