Tristan Till Its Over Sheet Music

All Things Bright And Beautiful  4

All Things Bright And Beautiful 4

All Things Bright And Beautiful 4 AS THE FAINT RUMBLING growl rolled up from the rib cage into the ear pieces of my stethoscope the realisation burst upon me with uncomfortable clarity that this was probably the biggest dog I had ever seen In my limited past experience some Irish Wolfhounds had undoubtedly been taller and a certain number of Bull Mastiffs had possibly been broader but for sheer gross poundage this one had it His name was Clancy It was a good name for an Irishmans dog and Joe Mulligan was very Irish despite his many years in Yorkshire Joe had brought him in to the afternoon surgery and as the huge hairy form ambled along almost filling the passage I was reminded of the times I had seen him out in the fields around Darrowby enduring the frisking attentions of smaller animals with massive benignity He looked like a nice friendly dog But now there was this ominous sound echoing round the great thorax like a distant drum roll in a subterranean cavern and as the chest piece of the stethoscope bumped along the ribs the sound swelled in volume and the lips fluttered over the enormous teeth as though a gentle breeze had stirred them It was then that I became aware not only that Clancy was very big indeed but that my position kneeling on the floor with my right ear a few inches from his mouth was infinitely vulnerable I got to my feet and as I dropped the stethoscope into my pocket the dog gave me a cold look a sideways glance without moving his head and there was a chilling menace in his very immobility I didnt mind my patients snapping at me but this one I felt sure wouldnt snap If he started something it would be on a spectacular scale I stepped back a pace Now what did you say his symptoms were Mr Mulligan Phwaats that Joe cupped his ear with his hand I took a deep breath Whats the trouble with him I shouted The old man looked at me with total incomprehension from beneath the straightly adjusted cloth cap He fingered the muffler knotted immediately over his larynx and the pipe which grew from the dead centre of his mouth puffed blue wisps of puzzlement Then remembering something of Clancys past history I moved close to Mr Mulligan and bawled with all my power into his face Is he vomiting The response was immediate Joe smiled in great relief and removed his pipe Oh aye hes womitin sorr Hes womitin bad Clearly he was on familiar ground Over the years Clancys treatment had all been at long range Siegfried had told me on the first day I had arrived in Darrowby two years ago that there was nothing wrong with the dog which he had described as a cross between an Airedale and a donkey but his penchant for eating every bit of rubbish in his path had the inevitable result A large bottle of bismuth mag carb mixture had been dispensed at regular intervals He had also told me that Clancy when bored used occasionally to throw Joe to the ground and worry him like a rat just for a bit of light relief But his master still adored him Prickings of conscience told me I should carry out a full examination Take his temperature for instance All I had to do was to grab hold of that tail lift it and push a thermometer into his rectum The dog turned his head and met my eye with a blank stare again I heard the low booming drum roll and the upper lip lifted a fraction to show a quick gleam of white Yes yes right Mr Mulligan I said briskly Ill get you a bottle of the usual In the dispensary under the rows of bottles with their Latin names and glass stoppers I shook up the mixture in a ten ounce bottle corked it stuck on a label and wrote the directions Joe seemed well satisfied as he pocketed the familiar white medicine but as he turned to go my conscience smote me again The dog did look perfectly fit but maybe he ought to be seen again Bring him back again on Thursday afternoon at two oclock I yelled into the old mans ear And please come on time if you can You were a bit late today I watched Mr Mulligan going down the street preceded by his pipe from which regular puffs rose upwards as though from a departing railway engine Behind him ambled Clancy a picture of massive calm With his all-over covering of tight brown curls he did indeed look like a gigantic Airedale Thursday afternoon I ruminated That was my half day and at two oclock Id probably be watching the afternoon cinema show in Brawton The following Friday morning Siegfried was sitting behind his desk working out the morning rounds He scribbled a list of visits on a pad tore out the sheet and handed it to me Here you are James I think thatll just about keep you out of mischief till lunch time Then something in the previous days entries caught his eye and he turned to his younger brother who was at his morning task of stoking the fire Tristan I see Joe Mulligan was in yesterday afternoon with his dog and you saw it What did you make of it Tristan put down his bucket Oh I gave him some of the bismuth mixture Yes but what did your examination of the patient disclose Well now lets see Tristan rubbed his chin He looked pretty lively really Is that all Yes yes I think so Siegfried turned back to me And how about you James You saw the dog the day before What were your findings Well it was a bit difficult I said That dogs as big as an elephant and theres something creepy about him He seemed to me to be just waiting his chance and there was only old Joe to hold him Im afraid I wasnt able to make a close examination but I must say I thought the same as Tristan he did look pretty lively Siegfried put down his pen wearily On the previous night fate had dealt him one of the shattering blows which it occasionally reserves for vets a call at each end of his sleeping time He had been dragged from his bed at 1 a m and again at 6 a m and the fires of his personality were temporarily damped He passed a hand across his eyes Well God help us You James a veterinary surgeon of two years experience and you Tristan a final year student cant come up with anything better between you than the phrase pretty lively Its a bloody poor thing Hardly a worthy description of clinical findings is it When an animal comes in here I expect you to record pulse temperature and respiratory rate To auscultate the chest and thoroughly palpate the abdomen To open his mouth and examine teeth gums and pharynx To check the condition of the skin To catheterise him and examine the urine if necessary Right I said O K said