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    • "We'll have to get on over to the dinning room them. Afraid it's liable to be a bit more like Kalispell than Frisco." He said. "But it'll be good food, just not what we've been used too. Will be up on the hill, for sure.  I was told this is the best hotel because it was a ways out across the river from town, and it was solid built."   "The wealth on the hill is such that all most everything around it is growing at a fast pace. You'll really see that when we visit the Capitol, Carson City. Supposedly discovered by Kit Carson and General John Freemont on their way to Sacramento in. At least Freemont named the river after him back in '43 or '44. Nothin' was there then."   "All that made me hungry too, let's go eat an then take us a walk across the river, or along it, which ever you want." @Bongo
    • That did not take long. Cookie rang the triangle and shouted his best but in the end he sent the kid to roust all but the closest to him. Rance joined young Wheeler in the line, a bit out of the wind, but mostly in it for the moment. It seemed calmer up by the wagon.   "That had ta be bad back there. The wind drivin' the dust an' the smell, but should this wind let up you'll be on flank, left flank, then right, then back to the drag. It'll be me, Dallas, an' Dixie. eatin' dust tomorrow. But at least we got hot grub, won't always be that'a way out here though, every trip is different."   And they moved up steadily. @Bongo
    • "Nothing to discuss? I am surprised, Jonah. Why, if we have time for breakfast, there will be much to discuss regarding the hospital as well as the start of the orphanage. Hopefully that the railroad will be completed, or close to it by then." She smiled brightly. "Things will be different by then."   "My hope is that we get through all of this without my fathers interference causing delays, or real problems with the builders. You know we could get well into October before the snow flies, but I'm not counting on that. The winter will stop construction until the thaw." She stated, but the smile was still there, "But it will be well underway!" @Bongo
    • "Pleased ta meet ya, Rance."  Justus gave the man a nod, then lined up with the others for grub.  Maybe he could get some sleep despite the wind.  He surely was tired enough, and until there was something that concerned him, he didn't need to be concerned.   First, though, a full belly!  As the line progressed, he he nodded to the kid who was the cook's help.  "Times like this, I bet yer glad ya don't have ta be on th' downwind end of a herd'a cows!"   @Flip
    • "It's good to know you'll have the best working on the project, you've come this far, you don't need to risk the quality with less than the best working on it."  Even though he had no doubt that the crew would be excellent, it was reassuring to know that the man hand picked for the job would actually be on site overseeing it.  That way, too, he'd be there if Leah needed to discuss anything with him, and Jonah had a good feeling that was going to happen!   He grinned and took a sip of coffee.  "Just think, this time next year it will all be over!  We'll have a fine hospital with the best equipment...and nothing to discuss over breakfast!"   @Flip  

In Pursuit of Gainful Employ


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Mature Content: No

With: Jonah Danforth & Aoife Leane
Location: Kalispell Doctor's Office
When: Mid-May 1876
Time of Day: 11am

 

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It had been the first thing on Aoife's mind this morning; to visit the doctor. With board and lodging secured at the host of the Wigfalls, she had little to want by way of creature comforts, and so would need to establish an income. Certainly, she would find her finances running low if she could not find employ soon. By all accounts too, there was plenty to be had - rumor of a hospital had not eluded her - and likely plenty of nursing work along with it. As such, it was with confidence that she walked Kalispell's streets, seeking the brownstone house Jemima had described, willing and ready.

It was early enough that traffic on Kalispell's roads was beginning to pick up, and Aoife made a point of picking out faces. A rider here, pedestrian there, storeowner, streetcleaner, drunkard, all serving to paint a picture of the town. A nice place, for a frontier settlement, though she could hardly say she'd been able to judge it's inner denizens thus far. It was a strange feeling, being somewhere completely new, with no sense of the familiar to cling on to, but not altogether unpleasant.

