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one woman's life might he not
have gratuitously given this
much to save another? After an
inappreciable interval the sur
geon began his work- Hartridge
felt the momentary sting of the
lancet; he saw the other doctor's
head over the top of the screen as
he perfermed the same service
"Now be comfortable," said Dr.
Briggs. And he lay back on the
table, his head on the small pil
low, watching the screen with all
his eyes. Through a small orifice
below the linen barrier a tiny tube
had been passed.
He felt comfortable His mind,
more active than was its wont,
recurred incessantly to the wom
. an not a cubit distant, so near
that once his hand touched hers,
with only the frail linen barrier
between them. The money had
now become a hideous menace to
his. peace of mind, robbing him at
once of his self-esteem, so much
as was left of it, and of his chance
of making reparation for his sin.
He must refuse it. He must tell
the surgeon instantly. He tried
to speak to him, but there was an
uncanny . silence in the room
which he did not dare disturb.
Something had gone wrong with
the lights, too, for all had gone
out except a tiny globe in one cor
ner, which burned with a strange
sputtering sound that seemed to
keep time with the beating of his
heart. And all this sacrifice was
vain, for he was selling his soul
-selling his right to reparation
for five hundred dollars. He must
stop the operation and make a
new bargain. He found his voice
at last and shouted, but the light
was roaring like a dynamo and
the sound drowned his cries. He
wrenched his' arm away and
"How are you feeling?" asked
He opened his eyes. He was
back in his bed and the daylight
was streaming in through the
open window near his head. He
looked at her, astonished, uncer
tain. "You fainted," she explained.
"People generally do. But you'll
be all right in a little while. It's
only ten minutes since they
brought you back."
"But the operation ?"
"I didn't do anything? Didn't
I shout or struggle?"
"Indeed no. You lay still as
you could be and never opened
your mouth. And you ought to
have seen her ; she became just as
strong as you were weak. Why,
she wanted to walk back from the
operating table and she's been
in bed four weeks, unable even to
sit up with a pillow at her back."
Hartridge was silent for awhile.
"Nurse," he said presently, "do
you do you think she would see
me before she goes?"
"Why?" asked the nurse blunt
ly. "That's never allowed, Mr.
Hartridge. She wasn't allowed to
see you on the table they threw
a blanket over you. If you'll think
a little you'll understand that
that's the only thing possible."
"But if she wanted to " he fal
tered. "Well, of course, in that case
I suppose she could. But why do