Tristan My partner rose from his seat Have you fixed another appointment I have yes Tristan drew his packet of Woodbines from his pocket For Monday And since Mr Mulligans always late for the surgery I said wed visit the dog at his home in the evening I see Siegfried made a note on the pad then he looked up suddenly Thats when you and James are going to the young farmers meeting isnt it The young man drew on his cigarette Thats right Good for the practice for us to mix with the young clients Very well Siegfried said as he walked to the door Ill see the dog myself On the following Tuesday I was fairly confident that Siegfried would have something to say about Mulligans dog if only to point out the benefits of a thorough clinical examination But he was silent on the subject It happened that I came upon old Joe in the market place sauntering over the cobbles with Clancy inevitably trotting at his heels I went up to him and shouted in his ear Hows your dog Mr Mulligan removed his pipe and smiled with slow benevolence Oh foine sorr foine Still womitin a bit but not bad Mr Farnon fixed him up then Aye gave him some more of the white medicine Its wonderful stuff sorr wonderful stuff Good good I said He didnt find anything else when he examined him Joe took another suck at his pipe No he didnt now he didnt Hes a clever man Mr Farnon Ive niver seen a man work as fast no I havent What do you mean Well now he saw all he wanted in tree seconds so he did I was mystified Three seconds Yes said Mr Mulligan firmly Not a moment more Amazing What happened Joe tapped out his pipe on his heel and without haste took out a knife and began to carve a refill from an evil looking coil of black twist Well now Ill tell ye Mr Farnon is a man who moves awful sudden and that night he banged on our front door and jumped into the room I knew those cottages There was no hall or lobby you walked straight from the street into the living room And as he came in he was pullin his thermometer out of its case Well now Clancy was lyin by the fire and he rose up in a flash and he gave a bit of a wuff so he did A bit of a wuff eh I could imagine the hairy monster leaping up and baying into Siegfrieds face I could see the gaping jaws the gleaming teeth Aye just a bit of a wuff Well Mr Farnon just put the thermometer straight back in its case turned round and went out the door Didnt he say anything I asked No divil a word Just turned about like a soldier and marched out the door so he did It sounded authentic Siegfried was a man of instant decision I put my hand out to pat Clancy but something in his eyes made me change my mind Well Im glad hes better I shouted The old man ignited his pipe with an ancient brass lighter puffed a cloud of choking blue smoke into my face and tapped a little metal lid on to the bowl Aye Mr Farnon sent round a big bottle of the white stuff and its done im good Mind yous he gave a beatific smile Clancys allus been one for the womittin so he has Nothing more was said about the big dog for over a week but Siegfrieds professional conscience must have been niggling at him because he came into the dispensary one afternoon when Tristan and I were busy at the tasks which have passed into history making up fever drinks stomach powders boric acid pessaries He was elaborately casual Oh by the way I dropped a note to Joe Mulligan Im not entirely convinced that we have adequately explored the causes of his dogs symptoms This womiting er vomiting is almost certainly due to depraved appetite but I just want to make sure So I have asked him to bring him round tomorrow afternoon between two and two thirty when well all be here No cries of joy greeted his statement so he continued I suppose you could say that this dog is to some degree a difficult animal and I think we should plan accordingly He turned to me James when he arrives you get hold of his back end will you Right I replied without enthusiasm He faced his brother And you Tristan can deal with the head O K Fine fine Tristan muttered his face expressionless His brother continued I suggest you get a good grip with your arms round his neck and Ill be ready to give him a shot of sedative Splendid splendid said Tristan Ah well thats capital My partner rubbed his hands together Once I get the dope into him the rest will be easy I do like to satisfy my mind about these things It was a typical Dales practice at Darrowby mainly large animal and we didnt have packed waiting rooms at surgery times But on the following afternoon we had nobody in at all and it added to the tension of waiting The three of us mooched about the office making aimless conversation glancing with studied carelessness into the front street whistling little tunes to ourselves By two twenty-five we had all fallen silent Over the next five minutes we consulted our watches about every thirty seconds then at exactly two thirty Siegfried spoke up This is no damn good I told Joe he had to be here before half past but hes taken not a bit of notice Hes always late and there doesnt seem to be any way to get him here on time He took a last look out of the window at the empty street Right were not waiting any longer You and I James have got that colt to cut and you Tristan have to see that beast of Wilsons So lets be off Up till then Laurel and Hardy were the only people I had ever seen getting jammed together in doorways but there was a moment when the three of us gave a passable imitation of the famous comics as we all fought our way into the passage at the same time Within seconds we were in the street and Tristan was roaring off in a cloud of exhaust smoke My colleague and I proceeded almost as rapidly in the opposite direction At the end of Trengate we turned into the market place and I looked around in vain for signs of Mr Mulligan It wasnt until we had reached the outskirts of the town that we saw him He had just left his house and was pacing along under a moving pall of blue smoke with Clancy as always bringing up the rear There he is Siegfried exclaimed Would you believe it At the rate hes going hell get to the surgery around three oclock Well we wont be there and its his own fault He looked at the great curly-coated animal tripping along a picture of health and energy Well I suppose wed have been wasting our time examining that dog in any case Theres nothing really wrong with him For a moment he paused lost in thought then he turned to me He does look pretty lively doesnt he
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