Fiction Saturday — “Boxer” — Part Four
by John Kraft
“Mr. Walker? You’re bleeding.”
“Yeah, I know, Einstein. My arm. I need to see Doc. Can you drive?”
“In my left coat pocket. You’ll have to get them. I’m parked in back – dark green Cadillac. Let’s go.”
“What about them?” Terry asked, pointing with the baseball bat at the two men on the floor.
“Later. They don’t look like they’re going anywhere soon. C’mon, help me up.”
Terry picked up the dead man’s pistol and set it on the desk. Walker slipped it into his right coat pocket.
“You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.” — Al Capone
Doc shook his head. “I can’t do that. Not here. You need to go to the hospital.” He looked pale and hung over. That explained again why he never finished medical school.
“Doc, you gotta do something for him. He’s been bleeding all over the place. He passed out on the way over here.”
“Oh, Jesus, Terry, I can maybe try to stop the bleeding, but that’s about it.” Doc gave the unconscious man a quick eyeball check. “That slug is still in him. Probably stuck in a bone. I can’t deal with that here.”
“Do what you can, Doc. I’ll take him to the clinic, I promise.”
“No hospital. No hospital.” Walker had stirred. He was awake enough to hear what was being said. “No hospital. They’ll call the Police.
“Mr. Walker.” Terry wiped his hands on his pant leg. He was sweating like he had gone fifteen rounds. “Mr. Walker, Doc says that the bullet is still in your arm up by your shoulder. No offense, Doc, but Mr. Walker, you need a real doctor.”
Walker was barely able to stay awake. He shook his head. His eyes were only half open. “No hospital. I’ve got two dead bodies in my office. How do I explain that?”
“What?” Doc took a step back from both men. “What? You two have to get out of here. If the police bust me I’ll die in prison. You have to go. Now. Get out.”
“Terry, he’s right. In my wallet there’s a card…a card. Dr. Wycoff. Call him. Take me there.”
“Wycoff? He’s a Veterinarian,” half shouted Doc, “A horse doctor.”
“Terry, do what I tell you. Call him. Call him and then I’ll…” He passed out again.
“Doc, what should I do? He’s my Boss. If he dies I’m out of work, but if I take him to the hospital we’re both in hot water. Doc?
Doc opened a cupboard and took down a box of latex gloves. “He needs a real doctor, but that Wycoff is an old drunk who’d kill him for sure – if he wasn’t dead by the time you got him there. Damn it. Let me see what I can do.”
The two men lifted the unconscious and bleeding man up onto Doc’s kitchen table. Doc took some scissors and started cutting off Walker’s coat and shirt. Terry moved back and stood there watching and worrying.
“I’ll try to stop the bleeding. That’s first, and then we’ll see if I can at least find that bullet. It’d be a snap if I had an X-Ray.”
Ten minutes later Doc had stopped the bleeding, and after poking around he could tell that the bullet fired by the dead man, the very dead man, still in Walker’s office looking for his face, was lodged in the joint where the upper arm connects into the shoulder.
“Well, Terry, that’s about all I can do. I can see where the bullet is, but…”
“Can you get it out, Doc? That would help him a lot wouldn’t it?”
“I said I know where it is, but it might as well be on the moon. No, I’ve done what I can here, Terry. Thanks to you he is still alive, but he needs more than either of us can do.”
“I think I’d make a good Corner Man, Doc.”
“Yeah, but nobody ever got shot at in the Boxing ring.”
Doc stripped off his latex gloves and tossed them into a wastebasket half filled with empty bottles. He looked at his unconscious patient and at Terry. Standing next to his Boss Terry looked like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders.
“What to do now, Doc? My Boss needs an X-Ray and there’s two stiffs in his office.”
“Not good, Terry.”
“Yeah, Mr. Walker took out the one that shot him – with his sawed-off. It’s a mess. I got the other one, a big fat guy, with a baseball bat.”
“Oh, Terry, this is getting worse by the minute.’
“Could I just leave, Mr. Walker here for a while, you know…?”
“No. No way you can leave him here. Where does he live? Does he have a family?”
“Jeez, Doc, I don’t know where he lives. I’ve only seen him at his office or at ringside. Family? I don’t know that either.”
Lying on the table, Walker was coming to a bit. He was moaning. His arm and shoulder were heavily bandaged. He was drooling.
“Terry, you have to go, both of you. I’ll help you get him out to your car.”