 

She was dressed neatly, and carried herself comfortably (a fresh bath after months on the road had done wonders), with her hair hanging loose at her shoulders, ribbon tie at her throat, black skirt and white blouse. She knew nothing about Doctor Danforth thus far, though no doubt he would appreciate cleanliness and presentability. Most physicians did.

 

Turning down off a side street, Aoife approached the two-story house, regarding it quizzically. It was certainly unorthodox for a physician's office, but perhaps it's size lent a degree of utility. After all, if a Kalispell hospital was indeed in the works, there would have to be enough patients to justify such a project. Without further hesitation, she stepped up to the door, raising a hand to quickly rap upon it's frame, and subsequently stepped back down, waiting with apprehension. Her hands were held together idly at her middle, and she glanced around absently, hoping that the doctor was in.

@Bongo

 

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Whoever was knocking on his door, Jonah thought, was deserving of a huge kiss!

 

"Ah, forgive me, Mrs. Ermintrout, I'm afraid our time is up!"  Good god, but that old woman could yammer on and complain about anything and everything, from her hangnails to her grey hair, and while Jonah could give her powders for her aches and pains, there was no elixir that could cure the headache the woman gave him!  But she paid cash, and she paid well, so he tolerated her complaints with a smile.

 

Still, she was going on today with a passion, each explanation he gave leading to a  new complaint, and he was about at the end of his patience.

 

Then the knock, and an excuse to escort the nice woman out and on her way.  She was obviously disappointed -- her visits to the doctor were one of her pleasures since her husband of fifty-plus years had recently passed -- but she said she understood, paid her fee, then leaned heavily on Jonah's arm as he headed for the door, not so much that she needed assistance as an effort to be close to him.

 

"Remember, Mrs. Ermintrout," he patted he hand then opened the door, urging her onto the porch and past the newcomer, "take those powders twice a day."

 

After the woman had tottered down the steps, he turned his attention to the young woman at the door.  He didn't recognize her, but there was nothing unusual in that.  "Good morning, can I help you?"

 

@boshmi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The door swung wide, and rather than the emaciated, grey-haired old man Aoife had been expecting, there stood a well-presented, polite-looking middle-aged fellow. Granted, there was an emaciated, grey-haired old woman at his arm, but judging by the way she carried herself and clung to the gentleman, she was probably a patient.

"Remember, Mrs. Ermintrout," said the man, almost as to confirm Aoife's assumption. "Take those powders twice a day."

She offered the old woman a friendly smile as she passed, though the majority of her attention was fixated upon the doctor. He was cordial and present, a far cry from the fossil she had worked under in Milford, and quite possibly had no need for an assistant or nurse. Ah well, couldn't be helped now.

"Good morning, can I help you?" he asked.

"Doctor Danforth?" she responded. "My name is Aoife Ciara Leane, and I was rather hoping I could help you. Might I come inside?"

@Bongo

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"Oh, yes, of course, Miss Leane, where are my manners?"  He was so accustomed to his callers being patients that to have a caller that was just a caller was unusual. 

 

Standing back, he opened the door wider.  "Come in, please.  Can I get you some coffee...tea?"  Grinning, he chuckled.  "I have fresh Sally Lunn buns, too, Dorcas Coyne broke her arm last night, and her mother paid me in the cakes." 

 

Sometimes the barter was a good trade, and most of what he was given as payment could be traded elsewhere, like the eggs that he used for meals at the Lickskillet.

 

"Oh, and yes, I'm Jonah Danforth, at your service!"

 

@boshmi

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"Oh, yes, of course, Miss Leane, where are my manners? Come in, please.  Can I get you some coffee...tea? I have fresh Sally Lunn buns, too, Dorcas Coyne broke her arm last night, and her mother paid me in the cakes. Oh, and yes, I'm Jonah Danforth, at your service!"

"Well... tea, I suppose, though only if it's ready." she replied, ducking into the building. "I wouldn't want to cause any trouble, Doctor."

She ventured into the house, regarding the interior with an expression of interest. She'd never been in a house-converted doctor's practice before, though of course, most people probably hadn't. It sounded as though he was doing fairly well for himself too - likely this arrangement was one of some practicality that she was not as of yet privy to.

