"Don't move," Henry said. "If you do, I'll not be held accountable when this needle lands somewhere unpleasant."
The bare pane of Abe's back went still. Ah, but
was a brave lad.
He'd taken quite a tumble off that embankment; by the time Henry got to him, he was bleeding profusely from several grazes – and one gash – where a jagged rock edge had met his shoulder.
It was enough to set their training schedule back a day or more—
No matter. Henry's hand was steady, swift. And Abe? Not a peep: the measure of bourbon Henry'd foisted on him had done its job.
After, as Henry was cleaning his instruments and Abe inspected himself in the mirror, Abe murmured, "Why do I get the feeling you've done that before?"
"And why shouldn't I know my way round a medical kit?" Henry replied, pettishly. There was still blood on his hands.
Something deep within him despaired to see it washed away, and his nostrils flared, following the dissipated scent; tasting it. He swallowed.
And then, meeting Abe's eye: "It is just as useful, I've found, to know how to stitch a man up as it is to rend him apart."
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