Heavy doses of laudanum had eased JD's pain, but it had also left the boy in a dazed stupor that made it difficult for Nathan to tell if it was the illness or the drug that was taking its toll.
The boy was unnervingly compliant as Buck undressed him and Nathan checked him for the swollen nodules that Quinn had told him to look for. The vicious muscle spasms had subsided, but his muscles refused to relax completely, which had to be sapping his strength. Gently manipulating the boys stiff, painful limbs, Nathan checked JD's neck and under his arms, and then thought he'd better explain to Buck what he was looking for when he pressed his hands into JD's inner thighs.
"They're called buboes," he explained. "Like boils, this Dr. Quinn says. Everyone who gets plague has 'em.." He shook his head as he finished his examination. "I didn't find any on Ezra, either. Whatever this is, it ain't plague."
"Don't see whereas that makes any difference to JD," Buck said sadly. JD shivered and Buck moved to cover him, but instead of stopping, the shivering escalated to small, jerky spasms.
"Roll him over, Buck!" Nathan commanded, as he grabbed JD's shoulders and attempted to turn him onto his side.
"What is it?" Buck asked, alarmed by Nathan's tone of voice.
JD's body continued to quiver.
"He's havin' a fit," Nathan said, his voice more calm than he felt. He knew this was a very bad sign. "It should ease up in a few seconds..."
The two of them stood by helplessly as the convulsions continued for almost two minutes. Gradually, though, they began to ease off and finally, JD was still again.
"JD?" Nathan called to him, pushing back his long hair. "JD? Wake up, son."
JD's eyes opened, and he looked as dazed as he had before, but in a hoarse whisper, he managed to croak out Buck's name.
Buck was at his side in an instant. "I'm here, JD," he took the boy's hand.
JD stared silently for several seconds, and when he did respond it wasn't so much with words, but with the tears that filled his eyes until they overflowed. "Sorry..."
"Sorry for what, kid?" Buck asked, honestly puzzled.
Nathan, however, had more experience with the sick and guessed what had happened. It was a common occurrence when someone suffered a fit like JD just had. He looked at Buck. "We need some clean sheets for the bed," he said, without giving details.
JD squeezed his eyes shut and understanding suddenly dawned on Buck. He nodded. "I'll be right back."
As soon as he was gone, Nathan proceeded to strip the bed. "Don't give it no mind, JD," he said casually. "Happens to sick folk more often than you think."
But it was little consolation to the kid, whose pale features were crimson with shame. Nathan worked quickly to get him cleaned up before Buck returned, but he noted with concern that the wetness on the sheets was tinged pink.
Damn, what was doing this to them?
Buck returned and lifted the boy and held him while Nathan flipped the mattress over and spread out the clean bedding. He noticed the bloody stain on the soiled sheets.
"Oh Jesus, Nathan..." he said, the fear in his voice unmistakably.
Nathan nodded sadly.
"Didn't mean to, Buck," JD murmured.
Buck looked down at the young man in his arms and steeled himself. "Hell, kid, you got so much laudanum in ya you wouldn't know if ya had to go or not. Ain't no big deal."
But he knew it was. He knew the kid was embarrassed and he was too sick to have to worry about something so insignificant as some wet sheets. He decided the best thing to do was not to dwell on the accident as he got him settled back into bed just as Josiah came in with a steaming bowl of broth.
"Made from finest bone marrow," the preacher announced proudly, trying to ease the tension he could feel in the sickroom, "with some other stuff that's good for what ails anyone."
JD looked up at him. "Bet it... tastes... like crap."
"Don't matter how it tastes," Buck admonished him as he lifted him to a sitting position. "You're gonna eat it."
JD shook his head. "No. Can't. I'll upchuck it."
"No you won't," Buck promised, knowing the kid would believe him, whether it was true or not.
Nathan motioned for Josiah to hold back while he listened to JD's chest with his stethoscope. He wasn't as congested as Ezra, but Nathan could still hear a tell-tale gurgling deep in the boy's lungs. "We need another steam kettle, too," he said.
Josiah looked at the stricken youngster, "We only have the two we're using for Vin and Ezra."
"Then you have to find another one somewhere!" Nathan snapped, without meaning to.
Josiah didn't take it personally. "I'll do that," he said, and left to keep his word.