"This is a nice place." she said aloud, eyes flicking back to the doctor. "I've heard rumors of a forthcoming Kalispell hospital project, would that be an extension of this, or...?"

@Bongo

 

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"There will be room for my offices at the hospital," Jonah explained as he started for the kitchen at the back of the building.  The front parlor had been converted to an office/waiting area, and the other rooms that would have served as library and such had been appropriated as exam rooms.

 

"For now, my quarters are upstairs, along with a couple of rooms for patients that need to stay," he added, "and in all honesty, I'll be happy to have my home as just that!"

 

He chuckled, although if his income didn't improve with the hospital, he'd never be able to afford to stay here, even with Miss Harriet renting space.

 

"And the kitchen..." he waved her in to the large space that held a table for dining, as well as the kitchen itself, "although the most cooking I do here myself is to heat water for coffee and tea!"

 

He motioned the young woman to the table, then went to the stove, where he poured coffee for himself, then hot water into a mug with tea leaves for his guest.  These he set on the table, along with the small cakes he'd offered earlier.

 

"I must say, it's a treat to have a visitor who isn't here with a medical complaint.  What can I help you with, Miss Leane?"

 

@boshmi

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Aoife followed the doctor through the house, mostly keeping to herself, ensuring she didn't touch or set anything out of place. Fortunately for her agenda, the practice seemed large, and likely would have required a mammoth effort to maintain, at least for one man. Each exam room would pose a unique challenge, for the adaptation of domestic architecture to the more utilitarian nature of medicine would undoubtedly not be an easy one. Shelves, lampshades, unsealed floorboards, all requiring a great deal of care so as to ensure that no pesky accumulations would pose a threat to patient care. If there was one thing that medical minds of the past few decades had proved - it would be that germ theory would be the future of medicine, a future that Aoife intended to be a part of.

 

The kitchen, fortunately, seemed to be just that; a kitchen, and Aoife followed Doctor Danforth's motion, lowering herself into a seat at the end of the table while he busied himself with a pair of cups.

 

"I must say, it's a treat to have a visitor who isn't here with a medical complaint.  What can I help you with, Miss Leane?"

 

Asked the doctor, as he brought the steaming mugs to the table. Aoife graciously accepted her drink with a 'Thank you', pulling it in towards herself and warming her hands upon it's surface.

 

"Well." she began. "In all honestly, I am here to offer my help, should you require it. The thing is, see doctor, I've worked a few years in your field, that is; the field of medicine, nursing, of course, and would consider it a great opportunity to continue that work."

She paused, glancing down at her drink and giving it a tentative sip. It was a good temperature, not too hot at all, and the leaves were strong on her throat.

"I have a letter, here." she continued, pulling a small slip of paper from the hem of her skirt (curse how few pockets women's clothes had), and offering it to him across the table. "It's from the physician, in Milford, where I used to help. So y'know, you can check I'm not lying about all this."

@Bongo

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"Oh, I see no need to question your veracity."  Jonah took the paper anyway, giving it a cursory glance, then looking at the young woman.  "I certainly could use help, I have a woman who cleans and does some cooking, but she isn't happy tending to patients, particularly the males."

 

Indeed, the poor woman was embarrassed at having to deal with anything that wasn't hidden under the material of clothing, preferably long sleeves and high collar.

 

"The hours might be unpredictable," he continued, "if I need someone over night for a patient."  He hadn't really put much thought into what he might be looking for in a nurse, besides someone who wasn't going to cringe or swoon at the sight (and odor) of body fluids!

 

"What sort of compensation were you looking for?"  That was another thing that he had no clue about.  "I'll warn you, I'm often paid in eggs, chickens, milk, baked goods...Mrs. Coyne offered Dorcas and her twin, Melvina, but I was compelled to turn that down!"  He laughed.  "And puppies and kittens, too, this would be a zoo if the good people of Kalispell had their way!"

