Hey Ya'll!! Here's a LHOP FF I started a year ago; is it worth finishing in your opinions????
Tradgedy Far From Home by, Rider
In the crisp cold autumn air of Walnut Grove the Ingalls family could be seen in their wagon. No one could be for miles, except for Jonathan Garvey and Isaiah Edward, who were riding horses beside the wagon.
"Where are we going, Papa?" little Carrie asked.
"To take Grandma and Grandpa to live with us, Baby."
It had been Charles Ingalls' long time dream to have his parents live with him and his family, and now that he had finally added an extra room to the house, his dream was finally going to come true. As the Ingalls drove into town, Charles could see Doc Baker standing by the stage station.
"Hey, doc”, Charles hollared. "Makin' a house call?"
"Mornin', Charles! Caroline, Girls! Not a house-call, Charles. You see, there's a medical convention in Minneapolis, held every year. This year, I finally saved up enough money to go. So, I'm waiting for the stage to Minneapolis, a very expensive stage. Two months wages one way."
"Well, Doc, why don't you come aboard with us?" "We're headed toward Minneapolis too" Charles offered.
"Oh, I don't know, Charles, you've got quite a load as it is."
"Now Doc, we'd be glad to have you. Plus, it's free!"
"Well'', Doc Baker hesitated, "alright! Thank you, Charles."
"Don't mention it! Just give me free medical treatment and we'll call it even", Charles replied with a grin.
Well, about half a day into the trip Doc Baker spoke up. "Charles, may I inquire as to why you're all headed to Minneapolis?"
"Sure, Doc", Charles answered. "My Ma and Pa live in Minneapolis, and I finally convinced them to move in with us. Jonathan and Isaiah are just comin' to help us load their packaging."
"Just to load packaging, huh?" Edwards spurt in, "I thought we were asked 'cause we're good friends and you wanted our company, Charles!"
"Yeah, Charles!" Garvey copied.
"Alright, alright, you are good friends and I did want your company....but, you are both bigger than me, and my Ma can pack some pretty big boxes" Charles replied.
As they passed some trees and entered a clear field Mary asked,
"Ma, what did that sign say back there?"
"Oh, I didn't see it, Mary", Caroline answered,
"Charles, did you see it?" Charles shook his head, trying to look like he was concentrating on their journey. Suddenly, there was a shout. Charles stopped the wagon and looked around.
A man about 50 yards away called out, "You're on private property!"
Mary leaned over to Laura and whispered, "That's probably what the sign said." Laura giggled.
Charles got up to get off the wagon when Jonathan leaned over and said to him,
"Be careful, Charles. He's got a rifle."
"I know, I'll just go over and politely explain that I didn't see the sign and we'll leave. Simple as that."
Charles got off the wagon and about half way toward the man shouted, "I didn't know we crossed onto private land, Mister. You see, I was trying to figure out where we are and-"
He was cut short by the man yelling, "Don't make no difference! Private property is private property!!!"
Then, four shots were fired followed by Caroline and Laura screaming "Charles and Pa" both at the same time. Caroline leaped out of her seat and started running toward Charles followed by Isaiah. Jonathan jumped into the front of the wagon and steered it toward them at full speed. When they got there Charles was unconcious and bleeding badly. Doc Baker lept out and came down to Caroline and Charles.
"He's still breathing", he reassured. "Get him into the back on the wagon", Doc Baker ordered.
Isaiah lifted Charles up and gentley placed him in back of the wagon on a blanket. Caroline was immediately by him, with his head on her lap to keep it off the wooded wagon frame. Meanwhile, Jonathan was tieing up the man who shot Charles.
"What are ya doin' to me?", the man asked. "Making a citizen's arrest, for attempted murder."
The man's name was Gordon Matthews, and he was known for being too impatient with people on his land. Isaiah made sure Matthews stayed put on the end of the wagon while Jonathan was driving. Caroline was very worried about Charles, not to mention Carrie crying slightly. Jonathan spoke up while slowing to wagon down,
"Looks like a storm's coming."
"Oh no", Caroline replied, "that's the last thing we need now!"
"Hey, Ma, there's an old cabin down there!" Laura exclaimed. "Why don't we go there till the storm passes over?"
"Good idea, Half Pint!" Isaiah said, "You're just like your parents-SMART!"