Buck didn't have the luxury of allowing his feelings to show. He lifted a spoonful of broth to JD's mouth, but the kid was already drifting off on him again.
"JD? C'mon, kid, just one spoonful."
JD obediently opened his mouth, and Nathan was somewhat relieved. If Buck could get the boy to eat, it would bolster his strength. That had to count for something.
"I need to go check on Vin. Will you be okay here for awhile?"
"Sure we will," Buck said more confidently than he felt.
As he was leaving he told Buck, "If he starts having another one of them fits, turn him on his side like before. He might puke if he's got something in his stomach."
"Don't wanna throw up," JD mumbled.
"You ain't gonna," Buck assured him again. He got JD to take a few more spoonfuls, but the boy was just so, so sick. It was all he could do to swallow. Josiah returned and begin rigging a tent over the bed.
As sick as he was, JD's curiosity hadn't left him. "What's... that for?" he asked.
Josiah explained it to him, holding up the kettle that was spouting aromatic steam from the boiled herbs and elixirs Nathan had prescribed. "It will help you breathe better," he explained as he slipped the kettle under the blanket and again took precautions to keep JD from being burned by it.
"Where'd you get another one?" Buck asked.
"He's sharin' this one with Vin for now. I'll see if I can round up another one."
"Hurts," JD mumbled.
Buck reached for the linament and began a repeat of the rubdown he'd given the boy earlier. It probably didn't do him a lick of good, but it did seem to ease his pain.
As the big man's hands kneaded the younger man's tense muscles, he wondered who was going to care for the rest of them if they came down with whatever JD, Vin and Ezra had. He tried to admonish himself for his selfishness, but the thought really scared him. Even more frightening was the knowledge that if he and the others got sick, JD would just slip away with no one to ease his passing.
NO! The kid was not going to die! He cursed himself for even thinking that.
JD quickly drifted off to sleep and he settled back in his chair, keeping one hand in contact with JD's arm. He stroked it gently, just to let the kid know he was there.
Chris appeared to be dozing in the chair next to Vin's bed, but he immediately lifted his head when Nathan entered the room. Vin was quiet and still, but Nathan knew it was because he was too sick to move, not because he was resting comfortably. He hated to disturb him, but he had to make sure that he also did not have the defining symptoms of plague.
He carefully pulled the covers back and Vin shivered involuntarily as the cooler air hit him. He opened his eyes, silently pleading with Nathan to leave him be.
"I'm sorry, Vin," the healer said softly. "I just need to check you over real quick like." Vin couldn't put up any resistance. He was alarmingly weak, but unlike the others, Nathan hadn't dared try feeding him anything, not bleeding into his belly like he was, so he would only continue to grow weaker.
He checked Vin over carefully. The tracker hardly flinched when he examined his groin for the swollen nodules. Normally, Vin would have put up a fuss at being touched like that, if he would have allowed such intimate contact at all. Nathan didn't find any sign that the tracker had plague, either.
He pulled the blankets back over Vin, pulling back the steam tent they had rigged earlier. Josiah had taken the kettle for JD, so there was no point in leaving it draped over him at the moment. "What we need are 4 more kettles," he said absently. "That way, we can keep the steam going continuously for all three of them."
"I'll see you get them," Chris said.
Nathan told him about the incident with Jules Lahr. "Ain't nobody in town gonna let you get close enough to ask for 'em."
"Who said I was gonna ask?"
"That mob out there is ugly, Chris. Gettin' uglier by the minute. I don't know if it's gonna do any good to tell them that these men don't have plague."
Chris looked up at him. "You're sure?"
Nathan nodded. "Doc in Colorado sent me a list of signs to look for." He shook his head. "They got some, but not the important ones, the ones that mean it's plague for sure. Problem is, I don't know what they do have...." He paused thoughtfully for a moment, and then frowning, questioned Chris. "How do you feel?"
Chris thought about it, shrugged his shoulders. "Tired. Hot from havin' that steam goin'. But I ain't sick."
Nathan nodded, thankful, but mystified. "Seem odd to you that no one else in this town has come down with anything?"
"Folks in Eagle Bend are dropping like flies, though," Chris reminded him. "Could be just a matter of time."
Nathan sighed. "This Dr. Quinn feller says other folks would start turning up sick fairly quick if it was plague." He was thinking out loud. "Maybe whatever this is just takes a little longer to come over a person...." He looked at Vin, who despite being so terribly ill was listening to him. "Or maybe all the sick folks got it from the same place..."
