War and History Fiction posted April 13, 2012 Chapters:  ...17 18 -19- 20... 


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Mrs. Wiley treats Dr. Phillip's Hangover

A chapter in the book A ROUGH BEGINNING

Chapter Eight, Part Two

by c_lucas



Background
This novel is written in the Omniscient point of view. The story takes place is New York's Irish slums. Points of history are intermingled with fiction.














CHAPTER EIGHT
NEW YORK
FIVE POINTS
IRISH SLUMS
PART TWO

JUNE 1875

 
Ending of the last chapter:
 
The three able bodied men arrived, the brothers carrying Phillip and following their father, Cullen, who knocked quietly on Mrs. Kennedy’s door. He held his finger to his lips when Mrs. Wiley opened the door. “Me boys be in a spot of trouble with their sister.”
 
Arthur and Connor laid the doctor on the couch, shook hands with their father and tipped their hats to Mrs. Wiley before they fled the scene.
 

Arthur wiped his shoes with his handkerchief, and smiled as he threw the cloth away. “I think it’ll be a fine time ta visit Mona. Yeh best be finding a place ta sleep. Shannon’s fader’ll not be welcoming yeh at this late hour.”
***********************************************
 
 Mrs. Wiley frowned and looked harshly at Mr. Sullivan. “What would yeh be wanting ta do with a drunk? Does Heather know she’ll be marrying one?”
 
“The good doctor is not a drunk. Me lads got out of hand when I sent them to Hennessey’s ta buy their future brother-in-law a round of Stout ta celebrate his betrothal ta Heather. The good doctor be a teetotaler and not be wanting a drink. I be forcing my hand by having my lads carry him. It be my reckoning they carried me joke a little too far.”
 
“A little too far, is it. He not be in this condition from one round. Take him behind Heather’s curtain and undress him. After yeh be covering him properly with a sheet, lean him against the wall so he’ll be sitting up. Empty his pockets and pile his clothes on the floor out side of the curtain. One thing that husband of mine made me want ta do was ta learn about sobering up drunks. He be gone now, and I thank th' Lord for that blessing.”
 
“Where be your cailin?”
 
“Caitlin be sleeping with Mrs. Kennedy.”
 
Mrs. Wiley turned toward Mrs. Kennedy’s medicine bag sitting at one end of the dining room table. She rummaged through it and withdrew the items she needed. She set the items on the table and drew two pots of water and placed them on the coal-burning stove.
 
The sound of someone puking into a bucket caused her to stop. “Do yeh be needing me hep, Mr. Sullivan?”
 
“Nay, but I’ll be needing some towels, hot soapy water and a clean sheet.”
 
A few minutes later, Kathleen brought the requested items behind the curtain in two trips. She set the pan of soapy water on Heather’s small desk. “I’ll be back shortly with a potion for the good doctor. Why don't yeh be cleaning him up?”
 
On her return to the kitchen area, she fixed her potion with mustard flour mixed in warm water. She grabbed an empty bucket with her left hand and with the potion in her right, she returned to Heather’s curtained off area. “Be he decent and sitting up?”
 
“As well as he could be. His eyes be open.”
 
She elbowed her way around the curtain, forcing Mr. Sullivan to step away from Phillip. “Be a good lad and drink this.”
 
His head rolled to one side and his eyes closed.
 
Frustrated with her hands full, Kathleen glared at Mr. Sullivan. “I’ll be needing his head back and his nose pinched close.” When Mr. Sullivan followed her instructions, she set the bucket on the bed and took hold of Phillip’s lower chin. “This’ll be working fast, so step back as far as yeh be able. When I be done, release his nose and raise his head up.”
 
She poured the potion down Phillip’s throat and grabbed the empty bucket. Kathleen barely had time to position the bucket before Phillip vomited violently, repeatively, cleansing out his stomach.
 
Kathleen took one of the used towels and wiped Phillip’s chin. She stared into his opened eyes. “You’ll be feeling better in a short while. Hold yeh bucket while I be getting yeh some dandelion tay.”
 
Mrs. Wiley turned her attention toward Mr. Sullivan. “I’ll be doing some washing and ironing. The good doctor will be presentable in about an hour, but yeh daughter’ll not be seeing him until he is decently clothed. I’ll need her ta be caring for Mrs. Kennedy.
 
 
Heather freshened the two cups of tea and returned to her seat at the table, across from her mother. “I be approving of what yeh and Fader have agreed ta, but I be wanting ta carry on in th’ blessed name of Mrs. Kennedy.”
 
“Do yeh be thinking Phillip will change his mind and let yeh have yeh say in what yeh’ll be wanting ta do?"
 
