Elijah noted his friend's drawn expression and the dark circles under his eyes. He waved him into a chair across from the desk before taking his own seat. He opened a drawer and drew out a bottle of whiskey and two glasses.
"Mrs. Short would not approve," Leo grinned.
"Strictly for medicinal purposes only," he agreed and poured. Both men took a gulp and grimaced as the alcohol traced a line of hot fire in their guts.
"Let me guess. Geraldine and her friends?" Elijah asked.
Leo gulped another swallow as if for strength. "Nothing overt. They spy on me and whisper when I walk by."
"I look in Geraldine Short's eyes and see Jim Jones and David Koresh looking back. She got the messiah complex all right." Elijah shuddered.
"You're in no danger. The Rock won't dare get rid of its only doctor."
"You know," began Elijah, his voice hesitant, "maybe if you didn't visit your sweat lodge so much, some of the hostility might diminish."
Leo's eyebrows rose. "Deny my beliefs in favor of theirs? I can't do that."
"I don't expect you to. But maybe you can taper back a bit." He frowned. "They are whispering about you. They say you go out there almost every day now when you're finished tending the crops."
"Something's happened. I had a vision..."
The wonder on his face made the doctor lean forward. "A vision? Of what?"
Leo returned to the present. He smiled. "A man of science doesn't want to hear about spirit messages."
"On the contrary. I think you'll find me a more sympathetic listener than most. I'm serious," Elijah insisted, noting Leo’s amused disbelief. "Scientific pursuits don't necessarily preclude spirituality. I once considered becoming a minister instead of a doctor."
"Really? What changed your mind?"
"I found it easier to heal broken bodies than mend hurt souls."