“Andrew, you don’t look well.”
“Ah dinnae feel well, Frank. ’Tis mah stomach wi’ pains.”
Margaret stopped clearing the table to look at Andrew. “You should go to the doctor, Andrew.”
“Ah cannae, but fer Agnes. She’s wi’ child, an’ ah need tae save fer the bairn an’ th’ midwife.”
“You won’t do your wife or bairn any favors if you don’t take care of yourself.”
Frank broke in. “Your face is puffy, Andrew. Let me call a doctor.”
“Nae. Cannae afford it.”
Andrew got up and went to the parlor to lie down. “Ah’m sae tired. Mind if ah lie a bit?”
Frank went into the kitchen with Margaret. “Andrew looks bad, Margaret. Maybe we should send for Agnes?”
“They don’t have a phone, Frank. We’ll have to send a messenger.”
Frank paused. “I’ll go over tomorrow and bring her back. Andrew looks terrible – I noticed that his legs are swollen, too. There’s something quite wrong.”
Just then, Jack came in. “What’s wrong with Uncle Andrew?”
“He’s not feeling well, Jack. That’s all. Now, why don’t you run along and play with Peter and Jeff? They’re out on the swing.”
Jack dashed outside, and a moment later, Andrew began to moan. Frank and Margaret rushed into the parlor to find him holding his stomach. His trousers were soaked in bloody urine. Frank went to the phone and called for a doctor while Margaret knelt beside Andrew.
“We’re calling for a doctor, Andrew. You’re very sick and need help. I’ll have no argument from you.” Andrew was in too much agony to protest.
It was dark when Dr. Agnew arrived. Jack was in the parlor, both fascinated and horrified by the scene unfolding.
“Jack, go to your room. The doctor needs to tend to Uncle Andrew, and you shouldn’t be here.”
Dr. Agnew got to work, taking Andrew’s temperature, looking into his eyes, examining his extremities, and palpating his abdomen. Each time he did that, Andrew cried out in pain. He was slender, but his abdomen was distended.
Dr. Agnew stood and called Frank and Margaret aside. “Can we speak in the kitchen?”
The three left Andrew’s side.
“This is your brother?” Dr. Agnew asked Frank.
“Yes – my youngest brother.”
“He’s young… I take it he’s single?”
“No, he’s married. Been married for two years. His wife is in Detroit: she’s three months pregnant with their first child.”
The doctor hung his head. “Your brother is dying, Mr. Sharp. He is bleeding internally, and from the look of his abdomen, he’s been bleeding for quite a while. There is nothing I can do to save him at this late stage. I can administer laudanum if you wish – enough to put him to sleep.”
“Do we have enough time to fetch his wife?”
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