 

@boshmi

 

 

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"I certainly could use help, I have a woman who cleans and does some cooking, but she isn't happy tending to patients, particularly the males."

"Well I can certainly manage that, yes." Aofie said, with just a hint of enthusiasm breaking through her tone. Tending to patients aligned far better with her interests than cooking and cleaning ever had, and all the better if there was a maid to take care of that unpleasantness for the most part.

 

"The hours might be unpredictable, if I need someone over night for a patient."

"That I can manage, too." she chimed. Ironically, most of her work in Milford had been at night - street fights and brawls tending to take place more frequently after dark, and as for her own endurance... well, she was inured enough against the soporific by way of experience.

 

"What sort of compensation were you looking for? I'll warn you, I'm often paid in eggs, chickens, milk, baked goods... Mrs. Coyne offered Dorcas and her twin, Melvina, but I was compelled to turn that down! And puppies and kittens, too, this would be a zoo if the good people of Kalispell had their way!"

At this, Aoife's enthusiasm wavered a bit. If she was to stay in the boarding house for any length of time she would indeed need money, even if she would not want for any foodstuffs.

"Well, I suppose it'll have to do." she decided after a moment's silence. Perhaps she could negotiate a reduced rate with Mrs. Wigfall, in exchange for some of the more material payments.

@Bongo

Edited by boshmi (see edit history)
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"I'll certainly do my best to give you actual pay," Jonah assured her, "but it's always a mystery what is going to be offered."  He frowned.  "I do have to wonder at how that will work when there is a proper hospital, with a board of directors and all."

 

He rolled his eyes, he hated dealing with politics, and that was going to be the worst aspect of having a proper hospital.  "While it's not ideal, I know that people give what they can, and I know that Miss Steelegrave won't turn anyone away because of how they choose to pay."  It really wasn't good business practice, of course, but that was part of working in a rural area like this.

 

"Perhaps we'll have to have our own farmer's market every couple of weeks, to convert jams to cash!"

 

@boshmi

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"I'll certainly do my best to give you actual pay," Jonah assured her, "but it's always a mystery what is going to be offered."

"I'm sure I'll manage." Aoife acknowledged nonchalantly. Material payment was still payment, at any rate, and indeed as she sipped her tea, she thought it rather quaint that a small-town doctor accepted bushels of berries and chicken eggs as payment.

 

"I do have to wonder at how that will work when there is a proper hospital, with a board of directors and all. While it's not ideal, I know that people give what they can, and I know that Miss Steelegrave won't turn anyone away because of how they choose to pay. Perhaps we'll have to have our own farmer's market every couple of weeks, to convert jams to cash!"

Aoife smiled for a moment in appreciation of Doctor Danforth's humor, but the facade did not last long, and her expression quickly changed to one of mild confusion.

 

"Who's Miss Steelgrave?" she asked, cocking her head to one side. "In charge of the hospital, I presume?"

@Bongo

 

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"Yes, Miss Lean Steelegrave, the hospital was her idea, as well as the orphanage.  She has gathered backers, the funds, done most of the work for it."  He chuckled.  "I'm just there to offer marginal advice!  I honestly don't think she needs anything from anyone.  She's the strongest and most determined woman I've ever met.  I suppose her family is responsible for that."

 

She'd find out sooner or later about the Steelegraves, Jonah figured, so there was little harm in elaborating.  "Elias, the patriarch, fancies that he owns the town...or should.  He's focused and ruthless, but Miss Leah is separating herself from that, to the benefit of the community."

 

And hopefully, there would be no confrontations, either from Elias, or town citizens who resented Leah merely because of her last name.

 

@boshmi

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"Well, she certainly sounds like quite the good Samaritan." Aoife acknowledged once he was done explaining Miss Steelgrave's personage. Generous benefactors had been sparse through her life so far, and all power to the woman if she wanted to do something with her money.

