Main Street: The Story of Carol Kennicott

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Author: Sinclair Lewis

II

Familiar to the doctor’s wife was the man with an injured leg, driven in from the country on a Sunday afternoon and brought to the house. He sat in a rocker in the back of a lumber-wagon, his face pale from the anguish of the jolting. His leg was thrust out before him, resting on a starch-box and covered with a leather-bound horse-blanket. His drab courageous wife drove the wagon, and she helped Kennicott support him as he hobbled up the steps, into the house.

"Fellow cut his leg with an ax—pretty bad gash—Halvor Nelson, nine miles out," Kennicott observed.

Carol fluttered at the back of the room, childishly excited when she was sent to fetch towels and a basin of water. Kennicott lifted the farmer into a chair and chuckled, "There we are, Halvor! We’ll have you out fixing fences and drinking aquavit in a month." The farmwife sat on the couch, expressionless, bulky in a man’s dogskin coat and unplumbed layers of jackets. The flowery silk handkerchief which she had worn over her head now hung about her seamed neck. Her white wool gloves lay in her lap.

Kennicott drew from the injured leg the thick red "German sock," the innumerous other socks of gray and white wool, then the spiral bandage. The leg was of an unwholesome dead white, with the black hairs feeble and thin and flattened, and the scar a puckered line of crimson. Surely, Carol shuddered, this was not human flesh, the rosy shining tissue of the amorous poets.

Kennicott examined the scar, smiled at Halvor and his wife, chanted, "Fine, b’ gosh! Couldn’t be better!"

The Nelsons looked deprecating. The farmer nodded a cue to his wife and she mourned:

"Vell, how much ve going to owe you, doctor?"

"I guess it’ll be---- Let’s see: one drive out and two calls. I guess it’ll be about eleven dollars in all, Lena."

"I dunno ve can pay you yoost a little w’ile, doctor."

Kennicott lumbered over to her, patted her shoulder, roared, "Why, Lord love you, sister, I won’t worry if I never get it! You pay me next fall, when you get your crop. . . . Carrie! Suppose you or Bea could shake up a cup of coffee and some cold lamb for the Nelsons? They got a long cold drive ahead."

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Chicago: Sinclair Lewis, "II," Main Street: The Story of Carol Kennicott in Main Street: The Story of Carol Kennicott (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1920), Original Sources, accessed August 17, 2019, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=PWNGE9D3XL37VHX.

MLA: Lewis, Sinclair. "II." Main Street: The Story of Carol Kennicott, in Main Street: The Story of Carol Kennicott, New York, Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1920, Original Sources. 17 Aug. 2019. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=PWNGE9D3XL37VHX.

Harvard: Lewis, S, 'II' in Main Street: The Story of Carol Kennicott. cited in 1920, Main Street: The Story of Carol Kennicott, Harcourt, Brace & Co., New York. Original Sources, retrieved 17 August 2019, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=PWNGE9D3XL37VHX.