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By Julian Lowell Coolidge

A vintage assessment of conic sections and quadric surfaces.

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And all those buildings to the north. Adam told me that he’s put up a dividing line, and you’re not to cross over it. ” She had to laugh. There was a slack rope tied loosely from palm tree to palm tree—in places it dipped into the sand. A lame, funny gesture, actually. “I told you he’s stubborn. ” She pulled the paper from her pocket, thumbed through the few pages and, sure enough, he’d penciled it in. A fence? ” Adam shouted, stepping out from a copse of palms. His side of the line, of course.

He nodded. ” “No, ma’am Doctor. ” Down to the last layer, she peeled it back carefully, and what she found wasn’t good. The cut was on his heel, almost the length of his heel. Very jagged, very dirty. And swollen. There was also pus, much more than she’d expected. General redness everywhere. On top of that, his whole foot seemed warm and slightly puffy. She needed supplies, something antiseptic to start the cleaning. Antibiotics at the very least. Suture materials. But she had … nothing at all.

Nobody used that any more. There were newer, much more effective drugs on the market. Occasionally, she’d prescribed one of the penicillin derivatives, but never penicillin itself. “Good drug,” Adam quipped. ” “And cheap,” Davion said on his way out the door. “Well, that, too,” Adam agreed. He dipped the kitchen towel into the basin of water and started to wash Tyjon’s foot. It had to hurt. She saw the poor boy grimacing, and wondered if the infection had spread beyond his foot. What she saw even more than that, though, was the gentle way Coulson was taking care of Tyjon.

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