DOCTOR JOE, SCOUTMASTER
“Doctor Joe! Doctor Joe’s comin’! He just turned the p’int!”
Jamie Angus burst into the cabin at The Jug breathlessly shouting this joyful news, and then rushed out again with David and Andy at his heels.
“Oh, Doctor Joe! It can’t be Doctor Joe, now! Can it, Pop? It must be some one else Jamie sees! It can’t be Doctor Joe, whatever!” exclaimed Margaret in a great flutter of excitement.
“Jamie’s keen at seein’! He’d know anybody as far as he can see un!” assured Thomas, no less excited at the news than was Margaret. “But ‘tis strange that he’s comin’ back so soon!”
Of course Margaret, who was laying the table for supper, must needs follow the boys; and Thomas, who was leaning over the wash basin removing the grime of the day’s toil, snatched the towel from its peg behind the door and, drying his hands as he ran, sacrificing dignity to haste, followed Margaret, who had joined the three boys at the end of the jetty which served as a boat landing.
A skiff had just entered the narrow channel which connected The Jug, as the bight where the Anguses lived was called, with the wider waters of Eskimo Bay. There could be no doubt, even at that distance, that the tall man standing aft and manipulating the long sculling oar, was Doctor Joe. As the little group gathered on the jetty he took off his hat and waved it high above his head. It was Doctor Joe beyond a doubt! The boys waved their caps and shouted at the top of their lusty young lungs, Margaret, undoing her apron, waved it and added her voice to the chorus, and Thomas, quite carried away by the excitement, waved the towel and in a great bellowing voice shouted a louder welcome than any of them.
There was no happier or better contented family on all The Labrador than the family of Thomas Angus, though they had their trials and ups and downs and worries like any other family in or out of Labrador.
“Everybody must expect a bit o’ trouble and worry now and again,” Thomas would say when things did not go as they should. “If we never had un, and livin’ were always fine and clear, we’d forget to be thankful for our blessin’s. We has t’ have a share o’ trouble in our lives, and here and there a hard knock whatever, t’ know how fine the good things are and rightly enjoy un when they come. And in the end troubles never turn out as bad as we’re expectin’, by half. First and last there’s a wonderful sight more good times than bad uns for all of us.”
Thomas had reason to be proud and thankful. Jamie could see as well as ever he could, and it was all because of Doctor Joe and his wonderful operation on Jamie’s eyes when it seemed certain the lad was to become blind. Through the skill of Doctor Joe, Jamie’s eyes were every whit as keen as David’s and Andy’s, and there were no keener eyes in the Bay than theirs.