So Jonathan steered the wagon in front of the cabin. Mary opened the door while Laura took Carrie in and Isaiah forced Matthews in and made him sit in a dark corner. Caroline went in while Doc Baker and Jonathan took Charles in and layed him down on the blanket. That night there a terrible thunderstorm. Laura was sitting up crying. Caroline woke and walked up to her.
"Why are you crying, honey?"
"I'm worried about Pa" she said.
"Oh, Laura! He'll be fine, your Pa's a strong man."
Just then Doc Baker called out, "Caroline! Charles is waking up!"
"Come on, Laura!" she said.
When the two of them got to him, Caroline was surprised at how tierd and sick he looked within just a few hours.
"Caroline?", Charles said in a low tone when his vision came into focus.
"Yes, Charles, it's me." Laura walked up to her father and put her hand in his.
"Are you alright, Pa?", she asked nervously.
"Hi, Half Pint," he answered in a queer confused tone. "Yeah, Baby, I'll be fine. You know it takes more than a few bullets to hurt me." Laura smircked as her Pa tried to reassure her of his well-being.
Doc Baker spoke, "Laura, why don't you fill this bucket of water for your Pa?"
"Yes, sir" she replied.
As Laura was filling the bucket, Doc Baker was talking to Charles.
"Chalres, we have to remove the bullets now", but Charles disagreed.
"Wait till Laura falls back asleep. I don't want her getting scared."
Then, Laura came back with the water. She set it down by Pa, and Caroline wondered how Laura knew how to take care of Pa so well. After Laura has given her Pa a drink he whispered to her,
"You remember how to do a couple of things from last time, huh?"
She nodded at him, when Caroline spoke up.
Charles and Laura eyed eachother and both knew an explanation need to happen soon, REAL SOON.
"Well, Ma", Laura began when her Pa cut her off.
"Laura, don't!", but she continued.
"Remember when Pa and I went hunting last year?"
Yes, Laura", she answered.
"Well, Pa didn't drop the gun when it shot him like he said,"
Caroline was confused. "What are you saying, Laura?"
Laura began to cry so Charles finished telling Caroline what happened.
"Laura knocked the gun over when I got shot."
"Oh, Laura! Why didn't you tell me?" Laura tried to stop crying, "I was afraid you'd be mad at me",
Caroline took Laura back over to where the blankets were. After Laura had fallen back asleep Caroline went back to Charles.
"How's Laura?", he asked.
"She'll be alright. How are you?"
Charles looked at his wife and knew she was worried.
"I'm not gonna lie to you, I'm in a lotta pain."
Caroline put her hand on his forehead.
"You're burning up!"
She went to go get Doc Baker.
When they reurned he said, "The fever's from infection, Charles. I need to remove the bullets or you could die."
Charles had been shot in his right shoulder, center of the gut, and twice in his right leg. One bullet had penetrated a blood vessel, while the other had broken his leg badly. But, Doc didn't know about the second bullet. Doc started at Charles' shoulder. Although there was pain, it wasn't much since the bullet wasn't too deep. Now, with the second bullet, the pain was greater and lasted a bit longer. Charles' attempts to hide the pain from his wife were not fufilled. It hurt Caroline to see her husband like this.
"Can't you give him something for the pain?" she couldn't help but cry.
"Unfortunately, no. I'm sorry" he replied.
After the bullet had been removed, Doc had to bandage the wound, which was the easy part. Now, with the wound to the leg, it was another story. Since Doc didn't know there were two bullets, the pain was much, much greater. He knew about the broken blood vessel, but that was all he knew about. Charles tried not to cry out in pain, and bit his lip so hard it bled. Caroline tried to ease her husband's pain as best she could, but her attempts didn't go far. The most she could do for him was try to lower his fever, unsuccessfully, and pray, but that was all she could do. After Doc removed the bullet, he bandaged Charles' leg, again with pain.
Early that morning at about five am Laura and Mary woke up and went over to Pa. They could see that his wounds had been bandaged and Mary knew he had a fever. He woke up from hearing them whisper.
"Pa?" Mary asked. "How do you feel?"
Charles hesitated wondering what to say.
"I feel fine, Mary", he lied.
He felt like pain was engulfing his entire body, but he didn't want to worry his daughter more than she need be.
"Should I wake Ma?" Laura asked.
"No, let her sleep, honey", but Charles did wish his wife would wake up.
Then, Jonathan woke.
"Morning, Early Birds. Hey, kids, why don't you go wash up by that pump over there?"