"Mice," Vin wheezed.
Both Chris and Nathan turned to him, and leaned closer to hear him.
"Deer mice. We saw them," the tracker struggled to get the words out. "Bad luck."
Nathan tried to conceal his skepticism. His concerns were serious ones, and he couldn't afford to be waylaid by the tracker's superstitions.
Chris, however, either took those same superstitions seriously, or he was indulging Vin's belief in them. "Why are they bad luck, Vin?" he asked.
Vin shook his head almost imperceptibly. Any movement seemed to increase his discomfort. "Don't know," he admitted. "Navajo's say it's so."
He started coughing again, and it was intermingled with a sharp cry of pain. Chris turned him over and Nathan shoved a towel under his head so they wouldn't have to change the bedding if he vomited up more blood. He didn't though. He coughed up a few drops, but his strength was quickly spent, and he lay gasping for air.
Nathan hated to do it, but he pulled him upright. Vin cried out in pain again, but his breathing quickly improved.
"Pile some pillows behind him," he told Chris. The gunfighter did as he was told, and as they eased Vin back down he looked so pale that Chris thought he might be taking his final breaths.
Vin must have thought that, too. He looked Nathan in the eye. "How long?" he whispered hoarsely.
Nathan pretended he didn't know what Vin meant. "How long 'til what, Vin?"
Vin tried to take a deep breath and was pretty much unsuccessful. He closed his eyes against the pain and whispered "'Til this is over?"
Chris wanted to shout at him not to talk like that. To shake him and demand that he not give up so easily. He was suddenly angry and he didn't know at what or who. He managed to stay calm on the outside though. It was what Vin needed most from him.
He wrang out the washcloth in the basin beside the bed and wiped Vin's face with it. "You feelin' that bad, cowboy?" he said softly.
Vin nodded. "Ain't never... been this sick, Chris."
The tracker's slight frame was wracked with chills, and acting on impulse Chris took him in his arms and held him close to warm him up again.
Nathan didn't think anything could make Vin any worse at this point, and warmth of Chris's body seemed to soothe him.
He knew there was a special bond between the two men. Hell, everyone could see it. If there had been any way for Chris to give all the strength he had to Vin to get him through this, he knew the gunfighter would do it in a heartbeat. Perhaps this was the next best thing. Despite his misery, Vin seemed to rest easier and the chills quickly abated.
"Chris?" he whispered
Chris looked down at the man in his arms. Nathan saw the hurt in his eyes. Chris thought Vin was dying and he couldn't tell him any different because he was probably right.
"What is it, cowboy?" he said softly.
"Somethin' I need... to tell ya... before..."
Chris hushed him. "It'll keep, Vin."
"No... Chris. If I go... I...can't take this... with me...."
"You ain't goin' anywhere, Vin," Chris said sternly.
Exhausted from even that small effort, Vin didn't persist. Nathan looked at Chris questioningly and Chris shrugged slightly. Neither knew what Vin had wanted to say, but whatever it was, Vin didn't need the added stress of trying to get it off his chest. Chris was letting him know, in that unspoken way of theirs, that whatever it was, he was okay with leaving it unsaid.
Nathan was on his way to the kitchen to replenish the steam kettles when he heard Josiah talking to someone.
The big preacher had been toiling continuously, preparing food and the teas and medicines Nathan had prescribed as well as boiling sheets, towels and nightclothes as they were used. He'd caught a few hours of sleep here and there, but like the rest of them, he was weary from the continuous vigil.
And now he was having to patiently argue with Casey Wells.
"She wants to see JD," he explained to Nathan.
Nathan looked at the young girl, her dark eyes moist with tears. She tried to keep her voice from cracking when she spoke. "Aunt Nettie says he's dyin'." She said it more as a question than a statement. "I jus' wanna see him."
Josiah was effectively blocking the doorway so she couldn't enter. Nathan eased him aside so he could talk to the girl. "Casey, JD is real sick. I ain't gonna lie to you. But we can't let you in here." He pointed to the yellow banner flapping in the breeze. "Once you come inside, you'll be in quarantine with the rest of us."
"I don't care!" she wailed and tried to push past him.