 

"Elias, the patriarch, fancies that he owns the town...or should.  He's focused and ruthless, but Miss Leah is separating herself from that, to the benefit of the community."

 

At this, Aoife frowned in her ever-so-typical way. Of course there was a hitch, nothing ever came free and easy.

"Is he causing problems? For the hospital's development, that is." she asked. If he was going to be a hindrance, it would be good to know in advance.

@Bongo

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"So far he hasn't caused any trouble, but there's a possibility, since he won't be happy with his daughter defying him."  Jonah shrugged then chuckled.  "No, it's more likely some of the 'good' citizens who will cause trouble, merely because of the young woman's name.  I can't say that I understand politics, but for someone to oppose something that is such a benefit to the whole territory merely because they have preconceived notions based on the name..."

 

Had it not been for Leah's character and determination, Jonah never would have signed on to such a deal, and even now, he was questioning his judgement...it was far too much work and exposure than he cared for! 

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"So far he hasn't caused any trouble, but there's a possibility, since he won't be happy with his daughter defying him." said the doctor. That in itself was a positive. Goodness knew that running a hospital would be hard enough without active opposition.

"No, it's more likely some of the 'good' citizens who will cause trouble, merely because of the young woman's name. I can't say that I understand politics, but for someone to oppose something that is such a benefit to the whole territory merely because they have preconceived notions based on the name..."

 

"The collective human consciousness is an irrational and dangerous thing, Doctor." Aoife said sagely. "I believe it was one of this nation's founding fathers who said that when the sword is once drawn, the passions of men observe no bounds of moderation."

She'd read some of the works of Franklin and Hamilton on the way over from Ireland, and had just been waiting for the opportunity to quote from them. All the better that it was by way of her new employer.

 

With that, she finished the rest of her tea, placing the mug carefully back on the table, and rising from her seat.

"Enough about all that though." she said, pushing the chair in behind her. "I'm sorry to cut this short, but, well, I've only just arrived in town, and need to get some shopping done. When would you like me to come by? You know, to get started."

@Bongo

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"The collective human consciousness is an irrational and dangerous thing, Doctor." Aoife said sagely. "I believe it was one of this nation's founding fathers who said that when the sword is once drawn, the passions of men observe no bounds of moderation."

 

"One good reason why," Jonah commented wryly, "I have to wonder what the Good Lord was thinking when He decided to primarily put men in charge!"  He was impressed, though, that the young lady was well-read and educated, it would make for good conversation, and indicated that she could think rationally.

 

"Enough about all that though." she said, pushing the chair in behind her. "I'm sorry to cut this short, but, well, I've only just arrived in town, and need to get some shopping done. When would you like me to come by? You know, to get started."

 

"Tomorrow, the next day?" Jonah suggested.  "Whatever is convenient to you.  I'm usually up by eight, and Mrs. Towberman is here by then, she'll have breakfast started."

 

He was about to add more when there was a pounding on the front door, and he glanced at Aoife.  "Well, let's see if I need your assistance now."

 

Rising, he led the way to the front, and when he opened the door, a frantic woman shoved a small boy, who was wailing in panic into his arms, then held an infant to Aoife.

 

"Doctor!  They were eating Nightshade!   I know I should had gotten rid of it, but I warned Briton not to play with it, but he was eating it and feeding some to his sister."

 

Glancing at Aoife, Jonah spun and headed for the nearest exam room.

 

@boshmi

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Bongo (see edit history)
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"Tomorrow, the next day?" Jonah suggested. "Whatever is convenient to you. I'm usually up by eight, and Mrs. Elkins is here by then, she'll have breakfast started."

"Very well, I'll be here tomorrow, if you're sure that isn't too early?" Aoife said, though it would seem that her trial by fire might come prematurely, when his response was interrupted by a banging at the door.

"Well, let's see if I need your assistance now."

 

She followed Doctor Danforth through to the front, where a burst of crying and wailing presented the source of the ruckus as a mother, boy, and infant. Before she could ask any questions, she found the baby bundled into her arms.

