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Desert Air - 48. DA Ch 48 - Tragedy

A few days later Marcus had a little bit of free time to sit down and work out a timetable for both of us once the second clinic is open, and we would share doing the weekly visits to Wyndham, Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing, and I would do all of the station visits.

After a week of keeping very busy, and with everyone settled into their jobs, I asked that our schedule be freed for a few days, so that Marcus and I could travel to Derby to set up the clinic there, next door to the Elders Rural Store, near the end of Loch Street.

Marcus would need to drive the Jackaroo Ute there, which will take him a whole day, and I would fly to Derby in the plane, with all of the Vet supplies and equipment for the second clinic, which had been flown up from Perth during the week.


I had already arranged to employ a receptionist – Emily Anderson, to help Marcus with running the clinic there, and she has already had the building and the house next door cleaned, and after I had purchased furniture and whitegoods, she arranged for it to be delivered and set up, ready for our arrival.

While Marcus left in the early morning, I still had half a day of work at my clinic before I have lunch and fly to Derby, where I will stay for two days to help Marcus to get settled, before flying back to Kununurra, my new home. After a quick lunch, I headed to the airport to make the trip to Derby, which will take me 2 ¼ hours.


Taking a taxi from the airport to town, Emily was at the clinic when I arrived, and she helped me to bring in all of the supplies, before she showed me around the clinic, which is now that it is clean and fully set up ready for business. I had with me two of the small sandwich boards, which had been made quickly for me, that will promote the new business in Derby. I also had a number of posters that can be put up in shop windows around town.

I had also arranged for a sign writer to paint a sign on the front of the building, to promote the business, and he would be arriving tomorrow. I spent most of the afternoon putting away all of the supplies that I had brought with me, and I instructed Emily on the payment procedures for veterinary services, with deposits to be placed into the bank account that I had set up in Kununurra.


Once I was happy that Emily was comfortable with everything to do with reception, I let her go home early and I headed over to the house next door, which now has furniture and white goods in there, and I had brought new linen for the beds as well as pillows and even blankets for the rare occasions that it gets cool at night. I relaxed for the remainder of the afternoon, and shortly after 6 pm I heard a vehicle pull up outside the house, and I recognised the Jackaroo as mine and I went out to greet Marcus. “Hi ya mate, did you have a good trip?” I asked.


“Long and boring like the last one, so this is it, my new home?” Marcus replied. “Yep, sure is, hope you like it, I have made the beds in both rooms, you get the master bedroom, and I have ordered the basic with furniture and white goods, anything else just get it and give me the receipt, just don’t go overboard with the spending,” I said to Marcus. Once Marcus had settled into his new home, we went out to get some takeaway and enjoyed a nice evening sitting in the park, and we discussed the plans for the first few days.


The following morning, I place one of the small sandwich boards directly outside the business, and one at the junction of Loch Street and Clarendon Street. I also called into the supermarket, the visitor centre, post office, the two banks, four other small businesses and the two hardware stores, to put up small posters, advertising the new Veterinary practice.


With the other Vet not due to come to Derby till the middle of next week, it gives Marcus a chance to get the business going without any competition, and with the posters, signs and the website, saying that the practice is located next to the Elders Rural Store at the far end of Loch Street, and the clinic being open Mondays, Wednesday afternoons, Thursday and Friday plus Saturday mornings, we hope that this will be an incentive for regular customers to come to our practice.


The website also states that a Derby Vet visits Fitzroy Crossing on Tuesdays, while the Kununurra Vet visits Halls Creek on Tuesdays, and does Cattle Station Visits on Thursdays, and is at Kununurra all day on Monday, Wednesday & Friday plus Saturday mornings.

After delivering the posters, and talking to some of the locals, I returned to the clinic where Marcus and Emily were chatting. “Ah just the man, so tell us how does the wages go for staff?” Marcus asked, “Easy, I will speak to you about yours later, and Emily and a part time cleaner, that I will leave you to organise, Time sheets need to be sent to head office in Kununurra, before 4 pm Wednesdays, and payments are made weekly on the Friday at noon,” I replied.