They obeyed. This gave Jonathan time to check on his friend. After everyone had woken up and the skied cleared Doc suggested that they get moving. Isaiah got the girls into the wagon, while Jonathan held Matthews at gunpoint making sure he didn't try anything. Caroline and Doc Baker slowly guided Charles into the wagon. About twenty-five miles from the cabin it started to drizzle.
"Mother nature is just against us, eh?", Isaiah said with a chuckle. (Do you mean Isaiah?)
Laura spoke up, "There's a cave over there."
Jonathan steered the wagon to the cave. The girls went in with Isaiah, Jonathan, and Matthews while Caroline and Doc Baker again helped Charles. When they sat him down he moaned allowed in pain. Isaiah was making a fire, while Jonathan was with the girls. Matthews was cleverly untieing himself while everyone was busy.
Suddenly, Carrie spoke up, "Pa, you're leg's bleeding!"
Caroline and Charles both eyed eachother in fright.
Just as Doc Baker motioned to check Charles' leg Matthews jumped up, pulled out a gun, and yelled, "Freeze, Doc!"
As soon as Caroline reached for Charles' rifle, four other men appeared and held everyone at gunpoint.
Matthews spoke up, "Now, no one moves, or that sick man gets it!".
Then, Doc Martin bud in, "I need to take a look at his leg! If I don't, he could very well die. Are you gonna let three little girls lose their father over your intollerance?!"
Matthews paused, then spoke, "Alright, but make it quick!"
As Doc Baker checked Charles' leg, he eyed Charles like something was wrong.
"There's another bullet lodged in there, Charles, that's what's causing the blood. I need to remove the bullet now, Matthews!"
Matthews agreed. After the bullet was removed, Doc had a hard time getting the blood to stop.
Then, he said, "Charles...I'll have to cauterize the wound."
"What's that mean?" Caroline said.
Charles answered her question, "It means...it means he has to burn it to stop the bleeding."
"What?! Are you sure?!" she asked in fear.
"Yes, it has to be done." As Doc Baker was burning the knife, Caroline started to cry.
"Why are you crying?" Charles asked.
"I can't stand to see you this way! I wish it was just all over and done with."
"Caroline, it'll be fine."
As Doc Baker lifted the knife of the fire, Charles had a frightened look on his face. When Doc placed the firey blade on Charles leg he tried not to cry out so the girls wouldn't get scared, but this goal was unachieved. He screamed aloud in pain, and almost immediately Caroline grabbed hold of his hand. When Doc Baker was finished, he bandaged the wound, although Charles was still in tremendous pain. After Doc was finished, Matthews and his gang started taking out all the food, water, and money in the bags. After they had taken everything and anything of value, they all ran out. That night, while everyone was asleep, Mary was sitting up next to her father. She accidentally snapped a twig, and he woke up.
"What are you doin' up, Darlin'? It's late."
"I know, Pa, I was worried about you," she replied.
"Why? I told you I was fine".
"You lied...this morning, didn't you?" she asked with tears in her eyes.
Charles hesitated for a moment, then replied, "Yeah, I lied. I didn't want you to worry."
"But, Pa, we love you. You deserve to be worried about at least once in a while, with all the stuff you worry about us for."
Mary leaned over and kissed her father, then went back to bed. Late that morning, Isaiah went over to Charles.
"You wanna get goin'? Now that Matthews left, we can get to your parent's house."
"Yeah, let's get going", Charles replied.
As they were in the wagon, it again began to rain.
"We might as well take a shower, we'll get wet one way or another", Charles said.
Caroline giggled, "At least your sense of hunor is perfectly healthy."
Just then, they heard someone yelling, "CHARLES, CHARLES!!!!"
"Oh no", Charles said, "hope it's not another paranoid property owner."
Then, he realized it was his father.
He looked over & yelled, "PA!"
When they got to the house, Charles' Pa jumped into the wagon and gave him a big warm hug. Then, his Ma came out. "Charles! You made it!" Just as she was about to hug him, she noticed the bandadges.
"Charles...what happened to you?"
"I got shot, Ma. We were on private property and I didn't know it. When I got outta the wagon to apologize, he shot me. Once in the shoulder, gut, and twice in the leg."
After everyone had gotten settled down, that night Jonathan, Isaiah, and the girls were asleep and Caroline was tending to Charles' fever. Doc was explaining things to Charles' parents.
