The Doctor and the Rough Rider
     kind of pale.”
    “I just had dinner,” said Holliday. “Food doesn't agree with me these days.”
    “You're kidding, right?”
    Holliday merely stared at him.
    “Okay, you're not kidding. Is there anything I can do?”
    “Don't offer me a cigar or a sandwich and we'll be fine,” said Holliday, and this
     time Wiggins chuckled.
    “So what are you doing back in Tombstone?” he asked. “Last Iheard, you were planning to live out your life in the mountains up in Colorado.”
    “I plan to go back there in a couple of days,” answered Holliday. “Though for the
     life of me I don't know why.”
    “I thought there was this sanitarium that could cure you…”
    “ Nothing can cure me. But they can make dying minimally less objectionable.” Holliday shook
     his head in wonderment. “I'll never know why they put a facility for consumptives
     up in the goddamned mountains, where the birds find it easier to walk and even the
     spiders have trouble breathing.”
    “So stay here,” said Wiggins.
    “You see any sanitariums around here?” asked Holliday with a sardonic smile. “All
     Tombstone's got are abandoned silver mines and unabandoned cemeteries.”
    “Okay, I'll ask again. Given all that you said, why are you here?”
    “I don't think you'd believe me if I told you,” replied Holliday.
    “You'll never know until you try.”
    Holliday sighed. “I'm helping a young man from back East. Possibly.”
    “Possibly?” repeated Wiggins.
    “I could be helping an old Indian from out West,” said Holliday. “Or it could be that
     nothing will help either of them.”
    “I don't understand.”
    “It gets complicated. If everything works, the young man will become a hero, or maybe
     even a king, and if it doesn't, we'll bury what's left of him, which probably won't
     come to ten pounds, somewhere in the Arizona Territory.”
    “You're not being very informative, Doc.”
    “You noticed.”
    “So who is this young man?”
    “You ever hear of Theodore Roosevelt?” asked Holliday.
    Wiggins shook his head. “No, I can't say that I have.”
    “Well, if he survives the next few weeks, you will.”
    “How about the old Indian you mentioned.”
    “You've heard of him ,” replied Holliday with a smile.
    “I haven't heard of a lot of them, not really,” answered Wiggins. “Victorio, Sitting
     Bull, Crazy Horse, Geronimo, Hook Nose, maybe half a dozen others.”
    “Makes no difference,” said Holliday. “It'll work or it won't, and either way I plan
     to go back to Colorado and die in peace, or at least less discomfort.”
    “How soon are you leaving?”
    Holliday shrugged. “A couple of days. Maybe sooner if I win big tonight, maybe an
     extra day or two if I don't.”
    “You still living with Kate?”
    A rueful smile crossed Holliday's face. “We've parted company.” A pause. “For the
     fourth time.” Another pause, and another smile. “Possibly the fifth.”
    “I don't know why the two of you don't get married.”
    “You mean, like you?” said Holliday with an amused chuckle.
    “I'm a bad example.”
    “It's all right, Henry. I'm a worse one.”
    “Didn't you tell me once that she broke you out of jail?”
    “True,” said Holliday. “But two weeks later she took a shot at me. She was a good
     whore, and a better madam, and she'd make a great bodyguard…but I think she'd have
     as many shortcomings as a wife as I'd have as a husband.”
    “Okay,” said Wiggins with a sigh. “It's none of my business anyway.”
    “Have another drink,” said Holliday, pushing the bottle to him again.
    “Anyway, I'm glad I got a chance to see you before you leave again,” said Wiggins,
     taking a small swallow, making a face, and handing the bottle back. “You've always
     treated me well—and if it wasn't for you I'd never have met Ned and Tom.”
    “Yeah, you'd probably be a happily married man working in a civilized town,” said
     Holliday. “I'll take full credit for that.”

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