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The Yankee Doctor R. Harper Mason

The Yankee Doctor

R. Harper Mason

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 About the Book 

It’s 1945 in the small town of Norphlet, Arkansas, and 12-year-old Richard Mason and his best friend, John Clayton Reed, have a big problem. Not the distant War overseas, getting caught in Old Man Odom’s watermelon patch, or missing any of WalterMoreIt’s 1945 in the small town of Norphlet, Arkansas, and 12-year-old Richard Mason and his best friend, John Clayton Reed, have a big problem. Not the distant War overseas, getting caught in Old Man Odom’s watermelon patch, or missing any of Walter Winchell’s rapid-fire radio broadcasts. This problem is that new Yankee Doctor in town who is welcoming shady “clients” to his office downtown—a secret known only to Richard and John Clayton.“Heck, in my whole, entire life I ain’t never had nothing upset me as much,” Richard tells readers, as the two boys struggle to alert skeptical parents and a sotted constable to the doctor’s nocturnal side business, which involves drug sales and visits from the flashy “Randolph Hotel girls.”“Shoot, me and John Clayton was durn nearly kilt, and that weren’t all,” Richard says. “We came so close to being sent off to reform school you wouldn’t believe it in a million years.”Richard and John Clayton do get arrested but are not packed off to reform school, or “kid’s jail” as they call it. Instead, they attempt to drive the doctor out of town with weapons from the arsenal of 12-year-old country boys: a sack full of angry hornets, hundreds of roaches from the city garbage dump, and a few well-placed brown water snakes. In the end, Richard and John Clayton expose the “sorry” antics of Dr. Carl and his floozy nurse, Miss Tina, in this Huckleberry tale of friendship, family honor, and small town life in World War II-era America.“You don’t believe that do you?” asks Richard. “Well, listen up then, and I’ll tell you every little detail, but I’m a-warning you, some of it’s just gonna sound plum off the wall, but I promise, cross my heart, and hope to die, every little bit of what I’m gonna tell you is the god’s truth—so help me. Okay?”Richard Mason is the author of The Red Scarf, a Christmas story published by August House in late 2007. The Yankee Doctor is the second in the series. Both are inspired by his early years in Arkansas.Mason writes about life growing up on a small farm in southern Arkansas during the 1940s—a time of bare feet, families gathered around the radio at night, and frog gigging by moonlight. Mason is currently the CEO of his own company, Gibraltar Energy in El Dorado, Ark. He writes the environmental column, “Natural Solutions” and is a talk radio host for a show called “Our Town.”