With a handkerchief held to his mouth Doc stepped into the corrodor. The coughing continued for some minutes, finally subsiding leaving Doc weak in the knees.

Rather than returning to the compartment, Doc made his way down the swaying corrodor and stepped out onto the platform between cars. The air was breezy with the smell and taste of coal smoke.Doc leaned back against the train car, listening to the clicky clack of the wheels.

He had to gauge his breathing, if he tried to take big breaths it just brought on more coughing. Finally, with his breathing under control, he turned to reenter the car when it suddenly opened.

Martha Louise tilted her head and said, “Doctor Holliday, are you not well?” her eyes were filled with worry.

Doc forced a smile and said, “I’m fine madam, and I thank you for asking. I believe I smoke too many chroots. It’s a habit I’ve intended to quit.”

“Sir, I do believe that cough is more than a cigar cough. I have a dear friend that is a doctor in Albany.”

View this story's 2 comments.