Molars and Vet by S.

“Lift up yer hoof there, Boy”

“Uh, Doc Barnes, that’s my leg.”

“Oh, sure, sure. Sorry, I jest don’t git many 2-legged critters in here. What’d ya say the matter is with yer leg?”

Scott mumbled three words.

“Speak up there, young feller.”

The three words came out slightly louder.

“What’d ya say? Yer horse bit ya?”

“NO! Johnny bit me!”

The bleary-eyed vet looked over at the dark-haired gunfighter who was leaning nonchalantly against the wall.

“Yer brother bit ya?”

“That’s what I said.”

“Well, if that don’t beat all.” The doctor then slowly shuffled over to the younger Lancer. With meticulous care, he tried to pry open Johnny’s mouth. “Dang it, open your mouth, Boy!” The young man finally complied. Dr. Barnes looked upon the white teeth with interest. “Okay, you can close ’em.” Johnny did so with relief.

“Uh, Doc, Johnny’s teeth are fine. It’s my leg that hurts.”

“Don’t ya think I don’t know that, Son. Drop your pants!”

“What?”

“Gotta look at yer wound, don’t I?”

“It’s down on my ankle.” Scott rolled up his pant leg. “See.”

Doc Barnes bent down to look closely. “Hmmm. Well. Hmm.”

“What is it, Doc? Is it infected?”

Barnes sniffed at it. “Well, ya ain’t got hoof and mouth disease. I can tell ya that.”

Over in the corner, Johnny Lancer spluttered with laughter.

“Quiet, Johnny!”

“Boston, it’s just a little bite.”

“I don’t know about that, young feller. I heard tell of this one bandito what got bit by a cowhand in a fight. Two days later he was dead.”

“What?” the Lancer Brothers chorused.

“‘Course I s’pose the fact that he got hung might have had somethin’ to do with it!”

The two young men groaned.

“Come on, Doc, just slap a bandage on it. Scott and I got work to do.”

“Well, I s’pose ya do but I better clean it out first.” Menacingly, he took out a brown bottle.

“What’s that?” the blond questioned warily.

“Carbolic acid. That’ll make her clean as the thoughts of a purty young maiden.”

Again, Johnny sputtered with laughter.

“Quiet, Johnny. Just because you don’t know any innocent young maidens…”

“Do so!”

“Name one!”

“Uhm well, there’s…no, I guess she isn’t.

Let’s see–Teresa! She is!” he added in triumph.

“She doesn’t count. I’m talking about the kind of female you go out with.”

“Oh.”

The older Lancer son let out a shriek of pain as the raw carbolic acid hit the wound. “Damn that hurts!”

“Sorry ’bout that but you don’t want no gangrene or nothin’.”

Scott glowered at his brother. “This is all your fault!”

“My fault? Yout shouldn’t have put your ankle in my mouth!”

“I what?”

“Wait a darn minute, Boys. How’d this ruckus start anyways?”

In a small voice, the blond admitted, “We were doing a little wrestling.”

“Wrestlin’? I used ta do that with my brother. ‘Course he outweighed me by thirty pounds so I always lost but one day….”

“Uh, Doc ,are you done with the bandaging?”

“What? Oh yeah. Just keep it clean and if’n it hurts alot mebbe some laudenum might help.”

“Thanks. Pay the man, Johnny.”

“Me? Why me?”

Scott’s eyes narrowed. “Because you bit me, you oaf!”

“Oaf? I’m not a tree!”

“I said oaf, not oak.”

“Oh.”

“Now pay the man or I’ll tell Mary Lou the real reason you couldn’t take her to the dance.”

“You wouldn’t, Brother!”

“Oh, wouldn’t I, Brother?”

Johnny took a coin out of his pocket. “Here. Is that enough?”

“Well, I usually charge twice that for a horse.”

“He’s only got two legs, remember?”

“I s’pose yer right.”

Scott stood up and started for the door. “Come on, Johnny, now that I’ve had medicine for the outside, let’s go have little drop of medicinal alcohol for the
inside.”

“Good idea, Boston. Say, you know we were lucky that Doc Jenkins was out deliverin’ that baby. He’d probably have charged me twice as much.”

The blond Lancer grimaced at his brother. “You know, you’ve got a great idea there. Next time one of your many enemies puts a bullet in you, we’ll get Doc Barnes to pull it out. We might even get a discount since you get shot up so much.”

Suddenly, Johnny Lancer started gnashing his teeth and leaped for his brother. The blond jumped away just in time and headed out the door at a dead run. The town of Morro Coyo watched in amazement as Murdoch Lancer’s two sons chased down the street until the blond in the lead was
met head on by a horse trough. Unfortunately, his dark-haired adversary could not stop his forward momentum so both men landed in said horse trough.

After much splashing and laughter, the two Lancers, no worse for wear, headed over to the saloon for two little…er…large glasses of medicinal alcohol.
____________

THE END

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