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plained." "She's a lady, she is, and she knows you done her
“I'd rather not have anything of the sort,” said the doctor, decisively.
When Dr. Tibbitt called at twelve on the morrow, he found Zenobia's tent neatly roped in, an amphitheater of circus benches constructed around her, and this amphitheater packed with people.
“Got a quarter apiece from them jays," whispered the showman, "jest to see you dress them wownds.” Subsequently the showman relieved his mind to a casual acquaintance. "He's got a heart like a gunflint, that doctor,” he said, “made me turn out every one of them jays and give 'em their money back before he'd lay a hand to Zenobia.”
But if the doctor suppressed the clinic, neither he nor the showman suffered. From dawn till dusk people came from miles around to stare a quarter's worth at the burnt elephant. Once in a while, as a rare treat, the keeper lifted a corner of her bandages, and revealed the seared flesh. The show went off in a day or two, leaving Zenobia to recover at leisure; and as it wandered westward, it did an increased business simply because it had had a burnt trick elephant. Such, dear friends, is the human mind.
The doctor fared even better. The fame of his new case spread far and wide. People seemed to think that if he could cure an elephant he could cure anything. He was called into consultation in neighboring towns. Women in robust health imagined ailments, so as to send for him and ask him shuddering questions about “that wretched animal.” The trustees of the orphan asylum made him staff physician in this case the doctor thought he could trace a connection of ideas, in which children and a circus were naturally associated. And the local newspaper called him a savant.
He called every day upon Zenobia, who greeted him with trumpetings of joyful welcome. She also desired to shake hands with him, and her keeper had to sit on her head and hold her trunk to repress the familiarity. In two weeks she was cured, except for extensive and permanent scars, and she waited only for a favorable opportunity to rejoin the circus.
The doctor had got his fee in advance.
Upon a sunny afternoon in the last of August, Dr. Tibbitt jogged slowly toward Sagawaug in his neat little gig. He had been to Pelion, the next town, to call upon Miss Minetta Bunker, the young lady whom he desired to install in the house with the garden running down to the river. He had found her starting out for a drive in Tom Matson's dogcart. Now, the doctor feared no foe, in medicine or in love; but when a young woman is inscrutable as to the state of her affections, when the richest young man in the county is devoting himself to her, and when the young lady's mother is backing the rich man, a young country doctor may well feel perplexed and anxious over his chance of the prize.
H. & B. READINGS -- 2
The doctor was so troubled, indeed, that he paid no heed to a heavy, repeated thud behind him, on the macadamized road. His gentle little mare heard it, though, and began to curvet and prance. The doctor was pulling her in, and calming her with a "soo – soo — down, girl, down !” when he interrupted himself to shout,
“Great Cæsar! get off me!”
Something like a yard of rubber hose had come in through the side of the buggy, and was rubbing itself against his face.
He looked around, and the cold sweat stood out on him as he saw Zenobia, her chain dragging from her hind foot, her red cap a-cock on her head, trotting along by the side of his vehicle, snorting with joy, and evidently bent on lavishing her pliant, serpentine, but leathery caresses upon his person.
His fear vanished in a moment. The animal's intentions were certainly pacific, to put it mildly. He reflected that if he could keep his horse ahead of her, he could toll her around the block and back toward her tent. He had hardly guessed, as yet, the depth of the impression which he had made upon Zenobia's heart, which must have been a large organ, if the size of her ears was any indication — according to the popular theory.
The doctor tolled his elephant around the block without further misadventure, and they started up the road toward Zenobia's tent, Zenobia caressing her benefactor while
shudders of antipathy ran over his frame. In a few minutes the keeper hove in sight. Zenobia saw him first, blew a shrill blast on her trumpet, close to the doctor's ear, bolted through a snake fence, lumbered across a turnip field, and disappeared in a patch of woods, leaving the doctor to quiet his excited horse and to face the keeper, who advanced with rage in his eye.
“What do you mean, you cuss,” he began, “weaning a man's elephant's affections away from him ? You ain't got no more morals than a Turk, you ain't. That elephant an' me has been side-partners for fourteen years, an' here you come between us.”
"I don't want your confounded elephant,” roared the doctor. “Why don't you keep it chained up?”.
“She busted her chain to git after you,” replied the keeper. “Oh, I seen you two lally-gaggin' all along the road. I knowed you wa’n't no good the first time I set eyes on yer, a-sayin' hoodoo words over the poor dumb beast.”
The doctor resolved to banish “analogy” from his vocabulary.
The next morning, about four o'clock, Dr.Tibbitt awoke with a troubled mind. He had driven home after midnight from a late call, and he had had an uneasy fancy that he saw a great shadowy bulk ambling along in the mist-hid fields by the roadside. He jumped out of bed and went to the window. Below him, completely covering Mrs. Pennypepper's nasturtium bed, her prehensile trunk ravaging the early chrysanthemums, stood Zenobia, swaying to and fro, the dew glistening on her seamed sides beneath the early morning sunlight. The doctor hastily dressed himself and slipped dow.astairs and out, to meet this Frankenstein's-monster of affection.
There was but one thing to do. Zenobia would follow him
wherever he went — she rushed madly through Mrs. Pennypepper's roses to greet him — and his only course was to lead her out of the town before people began to get up, and to detain her in some remote meadow until he could get her keeper to come for her and secure her by force or stratagem. He set off by the least frequented streets, and he experienced a pang of horror as he remembered that his way led him past the house of his one professional rival in Sagawaug. Suppose Dr. Pettengill should be coming home or going out as he passed !
The doctor found a secluded pasture, near the woods that encircled the town, and there he sat him down, in the corner of a snake fence, to wait until some farmer or market gardener should pass by, to carry his message to the keeper. He had another message to send, too. He had several cases that must be attended to at once. Unless he could get away from his pachydermatous familiar, Dr. Pettengill must care for his cases that morning. It was hard — but what was he to do?
Zenobia stood by his side, dividing her attention between the caresses she bestowed on him and the care she was obliged to take of her red cap, which was not tightly strapped on, and slipped in various directions at every movement of her gigantic head. She was unmistakably happy. From time to time she trumpeted cheerily. She plucked up tufts of grass, and offered them to the doctor. He refused them, and she ate them herself. Once he took a daisy from her, absentmindedly, and she was so greatly pleased that she smashed his hat in her endeavors to pet him. The doctor was a kindhearted man. He had to admit that Zenobia meant well. He patted her trunk, and made matters worse. Her elephantine ecstasy came near being the death of him.
Still the farmer came not, nor the market gardener. Dr.