They’d left him to die.
Just like he’d asked. None of them were showing signs of the fever, but if they’d stayed…then…he couldn’t have that on his conscious. Not his girls, not because of him.
That was four days, maybe a week ago. He’d lost all concept of time. Sleep and waking were blurred into one long fever dream.
In one dream he was a boy again, back on his parent’s farm, running through the tall green glass, the sun beating down on him. Then he fell, the sun burning him as he tumbled.
When he awoke, the fire still burned in his head, threatening to turn his brain to slag. The bed was wet. He could not tell if it was from his sweat or his urine.
His eyes closed and he was back in the war, the heat sweltering, the humidity choking, all around him the roar of cannon and rifle, and the screams of dying men.
I did not die that horror, he thought to himself as he marched forward into the fray. Nor will I die in this one.
The next time he stirred, his fever was broken.
He would see his family again.
The last time the Yellow Fever came to Memphis was the worst. Within a week, half the city’s population had fled, hoping to get away from the sickness. Family members who were ill were left behind, some with a caregiver, some not. But the fever only kills half of the people it infects, meaning some of those left to die would survive the epidemic.