The cast of The Country Doctor
Frank Powell, Florence Lawrence, Gladys Egan, Kate Bruce
What is The Country Doctor about?
In the peaceful valley of Stillwater there is sunshine. All nature smiles as we make our way up the lane, lined on each side with blossoming trees and fragrant flowers, until we come upon Doctor Harcourt, one of God's noblemen, seated on the veranda of his house with his wife and little daughter Edith. All are carefree and happy as we stroll with them through the barley fields, lanes and daisy beds. It is indeed a beautiful sight, a trinity of souls, each living in the other's being. But the fates are jealous, and there are gathering clouds to shut out the radiance of their happy existence. Little Edith is taken very ill and the doctor is at first inclined to think his wife is unduly alarmed, but upon examining the child he realizes the illness to be serious indeed, so much so that it would probably be fatal for him to leave its side until the crisis is past. While so engaged a poor woman of the village hurries to his home to enlist his services for her little girl, who she fears is at the point of death. Oh, God! what a situation. His own child needing his undivided attention most urgently, on the one hand, and duty on the other. Duty, that relentless deity of the honorable which so often compels self-sacrifice, beckons him on. Irresolute for a moment, he at length goes, assuring his wife that be will be but a few minutes away. Arriving at the humble cabin of the woman, he finds her child very ill indeed, requiring speedy and unerring attention to save her. Meanwhile, Edith, his own child, has grown worse, and the mother has dispatched the maid to hurry him back home. When the maid arrives and tells him the conditions, he for a moment wavers, but then his duty seems clear to him. If he leaves the poor woman's child, death is inevitable, so he dismisses the maid with the word that it will be only a few minutes longer and then he will return. Little Edith sinks rapidly, so the maid is again sent. This time he is about to leave, as the child is out of danger and will recover. So he leaves the poor family, happy and relieved, to rush madly to his own home. What a contrast! There across the lifeless form of his dear child lies his moaning, horror-stricken wife. A slave of duty, he yields the life of his own dear child to save the life of another's. The valley of Stillwater is shrouded in darkness. Such are the temporal deeds that will find reward eternal.