"As you both know, Charles was shot four times. Now, the wounds to the shoulder and stomach are healing nicely, but...the wounds to the leg might have infection set in. Yesterday, it had to be cauterized."
Mrs. Ingalls was driven to tears just thinking of the pain her son had to endure. When Doc was finished explaining things to Mr. and Mrs. Ingalls, he went to check on Charles.
"He's asleep", Caroline told him.
"His fever's much higher", Doc warned.
Then, Mrs. Ingalls came in. "It's infection... isn't it?"
"Yes", Doc replied.
As he checked Charles' leg he had a surprised and troubled look on his face. "What is it?", Mrs. Ingalls asked.
"His leg isn't infected."
Then, Charles' father spoke up, "Doc!", and he lifted the blankets off his son's chest.
"It's from his shoulder." Doc Baker inspected Charles' shoulder and gut wounds, just to be safe,
"They're both infected...badly." Doc motioned towards Caroline,
"Get me a cloth and cold water for the fever."
When she got back, Doc was checking how far along the infection was.
"It's a serious and deep infection with both wounds."
The Laura came in, "Is Pa gonna be alright, Ma?"
Charles' Ma went to Laura. "Your Papa's gonna be fine, sweetie," and she took Laura to the kitchen and gave her some hot-cocoa to get her mind off things.
"Laura, do you know who you're named after?"
"No, Grandma. Who?", she asked curiousley.
Laura looked puzzled, then she blurt out, "Oh, yeah!" I'm so used to calling you Grandma, I forgot," she chuckled. "Tell me how Pa named me, Grandma."
"Ok, hun. Now let me see...oh, yes!"
Laura got comfortable and listened.
"You see, Grandpa and I were at your house back when you all lived in the big woods. Well, that night you were born a little after midnight. When your Pa called us in to see you, your Ma was holding you. Grandpa asked, "Whatcha gonna name her, Charles?" and your Pa answered, "Laura." At first I thought he was joking, but he had a look on his face that I knew he was serious.
"I've seen that look, plenty of times!" Laura said. "Pa says I'm like you, Grandma."
"No, honey," she answered. "You're like your Pa. Strong, persistent, and especially loving."
After Laura had finished her hot cocoa, she fell asleep. When Grandma Laura was finished putting Laura to bed, Lansford and Doc were in the kitchen.
"How's Charles?" she asked.
"He's resting easy now," Doc answered. "I changed the bandages and gave him some medication for his fever."
That morning, after the sun had risen, Doc Baker had gone in to check on Charles. As he went in, Grandma Laura followed.
"His fever's higher, isn't it?" she asked.
Doc Baker nodded his head. Charles' eyes were red with fever and his breathing was heavy. He was mumbling something and calling out for Caroline.
"He's delerious", Doc said.
"Is there anything I can do?" Caroline asked.
"Stay with him", he answered. "Maybe if you talk to him, he'll hear you. I'll have to go away to get more medication."
"How long will you be gone", Charles' Ma asked.
"About a week, I'm afraid", he replied.
"A WEEK?!" she cried. "He might get sicker without you."
Doc thought for a moment.
"I don't know how you can take care of him, to be honest. He could die without proper treatment, then again with no medicine at all, it's guaranteed he'll die."
Mrs. Ingalls nodded, yet still very worried about her son. Isaiah and Jonathan took Doc Baker back to Walnut Grove. Aftet they left, Lansford and Laura went for a walk while Caroline and the girls were in the yard. Suddenly, two figures came into focus.
"Peter! Linda!" Caroline cried.
Peter and Linda were Charles' older brother and sister.
"We heard about Charles. May we see him?" Linda asked.
"Of course," Caroline answered, "he's lieing in the back room."
Peter and Linda peered into the room. Their brother was lieing in bed breathing heavily. Linda knelt down and clutched her his hand.
"Charles? Charles, can you hear me?" she asked.
His eyes fluttered open with a surprised frightened look.
"Easy, Charles. It's us." Peter reasurred.
"Linda? Peter?" Charles asked confusiley.
"Yes, Charles, we're here." Linda leaned over and hugged her baby brother.
"Hey, you're pretty sick, you know" Peter said.
"Is it that obvious?" Charles answered sarcastically.
Linda laughed at her little brother's sarcasm. Just then, Caroline walked in and sat down on the other side of her husband.
"Where are the girls?" he asked.
"Outside getting some air. How are you feeling?" she asked. "
Worse", Charles answered with a pained look.