10. Pig Doctor
They call him "Pig Doctor" when they're being respectful. He's the only doctor now that Arno Brockburrow is in the Lockholes. Harm nobody…but Arno poisoned four Orcs, and there was nothing for it but to find a substitute.
Shep Lightfoot didn't want the job. What does he know of treating Orcs or hobbits? His skill is with beasts, with dumb animals, but now he must practice his medicine on another kind of brute entirely.
Pain is a condition that knows no boundaries. The Uruk's face crawls with it, though it does not say a word, and that is not so different from Shep's usual patients. But when the hobbit shifts the shattered arm ("Just so, there now…") a fist the size of a melon closes on his throat; a sharp nail digs into the soft flesh beneath his jaw. The Uruk watches him with ruby eyes.
Ponies have no hands but still they kick. Dogs will bite when they are frightened. Shep looks into those crimson depths and clucks, speaks with quiet firmness. "Steady on," he tells the Uruk. "Easy…" He places his own small hands over that of the monster gripping him, detaches it one talon at a time.
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