The Travels of Dr. Rebecca Harper
Troubled Waters

First things first. I am officially Dr. Rebecca Buchanan. Marriage is often a dance with giving and taking. We are both older, and because we have been waiting so long between dances, so to speak, we have had to adjust our habits.

Three guesses who gives and who takes… There still are no dogs allowed in the house. Despite my best efforts, Sam still smokes a pipe, and Gee Ling still smokes in his room.

It took a while, but both Gee Ling and Danny, or Dan as I now call him have forgiven me. I don’t know what Sam gave them as an explanation. However, we are now all a happy, loving family that gets along like a house on fire. I lie. You can imagine having someone move into your space and disrupting your boys’ club.

Despite all that, I’m one happy girl. I’m around fifty, and I still think of myself as a girl. I’m relatively healthy and active. I now travel to Virginia City and work in my medical or veterinary clinic for two days on and two days off …

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Elizabet Woolsey Author - The Travels of Dr. Rebecca Harper - Troubled Waters

The Travels of Dr. Rebecca Harper - Troubled Waters

Dr. Rebecca Harper is now married to a prominent rancher and future subject of the television series, Comstock. She is currently a qualified doctor and veterinarian who balances her duties as the Virginia City town doctor and her home duties on the Cattle Creek Ranch. Her adventures take her from the safe haven of the ranch to faraway places.

As a doctor and veterinarian, Rebecca must deal with human and animal health issues without antibiotics and pain medication.

Through this, her salvation is her beloved mountain valley, Hank Heaven, where she retreats from the demands of her professional and family's needs. There she reads, fly fishes, and skinnydips, despite her husband's strong disapproval.

She yearns for the daughter she left when she arrived in the 1800s. She laments that she doesn't have children, despite several opportunities to adopt orphans.

Will Rebecca return to her former time in the future? She knows there is a portal. Will she use it and abandon the family and town that need her?

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Troubled Waters The Travels of Dr. Rebecca Harper - 1st Edition

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First things first. I am officially Dr. Rebecca Buchanan. Marriage is often a dance with giving and taking. We are both older, and because we have been waiting so long between dances, so to speak, we have had to adjust our habits.

Three guesses who gives and who takes… There still are no dogs allowed in the house. Despite my best efforts, Sam still smokes a pipe, and Gee Ling still smokes in his room.

It took a while, but both Gee Ling and Danny, or Dan as I now call him have forgiven me. I don’t know what Sam gave them as an explanation. However, we are now all a happy, loving family that gets along like a house on fire. I lie. You can imagine having someone move into your space and disrupting your boys’ club.

Despite all that, I’m one happy girl. I’m around fifty, and I still think of myself as a girl. I’m relatively healthy and active. I now travel to Virginia City and work in my medical or veterinary clinic for two days on and two days off.

My associate, Dr. Alfonzo Webber, is becoming a highly competent rural doctor. You must know a bit about everything, from birthing through to dying. He and I work well together. He sees the men for their personal ailments, and I primarily treat the women. We both see the inbetweeners.

Winter is approaching, and travel can be difficult, so poor Alf will bear the brunt of the work when I’m unable to get to town. Ah, youth, but welcome to my world. When I’m in town, I stay in a boardinghouse next to the clinic as Alf and his wife, Darcy, have moved into Dr. Sullivan’s living quarters adjoining the clinic.

The Sullivans, who ran the practice for eons, had encouraged me to seek further training to become a doctor. Both have passed, and I miss them a great deal.

I regularly dine with Ray Thompson, the retired Virginia City sheriff. Ray’s finally opening up to me about his life and his wife, who’d passed years ago. He has grandchildren from their only daughter, who lives in Carson City.

Despite being retired, he still keeps an eye on the town and has stepped in many times when Sheriff Glenn Frasier needed extra help and guidance in managing crime.

Mrs. Sullivan, or Flo, was my closest female companion. I’ve had several women friends over the years since arriving in the 1800s, but they have tended to marry and leave. Finding kindred spirits of the female variety is not easy.

My first close friend, Martha Tyler, was the schoolteacher when I first stayed in Virginia City. She taught Dan and Hank when they were young. She ended up marrying Burt Lancaster—I mean the Reverend Tyler—but then he was sent to another parish where they remain.

Because married women with children are generally not allowed to teach, she started her own tutoring business on the side once their children were all in school. At first, she took no money, but then a few parents banded together, and she began an after-school program and was paid a small amount.

This helped, as the pay of a preacher is not that terrific. After one year, the school board relented, and when the last teacher left, they gave her the job. She’s now the teacher, principal, and janitor of her school. We write regularly, and I read about the children, the trials of being the preacher’s wife and the town teacher.