“He be saying it’s a man’s duty ta care for his family and it be th' woman’s duty ta raise his children. He told me that when he started courting me. He be asking me ta marry him, but I be refusing until he changed his ways. Now, he be accepting me church and me studying, it be wrong not to accept his offer of marriage.”
 
“Aye, he be proving his love for yeh. Have yeh mentioned it ta Mrs. Kennedy?”
 
“We be talking about it, but she offers no answers. She told me about her dearly departed husband who chose th’ same path, but she be childless and he be getting himself killed by Indians.” Heather sipped her tea.
 
Her mother filled Heather in on the part she did not know. “Their marriage not be for love, but ta gain passage ta here. He be leaving her with his cousin’s wife while th’ two men be going West ta find their fortunes. Two years be passing before Fader Murphy showed up at this very flat with th’ news of Mr. Kennedy’s fate and a request from the cousin for his wife ta be joining him.” Mrs. Sullivan stopped to take a long sip of tea.
 
Heather waited for her mother to continue her story.
 
The sound of a creaking board bearing weight filtered through the room. Heather jumped up. “Phillip is back….”
 
“Nay, lass, that’ll be yer fader and he’ll not be coming in. This be our time together. He’ll be going down ta th’ window and wait.”
 
“But Phillip should be home by now….”
 
“Aye and he’d be at Mrs. Kennedy’s. Kathleen is caring for him. He’ll be a bit weak in th’ stomach, but not hurt.”
 
“I need to be by his side!” Heather went to get up.
 
“That’d be th’ last place he’d be wanting yeh ta be. It is best yeh be visiting with me and not stripping him of his pride.”
 
The door opened and Mr. Sullivan stood in the doorway. “Yeh best be listening ta th’ wise words of yer mudder. Yeh be th last person th’ good doctor’ll want ta be seeing. He be having his pride, and it’s best yeh be letting him keep it.”
 
“What did Arthur and Connor be doing to him?”
 
“A little bit more than I be telling them ta do, but yer Phillip will be surviving his introduction to Stout. I’ll be coming for yeh ta care for Mrs. Kennedy. Yeh’ll not be seening yeh doctor until Mrs. Wiley be giving yeh her blessings.” Mr. Sullivan stepped back into the hallway and held the door open for his daughter.
 
Neither spoke as they descended the stairs.
 
The first thing Heather noticed was wet male clothing hanging on the clothes wire behind the stove. Mr. Sullivan picked up two buckets of waste and headed back out the door.
 
“Those be Phillip’s clothes. Where’s me Phillip?”
 
“He be in yeh bed, wrapped in a sheet, sleeping. Mrs. Kennedy needs her tay. I promised yeh fader yeh not be going near Phillip until I be approving.”
   
The tone of Mrs. Wiley’s voice kept Heather from defying her. She fixed a cup of foxgloves tea and walked behind Mrs. Kennedy’s curtain. Heather found her patient awake, with her hands folded across her stomach.
 
“I be needing me chamber pot before I be needing me tay.”
 
“I’ll hep yeh.” Heather sat the cup of tea on the bed stand and held out her hands toward the old lady.
 
Mrs. Kennedy gripped Heather’s hands and swung her legs onto the floor. She waited for Heather to reposition herself and gripped her hands again to stand.
 
The young woman held the older woman under her armpits while she positioned herself and relieved her bladder. “Put me in me chair.” Soon, Mrs. Kennedy was in her wheelchair.
 
Heather wheeled her mentor to the table and returned to retrieve the cup of tea.
 
Mrs. Kennedy glanced at Mrs. Wiley, who was busy ironing Phillip’s pants dry. “Yeh never got to use yer training on Sean. How be th’ doctor?”
 
“He be having one dose of the mustard flour mixture and two cuppas of Dandelion tay. He be resting peaceably.”
 
Mrs. Kennedy placed her empty cup on the table. “I’ll be needing me drops.”  
 
Heather found the small bottle, unscrewed the top and squeezed a few drops into the dropper and turned toward Mrs. Kennedy, who opened her mouth.
 
Before Heather could place a drop under Mrs. Kennedy’s tongue, the old lady’s head dropped to her chest.


Recognized


Source of Image, Courtesy of Google Images.


Internally, Mustard is useful as a regular and mild aperient, being at the same time an alterative. If a tablespoonful of Mustard flour is added to a glass of tepid water, it operates briskly as a stimulating and sure emetic.

This is a rewrite. Regular readers may not get any rewards.

Caitlin Anna Wiley will change her name to Joanna 'Jo' Wiley when she is arrested for theft of a two cent apple.

Clarification:
Cailin = Irish for girl.
Divil = Devil
Fader - Father
Help = hep
Me = my
Mammy = mother
Mudder = mother
Ta = to
Tay = tea
Th' = the
Yer = your
Yeh = you
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