"Well, my good woman, you hear a great deal, I expect, that isn't true;" and the doctor laughed coarsely but not ill-naturedly, Alessandro all the time studying his face with the scrutiny of one awaiting life and death; "I am the Agency physician, and I suppose all the Indians will sooner or later come in and report themselves to the Agent; you'd better take this man over there. What does he want now?"
Aunt Ri began to explain the baby's case. Cutting her short, the doctor said, "Yes, yes, I understand. I'll give him something that will help her;" and going into an inner room, he brought out a bottle of dark-colored liquid, wrote a few lines of prescription, and handed it to Alessandro, saying, "That will do her good, I guess."
"Thanks, Senor, thanks," said Alessandro.
The doctor stared. "That's the first Indian's said 'Thank you' in this office," he said. "You tell the Agent you've brought him a rara avis."
"What's that, Jos?" said Aunt Ri, as they went out.
"Donno!" said Jos. "I don't like thet man, anyhow, mammy. He's no good."
Alessandro looked at the bottle of medicine like one in a dream. Would it make the baby well? Had it indeed been given to him by that great Government in Washington? Was he to be protected now? Could this man, who had been sent out to take care of Indians, get back his San Pasquale farm for him? Alessandro's brain was in a whirl.
From the doctor's office they went to the Agent's house. Here, Aunt Ri felt herself more at home.