My greatest joy, husband-wrangling aside, is my new avocation. I’m breaking in a few horses on the Cattle Creek Ranch, which mostly are Penny’s offspring. Penny was my trusted mount when I first arrived in the 1800s. S

he died last year of old age. I implemented the tactics that my father taught me. My dad was a tough father, but he was kind and gentle with horses. My sister would say if dad had a bad day with a horse, watch out. He never took it out on the horse. Dad came into the house, and you could tell that you should tread carefully to avoid his wrath or belt.

We both got it regularly, but the horses had no fear of my father. He changed his methods to adjust to the individual horse. I learned a lot from him, and I have to say, so far, it’s paying off. Eyes turned to the sky. Thanks, Dad.

Domestic life, when you have cooks who also clean, is easy. Out of necessity, I’m learning to sew. I require pants for riding. My traditional riding apparel, which is the norm for women in the 1800s, is beautiful but not very practical. When I’m working on the breakers, I need to move and swing onto the saddle without my culottes or pantaloons catching.

Sam is not impressed. He thinks they show too much. I purposely make them loose, so no one is aroused by my fifty-year-old body—as if. I humor him and try to be as modest as I can. Of course, it’s perfectly acceptable to show cleavage in my proper dresses, but dare I show a bare leg? Men!

I have a puppy now. Skeeter, who is only four months old, sleeps in the barn. I think I’ll get another dog to keep her company. I was raised with kelpies. They’re Australian sheep herding dogs. My dad started to buy them from a veterinarian in California in the 1960s.

They’re intelligent and quite good-looking. My mom used to say they were six years of hell, followed by six years of pure bliss. The California vet saw our dogs when he and his daughter were fly-fishing in our district. He told us the history of the kelpie. To date, they haven’t been invented, and still, who is getting a dog from Australia? He inspired me to become a veterinarian in the 1970s or the future. But that’s another story.

I’m a fortunate woman. I’m married to a supersmart man who is respected near and far. The average man at this time would never let his wife go out and work, let alone spend nights in town. Sam often reminds me that he is proud of my work. He knows he’s married to a modern woman, which is how he gives, and I take. I can’t imagine not working or contributing to our community. A day or two apart doesn’t hurt this marriage.

We have established a small infirmary on the Cattle Creek Ranch, our ranch, where we treat the men who work for Sam and Dan and their families. Free healthcare benefits—how progressive is this? I take care of a few neighbors and even local Native Americans. Traditionally they are still called Indians at this time.

Being older, we are both light sleepers. We require less sleep than we did in our youth. Sam often gets up extra early in the morning and reads his books down in the great room. I’m a middle-of-the-night kind of insomniac. The one time you don’t want to disturb me is during my first hour of sleep.

Ask Sam. If someone has an emergency, first, I don’t hear the knocking on the door. Second, I’m told I might take a swing at the person silly enough to try to wake me. I’m reasonably sure this isn’t true. After one all-nighter, I returned home to find Sam sporting a bruise on his cheek.

“Wow, what got you?”

“You don’t remember?” Scowling at me and feigning pain, Sam rubbed his cheek.

I shrugged.

“You really don’t remember?”

“Did you run into a door or something?” I inquired, trying to remember.

“Let’s just say, the next time there’s an emergency, I’m going to wake you with the end of a long broom.”

“Oh bull…” whoa, near miss. Even that was not exactly polite.

Sam raised his eyebrows at me.

“I’m really sorry if I did that to you, darling.” A quick retreat was in order.

“I’m sure you can think of a way to make amends.”

Now, I raised my eyebrows.

Our private sanctuary from the outside world is Hank Heaven. As winter came, we wanted to make one last trip to the cabin before the snow would keep us away. As Sam and I made our way, climbing the trail along the cliff face, I looked down into the swirling water of the pool that would take me to my other time—the future. I had no need for the portal to another time.

I’d stopped by the portal pool shortly after the wedding to retrieve the antibiotics I’d brought with me when I once went back to the future. They were securely stored in Sam’s safe behind his desk.

He was still the only person I ever told about where and when I came from. I was home. Yes, I missed my daughter, Lauren, terribly, but I was dead to her, and at least I had a picture and had heard her southern accent. Does this make me a bad mother? I wrestled with this frequently.

Sam and I were free from the daily dramas of running an empire and a medical and veterinary practice when at the cabin. Sam often sat at Hank’s grave and read, and I fished and collected plants used in indigenous and more modern human medicine.

I became a bit of a naturalist out of necessity. It was difficult for two people like us to sit back and relax, but we were learning. We stayed in the valley only for a night or two, but it brought us both inner peace.

That about sums up my life during the last few months. Yes, we had ‘disagreements,’ and yes, we were both strong-willed, but we were finding our way in our time together. We weren’t going to have the benefit of a long relationship or raising children. We hoped for grandchildren and growing old together. We had a deep abiding love that didn’t waver. Well, so far…

I hope you enjoyed the first chapter. You can find the full book on Amazon.
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