"NO!" He grabbed her tiny shoulders. "Listen to me. If you want to help, there are some things you can do for us. We need some kettles... about so big." He indicated the size with his hand. "And I need someone to take messages back and forth from the telegraph office."
"I can do that!" she nodded eagerly. And then her face clouded. "But JD... if he needs lookin' after..."
"Buck is with him," Nathan assured her. "We're takin' real good care of him. But I'll tell him you came to see him. He'll like that."
Casey smiled. "I'll get those kettles if I have to steal 'em!"
"Might be easier if you just ask Inez, first," Nathan said. "Your aunt, too..." he called to her.
Josiah smiled at the girl's enthusiasm, but then turned to Nathan with a serious expression. "She might not get to see that boy alive again."
Nathan nodded solemnly. The only consolation he could give Casey at that point was that JD was still fighting to stay alive, while Vin and Ezra seemed to have resigned themselves to letting nature take its course.
He sat down at the table and let his head drop into his hands.
Josiah came up behind him and put a strong hand on his shoulders. "You're doin' all you can, Nate."
Nathan slammed his hands down on the table. "I just don't know enough, Josiah. If there were only ways to help them fight this.... If only I knew more about what the hell I was doing!" He berated himself angrily.
Josiah pulled up a chair beside him. "Nathan, you can't do any more than what you are doing."
Nathan sighed. "That ain't what I mean, Josiah.... I'm havin' to starve Vin - that's what's makin' him too weak to fight. Ezra's lungs ain't so bad he'd suffocate but he's so tired from tryin' to keep breathin' that his body is gonna up and just quit from exhaustion. There just ain't any way to help either of them."
"Have you asked that Dr. Quinn if he knows anything you can do?"
"I ain't a doctor, Josiah. I got no right to even be askin' him."
"Way I look at it," Josiah smiled, "You got no right not to ask him." He pulled a pencil and paper from the pocket of his vest. "You can't say you tried everything until you have."
Nathan shook his head. "What could he tell me? All that would help Vin is to get some food into him, but that might kill him. And I can't breathe for Ezra."
Josiah saw his point. "Maybe JD will make it," he said sadly.
Nathan couldn't look at him. "He had a fit a few minutes ago. He came out of it okay, but it's a bad sign. Real bad."
Josiah tapped the paper he'd set on the table. "Ask for help, Nathan. Then you can have the peace of sayin' you did all you could."
(continued from part ONE)
Chris stared out the window, not planning to give the mob outside the comfort of averting his gaze. He knew most of the faces in the crowd. Three days before, most of them would have greeted him with a smile or perhaps a friendly nod.
Now, all he saw on those same familiar faces was anger and fear, or occasionally sadness.
Mary Travis didn't want to be part of the mob, but the irony was that her newspaper articles had fueled the fire that the good folk of Four Corners wanted to unleash on three helpless men. Men who had been there for them when they'd had their backs to the wall.
What scared him as much as the crowd was that Larabee wasn't sure that, were the circumstances reversed, he wouldn't be out there with them. If he still had Sara and Adam, would he be so willing to defy the very instincts that told him to protect them at all cost?
He had looked Mary Travis in the eye. She didn't hate him, or Vin or JD or Ezra. But she loved Billy more than she cared about any of them, and that was as it should be.
Nettie was the last person who would want any harm to come to any of them, especially Vin. But Casey was blood, and while she wasn't out there waving a torch, she was determined that Casey would not fall before this silent killer. Her frail hands had a firm grip on her Spencer carbine. The rifle looked like it weighed more than she did. The sight would have been comical, were it not for the fact that Nettie Wells was as dead a shot as Vin was, and if he made good on his threat to turn his gun on the crowd, she might just take him out if he didn't get her first.
He rested his gun on the window sill, and was trying to think of what to say to the mob, not to quiet them but to at least gain them a little more time. He'd meant what he said. If their time had come, Vin and the others at least deserved the small comfort of a clean bed and knowing they were safe to leave this earth in peace. He'd not see them forced out. The only place for them then would be his sweltering shack where they'd have to put two of them on the bare dirt floor.
His words never had a chance to form, though. Casey jerked free of her Aunt's restraining grasp and in the next instant snatched the Spencer from her hands. She ran to the steps of the building where he could no longer see her, only hear her voice...