"Doctor!  They were eating Nightshade! I know I should had gotten rid of it, but I warned Briton not to play with it, but he was eating it and feeding some to his sister."

Aoife looked down at the child, wailing along with his mother. Well, at least he wasn't comatose or retching yet. The infant, on the other hand, seemed remarkably still. Aoife leaned her head downward to ascertain that she was, in fact still breathing, though inwardly cursing all the while that she hadn't the foresight to tie up her hair. To her relief, she was able to make out airflow, but it was jumpy, as though the child might start puking at any second.

 

She looked back up, into the Doctor's face, before turning to the woman and her son.

"Come through." was all she said, leading them along behind Jonah.

 

Once in one of the side rooms, she set the baby down on an examination table, to look over more closely, while leaving the boy to Doctor Danforth. For her part, the infant bore very mild jaundice around the throat, and that shaky breathing she'd heard earlier had more of a bronchial ring to it than gastric. Her eyes bore no tell-tale signs of glaucoma yet, and so Aoife lowered her ear to the baby's chest, there managing to make out a rapid heartbeat, fitting well for atropine poisoning, of Atropa Belladonna.

"I'm thinking atropine." she repeated out loud with a grimace.

She'd never actually treated nightshade poisoning before, given that belladonna grew quite poorly in Ireland, but she'd read of a few remedies. Unfortunately, none of them had been synthesized properly yet, so there would be no miracle injection, rather some retching and fever at the least. That was if she was right. And they had the proper treatment.

 

"I don't suppose you keep any Manchineel fruit?" she asked the doctor. "Or African Calabar beans?" It was a fairly long shot, but she'd once read quite a promising paper by the toxicologist Robert Christison on their use in neutralizing atropine. There was that more recent piece about the pilocarpus genus being used to treat atropine glaucoma, but given it's publishing date and their present location, Aoife doubted that Jonah had any medically synthesized pilocarpine lying around.

@Bongo

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As Jonah set the still-wailing Briton on the exam table, Aoife was right there next to him with little Borcy, assessing the baby's condition without hesitation.  She was even giving suggestions, although he could barely hear her, what with Briton's screaming and Mrs. Elkins' incessant babbling.

 

"Here, now, Mrs. Elkins, please step out."  He shooed the mother out of the room and closed the door, reducing the noise in the room by half.  "It's going to be all right, Briton, no one is going to harm you."  He wasn't very good when it came to comforting children, but at least the boy quieted to just sobs.

 

"Manchineel or Calabar?"  Jonah had heard anecdotal stories about the use of those in nightshade poisoning, and they might be available in hospitals.  "No, nothing like that.  I have Ipecac, so we can induce vomiting, and charcoal suspension."

 

Taking a breath, he focused on the boy for a moment.  "Briton, how much of the plant did you eat?"  He tried to keep his tone even and soft.  "Was it just leaves, or flowers?"  He managed a grin.  "I bet it tastes like chocolate!"

 

Sniffling, the boy shook his head.  "I like chocolate," he sobbed, "it was like medicine!  I didn't like it after that!"

 

Glancing at Aoife, Jonah gave her a slight nod.  "Hopefully, they didn't ingest a lot."  He crossed to a cabinet and pulled out two bottles, then looked at the nurse again.  "Do you think you can get some ipecac into Borcy?"  The infant was awfully quiet, and if she wouldn't swallow the medicine, it was no good to her.

 

He poured a measure into a spoon, his attention back on Briton.  "This is some medicine I need you to take, and if you can, I'll make sure you get real chocolate later, all right?"

 

@boshmi

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"Manchineel or Calabar? No, nothing like that. I have Ipecac, so we can induce vomiting, and charcoal suspension." said the doctor. Ah well, the old-fashioned was tried and proven, if a little messy.

 

She listened with intent as Doctor Danforth assessed Briton, for so frequently these little tidbits of information could be used in treatment. He was encouraging and charismatic with the boy, certainly more so than she would have had the patience to be, and Aoife felt inwardly thankful that she'd been left with the care of a baby, given that there was no expectation of her to make small talk with it.

