Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 39 > Page 13 - Dr. Austin MacDonald, Down North

Page 13 - Dr. Austin MacDonald, Down North

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1985/6/1 (290 reads)

#" • * Mailman and horse. Pleasant Bay to Cheticamp 'm'' fIL- Along the o2d Cabot Trail 1| house--MacIntoshes'--and they had supper ready. We ate a big supper and then started back over the mountain. Macintosh drove me up to--do you know where the Lone Shieling is?--that's as far as a horse could go. And the fellows with the dogs were there and ready, the same team that came after me in the morning. Went back o- ver the mountain that night. Mrs. MacGreg? or was up and had a meal waiting. And when I ate, I hitched up my own horse and started back for Neil's Harbour. We had done an appendectomy the day before, and I just didn't dare stay away any longer be? cause you didn't know what might take place. I wasn't all that experienced an ab? dominal surgeon, you see. So I kept going till I got home. I got home around day? light the next morning. I had been 33 hours, I think, from the time I left home till I got back home. I never stopped at all, except to eat here and there, and for all these calls. Even on the way back from Big Intervale down to Cape North, two peo? ple had the lanterns on the gate. And that meant someone was sick in the house. (Eve? rybody would know that you had gone to Pleasant Bay?) Oh, sure. Everybody knew every move you made, from the time you woke in the morning till you went to bed at night! But that's the way you had to live. You might be all night answering these calls. Gone for a day and a half or two days lots of times. You know, when a lot of people were ill and spread out from vil? lage to village. Nobody liked paying the doctor to come 30 miles for something like that. So they waited for somebody else to call him, and then they all called him in off the road. So it worked fairly well, be? cause if one fellow had to pay the doctor to come to Bay St. Lawrence or Cape North or something like that, the next time some? body else would have to pay that. And the ones that hung the lantern on the gate or stopped you otherwise, they just paid your house call. So nobody in the long run was out much more than anybody else. But it was time consuming. (When you'd leave home....) I'd only know the one that called me. But after the first winter of experience, I knew there'd be a lot more than that. The telegraph ser? vice, it used to drive me nuts sometimes, because you wouldn't have an idea who was sick at the house that you were going to, what was wrong. Might be anybody from an infant to an aged grandmother. So you didn't know what you had to take with you, so you had to take a little of everything. The first summer we were here, we had a call to somebody, but as we were coming up a hill, a man was out in the road waving his arms. And a little boy was sitting on a big rock beside the road, maybe 6, 7 years old. I asked the man what he wanted. And he said it was his little boy--broke his arm. And I went to look at the little fellow. His arm came out like this and down like this. And it was solid. I said, "When did he break it?" "Oh, three weeks ago," he saido And they didn't put any? thing on it, they didn't do anything to it. Hertz Rent a Car 24 HOUR SERVICE - 7 DAYS A WEEK 539-1538 539-5623 1430 George St. Sydney, N.S. Sydney Airport * Specializing in all makes of cars 4-wheel drives, and passenger vans. • Local pickup and delivery. The*l way to rent a can< Hertz rents Fords and other fine cars. trucks. j'Yfe.' Proud to be the official supplier of vehicles ''??f'y for the City of Sydney Bicentennial. (13)
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