“Ok with that Emily?” Marcus asked, “Yes thankyou Dr Sanderson,” she replied smiling, “Good, now I need you to recommend someone who can do a good quality medical grade clean of the clinic, every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday morning, before we open on those days,” Marcus said, “Yes, I can do that, I will arrange it with my younger sister, Kim to come and speak to you,” Emily replied.


I headed to the office to make a phone call, closing the door behind me for privacy. “Hello, Limestone Veterinary Clinic Kununurra, this is Julia speaking,” came the voice when the call was answered, “very nice, a bit of a mouthful, but it will have to do for now. It is Jexon speaking, I wanted to know if you can arrange for a cleaner who can clean to clinic standards to clean the clinic three mornings a weeks before the clinic opens?” I responded.

“Already arranged Dr Kendrik, my younger brother Austin, who was here the last week helping with the cleaning, has been given the task until you can see how he works, and you make the final decision,” Julia replied.


“Very good, I will leave it in your hands, can you get him to do the work Monday, Wednesday and Friday before we open in the morning please,” I asked, “Yes Doctor, that is not a problem, when will you be returning, as we already have had a lot of enquiries,” Julia replied, “Tomorrow night, ready for Friday opening, thanks Julia, bye,” I said before ending the call.


“When I stepped out of the office, Marcus was leading a lady into the consulting room, with a cat in her arms, and I smiled and waited for them to enter, before continuing on to the reception area, where there are a number of people waiting. “Ok Emily, who is next please?” I asked, and I was handed a card and looking at the information on it I asked the lady with her son holding a pet python.


“Hello there, what is your python’s name?” I asked the boy, “It is Ssssamson,” the boy relied smiling, and I chuckles at how he said the snakes name. “You are lucky to have me as your vet this morning, as I am also a qualified Zoologist, and reptiles are my specialty,” I said to the boy and his mother, as I led the way into the second consulting room.

I was informed that Samson was eating as much as he usually does, and after a closer look, I found a number of bush ticks attacked to his skin, that were very bloated, and I managed to remove them without harming the snake.


After removing the ticks and treating the wounds, I gave the mother instructions to keep the wounds clean and that it should heal quickly. “When are you in town Doctor, is it often?” the mother asked me, “I am actually based in Kununurra, I am here to assist my business partner with getting established, but I am in Fitzroy Crossing on Tuesday afternoons, when Dr Sanderson is there, so he can bring any animals that he can’t handle on to me, as I have a plane to do my rounds,” I replied.


“Oh a new Flying Vet, that is good to hear, my brother runs a cattle station just south-east of here, I will let him know that you are available to visit stations,” the boys mother said, “That is fine, I have set aside all day Thursday’s for station visits,” I replied, “Good I will let my brother Rob at Brooking Springs know,” the lady said, as I marked the card with Minor Procedure fee, “Just give this to the receptionist on your way out please,” I said to the lady as I handed her the card.


I made a note of the name of the station, to look it up at a later time, before I stepped out to see who the next patient is. When it started to quieten down a little just before lunch, I let Marcus take the last of the patients, while I returned to the office to look up that station.

Brooking Springs Station, 484,000 acres, with the homestead located just fourteen kilometres north-east of town. Has been on the market for a number of years and the current manager and his family have been on the station for fifteen years. As I finished reading about the station, my mobile rang.

“Limestone Veterinary Practice, can I help you,” I said automatically, and I heard sniffling and gulps on the other side of the line.


“Here, let me handle it for you buddy,” I heard a voice say which sounded like Jake. “Hello, Jexon, this is Jake speaking, I am sorry to be the one to break the news, but there has been a terrible car crash… Mate you father was killed and your mother is seriously injured, and she is being flown to Royal Perth Hospital by RFDS as we speak,” Jake said to me.

I froze still, not believing what I had just heard, and soon tears were flowing down my face, as I cleared my throat, “Do… do you know what happened?” I asked, “Sergeant Brooks said the other driver was driving on the wrong side of the road, and that they are from Europe, that is all he would tell us,” Jake replied.


“Ok, how is Rhodes taking the news?” I asked as I tried to fight back tears, wiping them away with my sleave, “Not well mate, he wants you to fly down here,” Jake said to me, “Ok mate, tell him I will be there in a day or two as soon as I have made some arrangements here. Oh what about the others, have they been told?” I asked.