Casey waved a piece of paper with one hand as she steadied her Aunt's big rifle with the other.
"This here telegram is from a doctor!" she shouted. "Ain't nothin' gonna happen to us so long as they stay inside."
"Says you," someone in the crowd mocked.
"Get outa the way, girl!" someone else shouted.
"Listen to her!" Chris recognized Inez's angry voice. Inez, for reasons only she knew, had yet to turn her back on them.
"I ain't movin'!" Casey said, her voice cracking. She cocked the Spencer and trained it on the crowd. "You leave them be!"
Two awestruck blue eyes stared at her in open admiration. The one they belonged to had been afraid before. Afraid he was too little and too young to do what he knew Chris would do. It wasn't right what these grown-ups were doing. If he was sick, he would want to be at home in his own bed. How come no one could see that it was wrong to make sick people leave town?
He'd gotten his daddy's gun. He knew where it was, and he knew how to use it. Chris had shown him. But he'd been afraid, not like Casey.
Well, he wasn't afraid any more!
"You can't stop all of us, little girl," Hank Conklin declared. "This is absurd!" he continued, angry that his assumed authority had been challenged. He carried a stick with an oiled rag wrapped around it. He struck a match to ignite it.
"What are you doing!?" Inez screamed at him in horror. She positioned herself in front of Conklin and tried to grab the torch, but one of the men in the crowd grabbed her and shoved her aside so roughly that she fell.
"I'll get them out of this town, mark my word!" Conklin hissed.
A few people in the crowd cheered him on, but several others gasped in horror as the torch flared, the grim realization of what Conklin intended to do suddenly dawning upon them.
Casey stood her ground. "You're gonna have to kill me to get by me," Casey said.
A tiny blond blur streaked to the front of the crowd. "Me too!" Billy Travis declared.
"BILLY!" Mary Travis gasped, realizing her son was no longer safe at her side.
Aw HELL! Chris thought when he heard Billy's voice.
Billy took his place alongside Casey, needing both hands to hold the gun he had aimed at Conklin, who was momentarily dumbstruck.
His mouth dropped open when Ted Cole and Jim Ramage stepped in behind Casey and Billy. The two didn't draw their guns, but their hands hovered menacingly within reach of their pieces.
Conklin turned to the crowd. "This is ridiculous!!! Nettie! Mary! Get those two brats out of my way or I swear..."
Mary was horror-stricken. She dared not move. Billy was a baby - he had no idea what would happen if he fired. She had no idea. Would this crowd gun a six-year-old down? "Billy..." her voice quavered. "Put the gun down, baby...."
Billy squinted his eyes in determination. "I ain't a baby!"
Conklin reached for his sidearm with his free hand, but before he could clear leather, Cole had his gun out and fired a shot into the air. The cowboy spit on the sidewalk. "Seems to me it don't take a very big set o' cojones to shoot a couple o' kids, Conklin, so you like as not won't miss yours." He lowered his gun until it was level with Conklin's crotch.
Conklin realized he was quickly losing control of the situation. "This doesn't concern you, Cole."
"Vin Tanner saved my life," Cole said. "I figger I own him somethin' for that."
"You don't owe him the lives of everyone in this town!" Jules Lahr shouted.
"Ain't no one else sick!" Casey cried. "Can't you see that? It's just them, and if we leave them be it ain't gonna get to us. Now you put down that torch, you sorry ol' coot..." She trained her aunt's Spencer square on Conklin's chest.
Nettie Wells was as much at a loss as Mary Travis. She had taught her niece to stand up for herself, but if this got any uglier, she didn't think that some of the men in the crowd would hesitate for one minute to shoot the girl.
Conklin stared at the four people on the hotel porch defiantly. He was determined to have his way, but he wasn't sure how many people were backing him now.
"Give it a rest," Ramage told him, and then looked at the crowd. "I'd say a town ain't got much to be proud of when the only ones that will stand up to the likes of you are a couple of little kids and two no-account drifters," he referred to Cole and himself.
Conklin stepped forward, his jaw set, his torch raised high, but he hadn't gone two steps when a shot rang out from the crowd. The bullet severed one of the ropes holding the big, yellow quarantine banner in place. It fell, catching Conklin's torch as it went.
The paint-soaked fabric ignited instantly, dropping a wall of fire across the front of the porch, trapping the four people standing there and sending flames licking up the front side of the building.
