a chair and began to describe his
symptoms. Dr. O'Keefe listened
with his lips pursed and the fin
gers of his right hand pressed
against those of his left.
"You say your head aches
often?" the doctor asked.
"Yes, right here," answered the
visitor, and O'Keefe rose and
gently moved his fingers to the
"A shooting pain a sort of
gyratingpain ?" he asked.
"Yes," answered Bannon. "Is
it anything serious?"
O'Keefe sat down and wrote
out a prescription, and suddenly
fore it up. "You are not mar
ried?" he asked.
"Not yet," said Bannon, blush
ing. "I hope to be in March."
Dr. O'Keefe arose again and
placed a fatherly hand upon the
young man's shoulder. "Go
home," he said, "and write to her
that you have changed your mind,
and do not want to see her again."
"Why?" said Bannon, feeling
his heart leap and then flutter
"Because you can't liye three
weeks," answered the specialist.
"That pain is Gurlick's convolu
tion It means atrophy of the
breathing center. When the cor
tex is invaded you will drop just
drop. -You will know nothing.
There is no hope I "may as well
be frank, with you. You will live
not less than 17 days, and not
more than 23."
Bannon got up and faced the
specialist. He was breathing
heavily. "You've got it figured
out accurately, doctor?" he said. ,
"Yes. Banta and Gurlkk com
piled a table of mortality from
this rare disease. ""No, there is no
possibility of a mistake. Ten dol
lars, please and, my deaf fellow
go home and write'that letter." T
Bannon did not write that let
ter It was not that he doubtecf,
but he preferred to die truthfully
and not like a liar. He did not
think Marian would want to think
him disloyal. And then famous
as O'Keefe undoubtedly was,
even the shrewdest doctor some
times erred. So he said' nothing,
-but he went on working overtime-,
because the time was so short
now that nothing mattered very
So the-days crept' on, '-the Week
wentvjound, the second began,
and ran.tojjts close. He had now
from three to nine days to live.
Yet the pain seemed an insigni
ficant thing, certainly no worse.
It was a mere headache surely
O'Keefe was wrong! Sometimes
he could not feel it at all. And
yet, under the cap of the skull
that deadly wasting was continu
ing, eating away towards the cor
tex of Gurlick. Then it would
reach it and he would drop he
would just cease to breathe. The
thought of Marian bereft turned
him sick at night.
"Dearest, what did the doctor
say?" she asked. And he put her
off with some triviality. But he
could not entirely h,ide his fears
from her, arid she watched him
with increasing concern.
The third week ended. The
twenty-second day went by. On
the next Bannon felt better than
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