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The Doctor and the Doctor's Wife

The Doctor and the Doctor's Wife" is a short story by Ernest Hemingway, published in the 1925 New York edition of In Our Time, by Boni & Liveright.[1] The story is the second in the collection to feature Nick Adams, Hemingway’s autobiographical alter ego.

Nick Adams' father, Dr. Adams, hires a crew of Native Americans to remove the four large beech logs from the lake's log boom that drifted up on his beach. Dick Boulton, his son Eddy, and Billy Tabeshaw, come through the back gate from the woods, bringing cant hooks, axes and a crosscut saw to cut the logs into cord wood. Boulton compliments Dr. Adams on the timber he is stealing from the logging company; Dr. Adams asserts that the logs are driftwood. Boulton washes a log in the surf, uncovers its mark and tells the doctor it belongs to White and McNally. The doctor becomes uncomfortable, decides not to saw up the logs, but Boulton says it makes no difference to him who the logs are stolen from. The two men engage in a verbal exchange, and when the doctor threatens Boulton with violence, Boulton mocks him.

The doctor leaves the beach in anger, walking back to his cottage. He goes to his bedroom, sits on his bed, and stares with anger at a pile of medical journals still in their wrappers. In the adjacent room his wife lies on her bed with a Bible, a copy of Mary Baker Eddy's Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and an issue of the Christian Science Quarterly. She asks whether he is going back to work; he explains that he had an altercation with Boulton. She asks whether he lost his temper and quotes Scripture, while, in the next room, the doctor sits on his bed and cleans his gun, pushing shells in and out of the magazine. When she presses him about the nature of the dispute he tells her Boulton owes for having his wife treated for pneumonia and does not want to have to work for the doctor. She expresses her disbelief of the explanation and the doctor leaves the house. His wife calls after him to send Nick to her. The doctor finds Nick sitting under a tree, reading a book, who tells his father he wants to go with him. Nick suggests they go into the woods to find black squirrels


 2022-11-20  2h13m