Mary screamed in terror as Billy backed away from the flames. It would be only a matter of seconds before he and the other three were engulfed.
Nettie was instantly galvanized into action. She grabbed a rifle from a man in the crowd and quickly shot through the rope holding the other corner of the banner. It fell to the ground where Inez began to frantically kick dirt on it to extinguish the flames. Nettie quickly joined her. "Don't just stand there!" she yelled at no one in particular. Mary ran forward to help as Casey, Cole and Ramage grabbed buckets and set to work trying to douse the flames that were creeping up the porch.
In the room above, smoke curled through the open window, stinging Chris's eyes. He pulled the sash down as quickly as he could, but enough smoke had filled the room that he began to choke on it. He hurried to the bed and lifted Vin into his arms.
Unaware of what was happening, Vin moaned in pain as he was moved. "Lemme be, Chris," he pleaded.
"Damn them to all to hell!" Chris spat as he rushed from the room with the sick man.
Buck had smelled the smoke and rushed out into the hallway, his features frozen in panic.
"GET JD OUTA HERE!" Chris ordered. "I'll come back for Ezra!"
Halfway down the stairs, Chris almost ran into Nathan and Josiah who were on their way up. He turned sideways with his burden to let them pass. "Get Ezra!" he ordered. "Get them outa here!"
Maude was frantic when she saw flames licking at the windowsill in the room across the hall, where Vin had been. She had raced into the hallway when she had heard Chris shouting and saw Buck wrap JD in a blanket and pick him up. The obvious horror hit her immediately: she couldn't carry Ezra to safety.
There was no way she could leave him, either.
She went back into the room and cradled his head in her arms, slapping him gently. "Baby, you have to wake up!" she said, her voice filled with gentle urgency. "Come on, son... we need to get out of here."
Ezra's pale green eyes opened and tried to focus. She shook him, desperate to get him fully awake. "I'll help you.... You need to sit up. COME ON, EZRA!" she shouted, her panic overcoming her concern for her son's comfort.
Nathan and Josiah were suddenly - blessedly - at her side. "I got him," Nathan said as he picked the gambler up effortlessly.
Maude grabbed Josiah's arm and pointed at the encroaching flames. "Help me, Josiah!" she ordered.
At first, the big preacher thought she wanted him to help her get out, but instead, she rushed into Vin's room and pulled the blanket from the bed and began beating at the flames. Josiah took his cue. He gathered the water basins and pitchers they had been using and soaked down the windowsill.
Maude took the pitcher he was holding. "Get more water!"
He dashed out, to find Chris and Buck were already heading up the stairs with a bucket in each hand.
Outside, several guilt-stricken townspeople, now realizing what they had done, formed a bucket brigade and were successfully dousing the fire from the outside. But just at the point where they finally managed to contain it, the flames also succeeded in burning through the support structures attaching the porch to the building. There was an ominous groan of stressed timber and someone yelled "Everyone get back!"
But it was too late, the support stanchions snapped and the entire porch came down in a heap of rubble. When the dust cleared, it appeared at first that everyone had gotten to safety - until Nettie and Mary realized in simultaneous horror that Billy and Casey were nowhere to be seen.
Futilely, Mary scanned the crowd before daring to turn her eyes towards the smoking rubble. An anguished cry of despair and rage escaped when she saw the tiny hand, still clutching an old Navy Colt, protruding from beneath the rubble.
Instantly, dozens of hands were ripping away the charred timber only to reveal the even more distressing sight of Casey Wells lying unmoving on top of Billy, having used her own body to shield the little boy from the falling debris.
With the porch gone, Chris could see the carnage in the street below. The still forms of Casey and Billy were like a knife twisting in his heart. He raced down the stairs. Nathan was already heading towards the injured, and Chris drew his gun to cover him.
Several people in the crowd stepped back when they saw the crazed look in his eye.
All fear of contamination apparently forgotten, neither Nettie nor Mary made a move to stop Nathan. The blacksmith, Yosemite, had lifted Casey off of Billy, who, much to everyone's relief, began to cry loudly as Mary took him in her arms. It was quickly apparent that he wasn't hurt, only scared.
Nonetheless, Mary looked accusingly at the townspeople. "GO HOME! ALL OF YOU!" she shouted angrily. "This isn't what we want!"