 

"Hopefully, they didn't ingest a lot. Do you think you can get some ipecac into Borcy?"

Aoife nodded, taking one of the bottles and a spoon of her own from Jonah before deftly twisting off the top. With steady hands she filled the utensil, and lowered it to where the infant lay, chubby little hands grasping at the air.

The first attempt to get her to swallow was met with about as much resistance as could be expected from a situation such as this. Aoife pulled down on her jaw and coaxed the syrup in, making eye contact, as babies were supposed to like, but no sooner than the first few drops passed the infant's throat did she splutter, sending the remaining ipecac dribbling down her chin.

 

She began to cry, which might have actually been a good thing; given that it meant she was in control of her faculties, but it was certainly annoying. Aoife filled another spoon, and this time did not bother with the slow method of administration, instead dumping it's contents into the child's wailing mouth. Quickly, Aoife dropped the spoon and held the babe's jaw shut, rubbing her throat until she was sure it had gone down.

 

Slowly she removed her hand from around the infant's mouth, and lifted her into a sitting position, so that when the retching began she wouldn't choke.

 

"Er, what about buckets? Where do you keep them?" Aoife asked, though she did not take her eyes off the baby. If they were going to try charcoal binding as well, Borcy here may yet have to deal with another throat-rub.

@Bongo

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The pair worked together well, Aoife did a fine job of getting the medicine down the baby's throat without making her gag or choke, causing aspiration, and he almost laughed when he saw her rubbing little Borcy's neck, like one would a dog they were trying to get to swallow bitter medicine.  But it worked, and that was what was important.

 

"Er, what about buckets? Where do you keep them?"

 

"Here...mind Briton."  The boy was sitting quietly now, braving the medicine for the promise of chocolate, at least until he started to look a little green around the edges.

 

Moving quickly, he yanked two metal basins from a lower cabinet, handed one to Aoife, then went back to Briton, just in time to catch the beginning of copious vomiting that contained fragments of leaves. 

 

"There now, good lad, just like that," he crooned loud enough that the mother waiting anxiously outside the door could hear something positive.  He rubbed the boy's back as he glanced at Aoife.  "I believe we've averted disaster."

 

@boshmi

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"Here... mind Briton." the Doctor said, and Aoife did as she was told, moving over to the small child who was sheepishly gulping down the syrup. She gave him an encouraging look, but the poor child did not look reassured in the slightest.

 

In a moment, Jonah was back, and Aoife took a bucket from his arm, before moving back to where Borcy sat, propped up. She placed the bucket on the table, and gripped the infant under the arms, craning her over the metal rim. Borcy gurgled once, frowned, and then began to spit out lumps of leafy food and bile. It might been funny, if it wasn't a baby spewing up nightshade. Aoife gave the infant a few tender pats on the back, so that her stomach was purged as completely as possible, before setting her down, bucket under her chin.

 

"I believe we've averted disaster." the doctor said dryly, to which Aoife nodded in agreement. "I'll talk to the mother." she said, wiping the baby slobber off her hands, and settling Borcy against the bucket.

 

She closed the exam room door behind her as she exited, where the distraught woman would be waiting.

"They'll both be fine, Ma'am." she told her, as reassuringly as she could. "But you should certainly see about getting rid of that nightshade plant."

@Bongo

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"They'll both be fine, Ma'am." she told her, as reassuringly as she could. "But you should certainly see about getting rid of that nightshade plant."

 

There was a visible change in the woman's expression as she let out a breath of relief.  "Oh, praise God!  Yes, yes, I'll have it all pulled today!"  Without asking, she hugged the girl, then burst into tears.  "I thought I was going to lose them!"

 

In the room, Jonah tended the pair, and once he was assured that they were through purging, he scooped up Borcy and opened the door, rescuing Aoife from the relieved mother's clutches.

