by psyche b

chapter 7

Through the remainder of the morning and most of the afternoon, they waited. The process was repeated a second and third time. With each dose, granny chanted. They kept a vigil, watching for even the slightest hint of a change. Cassie worked, sponging down the fevered woman. Her back ached from the constant bending. Granny sat in a rocking chair by the window, her eyes closed, her lips moved in silent chants. With her nerves stretch tight, Cassie snapped.

"It's not working."

"You must have patience child. If I could only remember."

"Remember what?"

"There was something else we did when a member of the tribe had a fever that wouldn't break. But I can't. I have tried and tried to remember."

"There must be something else. Anything."

"There is." Came the voice from the door as Doc walked in.

"What? Tell me doc. What can we do?"

"I just got a call from Ted. He received a wire from St Louis. They have tried using ice as part of the treatment with a great deal of success."

"Ice?" She shouted. "What the hell good is ice? We've been sponging her down constantly but her fever just goes right back up."

"You won't need to sponge her down. Ice will be a constant cold. It will break the fever."

"Ice, cold that's it. That is what I couldn't remember." Granny stated. "It will work. I have seen this work before."

"I told Ted to send as much Ice as he can out here. We will also need as many tarps as possible to save the bedding and to put over the patients."

"We have several at the settlement. I'll send someone after them. Any thing else?" Ellie volunteered.

"Sledge hammers and axes to break up the ice blocks and pails to carry the ice in.That should be everything we need. Between the ice and granny's medicine we should be able to beat this thing.

"Got it.I'll send a few of the women for everything you need." Elie stated as she left the room.

"Let's get ready then." Cassie said and returned to her place by the bed.

As the sun started to set the air was filled with the sound of the ice being chopped. Pails were filled and brought into the house to be packed around the sick. Each patients had been prepared and covered with tarps. They were given doses of granny's medicine. Everyone worked either breaking the ice blocks or carrying the pieces in. They needed a constant supply as the ice quickly melted in the still warm air.

Cassie sat by Victoria's side. She held the small hand in her own. Sometime during the early morning hours she slept, her head down on her arm next to Victoria.

She woke to the sound of the birds singing as the sun rose. She winced as she straightened from the position she slept in. She looked at the almost melted ice, reached for a cloth to wipe the sweat from Victoria's face.

"More ice. " She yelled. "We need more ice up here."

To be continued in 7b

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