The Edge of Town

Doc briefly considers heading back to the Pu for supplies. It's already past noon and they've got nearly six miles to cover to get into town. Doc decides he can make do with what he has. He's got enough supplies for a makeshift medical kit.

"Okay, lets go." Doc collects himself and leads the way to Toledo. The mud no longer belabors their every step, and they begin to make good time at last. As they walk, the corduroy road becomes simply dirt and stone. The ground, while damp, is no longer a mudpit. The trees begin to thin, and thick black smoke can be seen drifting on the horizon.

An hour later they're free of the forested swamp and at the edge of a cornfield, which the road winds past on its way to the town still two miles away. Black smoke rises from the growing smelters and refineries along the Maumee; a sign of progress in this day and age.

To Doc it is a sickening sight. He was raised during the Greenhouse crisis; an age of smog and heat, where nearly everyone in he grew up had asthma, and skin cancer and lung disease overtook heart disease and car accidents as the leading causes of American deaths. Fortunately, science and medicine had reacted quickly and cured the symptoms, but not before he lost nearly a third of his graduating class.

They continue on until they reach a fork in the road. A wooden sign welcomes them to Toledo, and declares the road they are on to be Indiana. Another, smaller sign indicates the intersecting path as Monroe St. Down both paths they can see people and horses bustling through the town.

They stop and rest for a bit. It's been a while since Doc has done a ten mile hike, let alone one through the mud. Lightning chews on some roadside weeds. Thunderhorse snacks on mead and horse-oats. Doc is not quite that hungry, although he's getting there.

A horse and wagon approach them from Monroe St. Thunderhorse goes on alert and stands near Lightning where its a quick grab for his battleaxe. They watch as it approaches. It is a simple cart with an old nag in front and an old man leading it. He's wearing overalls and a straw hat, and moves at a slow, steady pace. He's carrying a rifle similar to Doc's. He waves to them as he approaches.

1 comment:

Doc said...


"Hello Friend! Come and have a cool drink and tell me of the news,"

Quietly remind Thunderhorse to be quiet and tell him not to get violent unless I yell "Gott in Himmel" ("God in Heaven" in German, I think.) And turn off the noisy translator.

Offer the old man a drink of whiskey, befriend him, and ply him for news, info, and directions to the courthouse, a boarding house/hotel near there, and a stable near the courthouse. See if he has anything for sale that we might want.

If asked, I am "Doc" Shaw, snakeoil/medicine salesman who has come to town seaking a relative. Thunderhorse is my half brother who is a little "touched in the head" and I am looking after him while seeking out our missing uncle, Dr. Something or other. We aren't sure about the name, as the last letter we recieved was from here and his name was blotted out by an unfortuneate raindrop.

Neither one of us has ever met him, but we have a very good description from my mama.

Should we really be pressed, (not now, but later) I will offer up the story of how I need to find Dr. SoandSo, by whatever name he is traveling under, because he has the secret ingredient for my "MEDICINE" because my father died before he could reveal it, and only he knows.

Look over his horse and cart. Is the horse decent? Would the cart suit our purposes?

Perform +1

I'm surprised the medkit is only got one use, but the makeshift one will do just fine. Continue, I'm eager to hear from the old man.