 

"Mrs. Elkins, if you can get Borcy to feed, the milk will help to neutralize any poisons still left in her system."  The woman took the infant, sobbing, blubbering, hugging, then finally going into the room to sit by Briton.

 

"I think I'll try milk for Briton, too," Jonah commented to Aoife, "it will be easier to get down him than charcoal.  I'll probably keep them here for the day, but I think I can handle it from here if you'd like to leave."  He smiled at the young woman....she was going to work out well, and when he had a chance, he'd introduce her to Dr. Boone, he might be able to employ her as well.

 

"Thank you for your help, you did well, and I appreciate the suggestions.  We'll have to enhance the medicine cabinet."  There were so many nurses who would be afraid to make suggestions or speak up, but Jonah would be the first to admit that he didn't know everything.

 

@boshmi

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"Oh, praise God!  Yes, yes, I'll have it all pulled today! I thought I was going to lose them!" Mrs. Elkins cried as she embraced Aoife. For her part, the nurse reciprocated with a strained pat on the back. Thankfully, Jonah had finished up with the children, and so came to relieve Aoife of any extended embrace.

 

"Mrs. Elkins, if you can get Borcy to feed, the milk will help to neutralize any poisons still left in her system. I think I'll try milk for Briton, too, it will be easier to get down him than charcoal.  I'll probably keep them here for the day, but I think I can handle it from here if you'd like to leave." the Doctor told her, smiling.

 

"Oh, well, only if you're sure you don't need any help. I could watch over the boy, you know, I wouldn't mind." she protested. The rush of practicing again had already gotten to her, and to leave now would feel jarring.

 

"Thank you for your help, you did well, and I appreciate the suggestions.  We'll have to enhance the medicine cabinet."

"Thank you, Doctor, though I should hope that Kalispell's townsfolk are not usually so inclined towards eating poisonous nightshade. Perhaps once the hospital is up and running..."

@Bongo

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"Good heavens, you don't have children, do you?"  Mrs Elkins smiled kindly.  "Children will find something to get into, regardless of how much you try to keep them safe.  The nightshade is my fault, I just haven't had time to get to it, it grows in the ditches along the creek and roads, along with jimsonweed, and there's just so much this time of year."

 

As the ladies were talking, Jonah fetched a big glass of milk for the boy, encouraging him to drink it, offering a bribe of a small bit of chocolate with the promise of more to come. 

 

"I would appreciate the help," he commented to Aoife, "the children are fine, but they should be watched for the next few hours.  Perhaps we can discuss herbals.  Oh, and Mrs. Towberman is here now, so there's someone to keep the tea hot."

 

At that, he glanced at the woman with the children.  "Have you eaten breakfast, Mrs. Elkins?  I can have something brought to you."

 

"Oh, yes, please, I'd appreciate that."  The woman smiled and nodded, cradling her daughter against her breast, modestly covered by her shawl.

 

"Just a moment, please."  Jonah nodded to the woman, then glanced at Aoife.  "I'll introduce you to Mrs. Towberman, she cooks, cleans and keeps me on the straight and narrow!"

 

@boshmi

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"I would appreciate the help, the children are fine, but they should be watched for the next few hours.  Perhaps we can discuss herbals.  Oh, and Mrs. Towberman is here now, so there's someone to keep the tea hot." the Doctor told Aoife as he returned with a glass of milk, to which she nodded in agreement. "I should like to meet her. I'm sure we'll have much to discuss."

And discuss would be all, or so Aoife hoped. If there was one thing she had not missed about living with her family, it was the housework.

 

"I'll introduce you to Mrs. Towberman, she cooks, cleans and keeps me on the straight and narrow!"

"Right, well, lead the way." Aoife declared, with a strained chuckle. Now that the adrenaline of imminent child death had worn off, she found herself a little anxious as how best to proceed. Very little overcame the awkwardness of first meeting someone like saving lives together, but at the same time, she still knew very little about Doctor Jonah Danforth.

@Bongo

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