“Charles when you were at Yale, did you celebrate Thanksgiving with a turkey or a beef feast?” Dr. Stanley Wills at 56, wearing Benjamin Franklin spectacles and with a slight protuberant belly, looked at the round of beef the cook would rotate over the fire every 2-to-5-minutes. The fireplace was centrally located in the large living room which was also the center room at the first floor of the three-bedroom house. Curtained windows were opened about four-inches in the living room, the kitchen, dining room and the combination study-library. The appetite-stimulating aroma of the roasting meat permeated the house and the immediate perimeter of the ranch-style Texas house.
“Turkey, of course, it’s a New England tradition and the damn birds were everywhere.” Dr. Charles Garrison looked up from reading the editorial page of Endura’s only newspaper–The Endura Clarion. Garrison was trim and muscular compared to his partner. His only real exercise was his “forced” weekly two-mile walk to their combination hospital and clinic. He also assisted the single laborer with carpentry around the house and grounds. Garrison learned construction from his father, who also was a doctor but had nurtured his son in partaking of what he perceived as necessary survival skills. In addition to being able to build a shelter, Garrison’s dad taught him how to shoot, hunt and defend himself. The elder Dr. Garrison would take Charlie on house calls when he reached fourteen and praise the boy when he would anticipate his father’s diagnosis and treatment. Charles Garrison wanted to be like his dad and he had achieved his goal. Unfortunately his father was no longer alive to see his son as a mirror image of himself. While Charles was at Yale, a highwayman gunned down his father, Dr. Reed Garrison, on his way back to town after delivering a baby at one of the homestead farms. The town marshal had not been able to find his father’s killer but the rumor was the killer was Victor Vlack’s hired gun.
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