Authors: Al Lacy
This is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, and dialogues are products of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
ONE MORE SUNRISE
published by Multnomah Books
© 2004 by ALJO PRODUCTIONS, INC.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from:
The Holy Bible
, King James Version.
Published in the United States by WaterBrook Multnomah, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House Inc., New York.
and its mountain colophon are registered trademarks of Random House Inc.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise—without prior written permission.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
One more sunrise / by Al and JoAnna Lacy.
p. cm. – (Frontier doctor trilogy; bk. 1)
1. Women physicians—Fiction. 2. Denver (Colo.)—Fiction. 3. Orphan trains—Fiction. 4. Physicians—Fiction. I. Title.
This book is affectionately dedicated to our dear friend, faithful fan, and brother in Christ, Art Rempel of Camrose, Alberta, Canada. God bless you, Art! We love you.
hen the challenge of the Western frontier began luring men and women westward from the eastern, northern, southern, and midwestern states in the middle of the nineteenth century, they found a land that was beyond what they had imagined. From the wide Missouri River to the white-foamed shore of the Pacific Ocean, wherever they settled, they clung to the hope of a bright new beginning for their lives.
Often their hopes were dashed by fierce opposition from the Indians who had inhabited the land before them. At other times there was also struggle for survival against the hard winters and the loneliness of the vast frontier.
Those determined pioneers who braved the elements, the loneliness, and the attacks of the Indians, proved themselves to be a hardy lot and were unknowingly entering upon a struggle that would ultimately give their descendants control of half a continent.
In his book
The Winning of the West
, Theodore Roosevelt said, “The borderers who thronged across the mountains, the restless hunters, the hard, dogged frontier ranchers and farmers, were led by no one commander. They were not carrying out the plans of any
far-sighted leader. In obedience to the instincts working half-blindly within their hearts, they made in the wilderness homes for their children.”
These commendable accomplishments, however, were not without tremendous cost of life for the first twenty to thirty years. Of all the perils confronting the settlers of the Wild West, serious illness, injuries from mishaps of countless number, and wounds from battles with Indians and outlaws were the most dreaded. The lack of proper medical care resulted in thousands of deaths.
The scarcity of medical doctors on the frontier in those early years made life extremely difficult and sometimes unbearable. As towns were being established in the West, little by little, medical practitioners east of the wide Missouri caught the challenge of the frontier.
Communities that grew around army posts and forts had the military doctors to care for them. But many towns had no doctors at all. However, as time passed, this improved. By the mid-1870s, towns of any size at all had at least one doctor. The larger towns had clinics, and a few even had hospitals.
Often the frontier doctor had to travel long distances at any hour—by day or night—in all kinds of weather. Time and again the doctor’s own life was in jeopardy. He might ride on horseback or drive his buggy thirty miles or more to a distant home in the mountains, to a home in a small settlement on the prairie, or to a ranch or farm where he would care for a patient. He would perform surgery when needed, set broken bones, deliver a baby, or administer necessary medicines. Most of the time, he would sit with his patient for hours before leaving his or her side, then sleep on the return trip while his horse found the way home.
Quite often the frontier doctor’s only remuneration consisted of fresh vegetables from a garden, maybe a jar or two of canned corn or beans, a plucked chicken, or a chunk of beef cut from a recently slaughtered steer.
The successful frontier doctor was not only a hardy man, but was obviously dedicated to his profession.
In this Frontier Doctor series, we will tell our readers three stories involving just such a physician.
he lone rider bent low in the saddle as he kept his sleek, muscular gray roan gelding at a full gallop on the rolling prairie, leaving small clouds of dust in his wake. Riding due east toward Cheyenne in the bright morning sunshine, his angular jaw was set in a grim line.
Beyond the scattered cattle ranches and the foothills behind him were the towering Rocky Mountains, the lofty peaks taking their magnificent jagged bite out of the azure Wyoming sky.
Rancher Earl Monroe squinted against the wind produced by the speed of his horse and said aloud, “You’ve just got to be in your office, Dr. Logan. You’ve just got to be.”
At the office of Dr. Jacob Logan on Main Street in Cheyenne, the doctor’s wife—who served as receptionist—busied herself freshening up the waiting room. At the moment, there were no patients in the chairs, so she was taking advantage of the lull in appointments to do a little dusting.
Although she was in her early fifties, lovely Naomi Logan could easily pass for a woman in her forties. While using the feather duster adeptly, she was humming a lilting gospel tune.
When the waiting room had been cleaned and adjusted to her satisfaction, Naomi moved behind her desk and placed the feather duster in the cabinet behind it. When she started to sit down, the desk calendar caught her eye and she realized that she hadn’t flipped it to the new month since coming to work an hour earlier.
She turned the calendar’s small page and sighed as she looked at it. “Tuesday, June 1, 1880. Where does the time go?”
Suddenly her attention was drawn out the large front window to a gray roan horse skidding to a stop at the hitch rail in front of the white clapboard building. The rider hurriedly left the saddle and dashed across the boardwalk, heading for the door.
Naomi immediately recognized rancher Earl Monroe and remained standing behind the desk as he came in, an anxious look on his face. She brushed a stray wisp of hair from her forehead and smiled. “Hello, Earl. You look worried. What’s wrong?”
The rancher wiped a palm over his mouth. “It’s an emergency, ma’am. Is Dr. Logan in?”
“My husband is delivering a baby on a ranch about twenty miles east of town, Earl, but my son is here. He’s taking care of a patient in the examining room with Nurse Ella Dover’s help.”
Monroe’s brow furrowed. “You have a son that’s a doctor?”
“Yes. Dane is an M.D. He just joined his father as partner in the practice a week ago. He’s been doing his internship right here at Memorial Hospital for the past two years. He’s a good doctor. What’s your emergency, Earl?”
“It’s really not
emergency, Mrs. Logan. You are aware that our nearest neighbors are Abel and Betty Donaldson, who are also your patients.”
“Yes. They own the
Rocking D Ranch
. What is it?”
“You know their twelve-year-old son, Joshua.”
“He got bucked off a horse about half an hour ago and landed on his shoulder. It’s hurt bad. The boy’s in extreme pain, and they
were afraid to try to put him in a wagon to bring him to town. I happened to be visiting the Donaldsons at the time, and since I had to come into town anyway, I told them I’d ride like the wind and come tell Dr. Logan about Joshua, and ask him to get out to the ranch as soon as possible. Could—could your son go out there right away?”
Naomi was used to seeing frantic people in the office. She told him to sit down and she would be back shortly. Earl Monroe watched her hurry through the door at the rear of the office and then sat down on the designated chair.
Less than a minute had passed when Naomi reentered the office. Earl stood up. Naomi said, “Dane—ah, the young Dr. Logan is almost done with his patient, Earl. He will head to the
immediately. Can you write down the directions to the ranch?”
“If you’ll give me a pencil and a piece of paper, I’ll draw him a little map.”
Naomi quickly produced the items from the top of her desk and handed them to him. Earl sketched the map for young Dr. Logan to use, and thanking Naomi, excused himself, saying he had to go tend to his other errand.
Rocking D Ranch
, Joshua Donaldson was sitting up on his bed with a pile of pillows at his back. His parents were sitting on wooden chairs beside the bed, with their other two children—ten-year-old Sarah and eight-year-old Ruth—standing between them. Both girls were looking at their brother with compassion as he cradled the arm of the injured shoulder up tight against his chest.