“Rhodes wants you to do that, they are due to arrive in Port Hedland this afternoon,” Jake said, “In that case I will fly down to Port Hedland this afternoon, thanks and look after my brother till I get there, bye,” I said before ending the call.

As soon as the phone was sown I started crying, and moments later Emily and Marcus walked in, and wrapped me in a group hug, as they closed the door for privacy. Eventually I managed to tell them of the car accident which has killed my father and seriously injured my mother. “Right, we only have one patient left, after that we can shut down, so we can get you organised, is there anything you want me to do?” Marcus asked.


“Yes, do you remember Auggie Hunter at Uni?” I responded, “Yes I do, he is a good bloke,” Marcus replied, “Give him a call, ask him if he can fill in for me in Kununurra while I am away, I need to head to Port Hedland this afternoon, as I need to collect my younger siblings who are on their way up from boarding school,” I responded, and I handed Marcus my mobile phone.


After the quick phone call which had gone to message bank, Marcus called the Kununurra clinic to let them know what is happening, before going out to attend to the last patient, while Emily made up a quick sign for the door and locked it, and shut off the reception lights, to indicate that we are not open.

Once I had my mobile returned, I made another call, this one to the complex, “Hello Jexon, we are so terribly sorry to hear of the passing of your father and your mother’s injuries, is there anything we can do?” Hedley said when the call was answered.


“Yes please, I am about to fly down to Port Hedland to collect the younger siblings, then I will collect Rhodes before we all come home,” I responded, “Actually, Jake is driving him home, they will be here in about half an hour, are you ok to fly home in this condition?” Hedley asked.”

“Yes, I will be fine, thanks for your concern, I will see you later on, bye,” I said, before hanging up, just as Emily knocked and entered, where she gave me a cup of strong black tea.


“Sorry to abandon you both, but I need to get to Port Hedland, and if I get going soon, I will beat the flight into town that has my younger siblings onboard,” I said before taking a sip. “How many do you have?” Emily asked me.

“Four, two brothers and two sisters, Mary and Rhodes are twins and are 16, Julia is 14 and Wynn is 12,” I replied. “Nice to have a big family I guess,” Emily said to me, “Yes it is, but being the oldest has its up and downs,” I replied.

Copyright © 2020 quokka; All Rights Reserved.
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Great chapter. Wow everything was going so well for Jexon with the setting up of his ne veterinary practice, when tragedy strikes. He receives a phone call telling him his father has been killed and his mother seriously injured. He sets off to collect his brothers and sisters and tell them the news. Interesting times ahead for Jexon and family.

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It looked like things were going good for Jexon and Marcus in setting up the new practices. After Jexon got the call from Jake and Rhodes about the accident there was a very rapid turn of events in order for Jexon to be able to fly to Port Headland to pick up the rest of his siblings so he could inform them of their fathers death and mothers hospitalization due to the traffic accident. I hope that their mom recovers from her injuries as it will be hard for Jexon to handle all of his siblings and his veterinary practices and the airbase and Limestone station as well. 


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Our Jex certainly leads an interesting life ("interesting" as in the old Chinese curse, I mean).  The loss of his Dad is going to be difficult for him.  At least Mum survived, though we don't know the extent of her injuries, yet.

I'm hoping things will let up enough for Jex to find time to settle down with Marcus.  Or Augie, as the case may be!

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I think there’s a big changes coming..... again.

It’s so sad that he’s lost his father, they had a really close bond which Jex will miss terribly 🥺

Jex seems to have too much in his plate Atm and needs to slow down to “take stock” Until they know what his mums prognosis is....

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Thanks for this chapter.  I also want to thank you for the extra space breaking up paragraphs, it has helped my old eyes considerably.

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4 hours ago, JimCarter said:

Thanks for this chapter.  I also want to thank you for the extra space breaking up paragraphs, it has helped my old eyes considerably.

I do have spacing when I write on Microsoft Word, but for some reason when I transfer it to GA, it deletes the spaces.

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I am not sure if this will work, but if you want tight spacing between two paragraphs, press 'Shift, Return', but if you want a wide space between paragraphs, press 'Return' (without the extra 'shift' key). 

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