Chapter 12 – Doctor Scruggs Arrives At Johnson Plantation

A fictional story by Junior Johnson

Deputy Moran decided to ride into Cloutierville and send a telegram to Sheriff Jones in Mississippi informing him that Captain John Winston was seen in Louisiana and was probably still in the area.

After the Battle of Monett’s Ferry during the War of Northern Aggression, the area had become a known haven for thieves, murderers, and outlaws of all description. Winston fit all of these categories.

It was well known in the area that there was a deep cave into the bank of Cane River simply known as Robbers Roost, and this was where the lowlife individuals would hold up while passing through. More than likely this was where Captain Winston and his group of thugs would hold up for the time being.

Pete had told Abslom and Levy of the snake when he made his break for freedom, so it was assumed that the old drunkard Doctor at Monett’s Ferry was where Winston would head to for treatment.

After he had sent his telegraph to Sheriff Jones, Deputy Moran planned to make arrangements with law enforcement officials in Cloutierville to come up with a plan to apprehend Captain John.

While they waited for Dylan to return with Doctor Scruggs, Aiden told his story of almost being hung for a crime that he did not commit before his brother Dylan had come to his rescue in heroic fashion. Pete and Noah were spellbound as Aiden told his story. His arm was feeling much better after being taken care of by the Lodrigue sisters.

Reverend Cryer’s fever had subsided somewhat since Grandpa Tony Lodrigue had treated him with his herbs and salve. He still had not regained consciousness, but his condition had not worsened. All everyone at the Johnson and Lodrigue compounds could do was pray and hope Dylan would soon arrive with Doctor Scruggs.

Meanwhile in the dingy old building at Monett’s Ferry, the Doctor had just finished explaining to Captain John Winston that he had a choice to make. Allow him to remove the leg or die. Winston did not like either option and asked for another bottle of whiskey.

Knowing there was nothing that he could do until Winston made his decision, the Doctor complied with his request. Time was a factor and a decision had to be made soon or he would die. Perhaps the whiskey would help make the decision easier.

It was mid afternoon when Dylan arrived with Doctor Scruggs. He was immediately brought to the room were Reverend Cryer was. He appeared to be resting comfortably which the Doctor was happy to see.

Doctor Scruggs began to lay out his tools to be sterilized before he began surgery to remove the bullet. This was going to be a tricky surgery because it was lodged near the heart.

As he finally began to work on Reverend Cryer, everyone moved away and only came forward when the good Doctor needed fresh towels and bandages. The others stood by silently in prayer.

It took Doctor Scruggs almost three hours before he was finally able to retrieve the bullet lodged near Reverend Cryer’s heart, and to stitch and dress the wound. All they could do now was wait, and Pray.

Since the events of the past two days had taken a toll on everyone, the Lodrigue women decided to make a good dinner with the food prepared for the homecoming of the Mississippi family.

Everyone sat around tables heaped with food and iced tea. Abslom Johnson offered a Prayer of Blessing for the food and a special request for the recovery of Reverend Cryer.

By the time he had finished the bottle of whiskey, Captain John Winston, in a very drunken state, told the Doctor to take his damn leg, but if he died, instructions were given his men to kill the Doctor.

With shaking hands the Doctor cut into Winston’s leg at mid thigh.

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