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Red Pepper Burns   By: (1866-1959)

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RED PEPPER BURNS

By Grace S. Richmond

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. IN WHICH HE VOWS A VOW

II. IN WHICH HE CREATES A CIRCUS

III. IN WHICH HE ASSUMES A RESPONSIBILITY

IV. IN WHICH HE MAKES A CONCESSION

V. IN WHICH HE IS ROUGH ON A FRIEND

VI. IN WHICH HE PRESCRIBES FOR HIMSELF

VII. IN WHICH HE CONTINUES TO SAW WOOD

VIII. IN WHICH HE IS UNREASONABLY PREOCCUPIED

IX. IN WHICH HE SUFFERS A DEFEAT

X. IN WHICH HE PROVES HIMSELF A HOST

XI. IN WHICH HE GETS EVEN WITH HIMSELF

XII. IN WHICH HE HAS HIS OWN WAY

XIII. IN WHICH HE MAKES NO EVENING CALL

XIV. IN WHICH HE DEFIES SUPERSTITION

CHAPTER I. IN WHICH HE VOWS A VOW

"There comes the Green Imp."

"How can you tell?"

"Don't you hear? Red's coming in on five cylinders for all he can get out of 'em. Anybody else would stop and fix up. He's in too much of a hurry as usual."

The Green Imp tore past the porch where Burns's neighbours waved arms of greeting which he failed to see, for he did not turn his head. The car went round the curve of the driveway at perilous speed, and only the fact that from road to old red barn was a good twenty rods made it seem possible that the Green Imp could come to a standstill in time to prevent its banging into the rear wall of the barn.

Two minutes later Burns ran by the Chesters' porch on his way to his own. Chester hailed him.

"What's your everlasting hurry, Red? Come up and sit down and cool off."

"Not now," called back a voice curtly, out of the June twilight. The big figure ran on and disappeared into the small house, the door slamming shut behind it.

"Red's in a temper. Tell by the sound of his voice.

"Is he ever in anything except a temper?" inquired a guest of the Chesters. Arthur Chester turned on her.

"Show's you don't know him much, Pauline. He's the owner of the fiercest good disposition ever heard of. He's the pepperest proposition of an angel this earth has ever seen. He's a red headed, sharp tongued brute of a saint "

"Why, Arthur Chester!"

"He's a pot of mustard that's clear balm if you don't mind getting stung when it's applied."

"Well, of all the "

"I'm going over to get something for this abominable headache and, incidentally, to find out what's the row. He's probably lost a patient it always goes to his brain like that. When he abuses his beloved engine that way it's because some other machinery has stopped somewhere."

"If he's lost a patient you'd better let him alone, dear," advised his wife, Winifred.

"No he needs to get his mind off it, on me. I can fix up a few symptoms for him."

"He'll see through you," called Mrs. Chester softly, after him.

"No doubt of that. But it may divert him, just the same."

Chester made his way across the lawn and in at the side door which led to the dimly lighted village offices of Redfield Pepper Burns, physician and surgeon. Not that the gilt lettered sign on the glass of the office door read that way. "R. P. Burns, M.D." was the brief inscription above the table of "office hours," and the owner of the name invariably so curtailed it. But among his friends the full name had inevitably been turned into the nickname, for the big, red haired, quick tempered, warm hearted fellow was "Red Pepper Burns" as irresistibly to them as he had been, a decade earlier, to his classmates in college.

As Chester went in at the door a figure arose slowly from its position flung full length, face downward, on a couch in the shadowy inner office and came into view.

"Toothache? Dentist down the street," said a blurred voice unsympathetically.

Chester laughed. "Oh, come, Red," said he. "Give me some of that headache dope. I'm all out."

"Glad to hear it. You don't get any more from me."

"Why not? I've got a sure enough headache I didn't come over to quiz you. The blamed thing whizzes like a buzz saw."

"Can't help it. Go soak it."

Chester advanced. "I'll get the powders myself, then. I know the bottle."

A substantial barrier interposed. "No, you don't. You've taken up six ounces of that stuff do seven days... Continue reading book >>




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