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