John and Sandy entered the hut as Numah and Tucker fearfully withdrew. Marta, having fought long and hard on behalf of the boy’s welfare, fell into the waiting arms of Sandy, and let herself sob with frustration. “We’ve got to do something, Sandy. He won’t even listen.”
“We’ll do something. Don’t worry,” Sandy replied.
John kicked at the dust and pretended to look at something on the ground.
“I’m sorry, John, I didn’t mean to lose control in front of you. I’m just frustrated,” said Marta.
Marta saw the witch doctor snicker, then continue with a professional but I-know-what-I’m-doing, and-you’re-too-simple-to-¬recognize-greatness attitude.
“Don’t worry, Marta, I understand what you have been through. I’ve been through less frustrating situations, but didn’t handle them nearly as well as you are this one. At least the doctor is still standing.” Sandy laughed.
“Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t ruled out violence.” Marta allowed a chuckled.
Marta saw recognition in Mewpa’s eyes. He often referred to Sandy as the white medicine lady, having been present on many occasions as she looked into the eyes, ears, and mouth of Marta. This woman had the power to gaze into the inner soul of a person. Very powerful medicine to him, and she possessed a skill that made her a very worthy adversary.
Marta hoped Sandy would take charge of the situation. Marta could reason and that was to no avail, and John could only aggravate the situation. By taking Marta’s side, they could very easily cause the village to choose loyalties. Not a situation to get in the middle of, for it could only cause hardships for missionaries throughout the region. Sandy was the best hope; diplomatically speaking.
“Marta, please translate to the medicine man. I think I can solve this on a nurse to doctor professional basis,” Sandy said.
“I’ll do whatever I can – anything to change his mind.” Marta wiped her eyes.
“You have worked so hard to heal this ill boy. You have spent many hours, tirelessly struggling to end his affliction, as any caring doctor or parent would. You have treated him with the utmost respect, dignity, and all the power that you possess,” Sandy began.
Marta was grateful that Sandy took a few breaks to allow her to translate. “Yet he grows weaker in spite of your excellent care. His sickness is too strong.”
The ceremony came to a gradual halt as the medicine man seemed to struggle with something within. It seemed as if Sandy’s words finally began to sink in.
“What do you expect me to do?” Mewpa asked.
“I have something called antibiotics. It is good medicine that will kill the fever and infection. If you will allow me to give this to the boy today, his fever may be gone before the sun goes down. If his fever is gone by tonight, John can fly him out and his bone can be repaired properly. If we don’t, he could die,” Sandy said.
“I will let you work on him, but approve everything with me,” Mewpa replied.
Jeffrey W. Bennett, ISP is an author of non-fiction books, novels and periodicals.