Nov. 5, 1892. Snowing. Doc Abrams heads up Joe's Mountain in his carriage, a two-wheeled gig pulled by Buster, his latest horse, at a steady pace, unfazed. A good horse, Doc thinks. Doc is wrapped in a blanket over his wool coat. He holds the reins loosely in his right hand, gloved. He holds a sandwich made by Helen in his left. He thinks of the mile ahead, of the Williams' house, of the illness that's taken over the family. What can I do? he thinks, what can I do? It grows dark.

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