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Newspaper Page Text
was working on a totally different
matter. At last he stood alone before
his medicine chest, where the deadli
est drugs were kept, dispensed only
under his personal supervision.
There he faced his problem squarely.
Dyce had little belief in convention
al morality. He loved Molly and she
him. The man on the bed in the lit
tle room was useless to himself, use
less to the world. Was it right that
two lives, or even three, should be
blighted so-that the man should live
and cumber the earth?
He had mixed the medicine before
his mind was made up. He remem
bered afterward that he was working
in the same automatic manner, and
his brain, cool and singularly clear,
seemed animated by an infernal will
and dominated the situation com
pletely. Slowly he took down a bottle
labeled macinite and set it upon the
table' side by side with the atropin.
They were two .drugs of equal pow
er, but very different power. An in
finitesimal dose of atropin would ex
ercise a certain stimulus on the red
blood corpuscles which might pull the J
paueut tnrougn me'Cnsis 01 ms dis
ease. An equal dosejof the macinite,
too small for post-mortem detection,
would dissolve the corpuscles and
bring about death. In a healthy man
an equal dose of either would produce
no effect whatever.
Dr. Dyce might have told "himself
that it would not be he, but the fever
that would kill the drunkard above.
But he was too honest f or.that
"I am going to kill him," h'e said,
and dropped a drop into a tumbler of
. water. From this he took two drops
and let them fall into the medicine.
He shook the bottle. He went up
stairs. "Two teaspoonfuls in an hour,
nurse," he said to Molly. "Call me if
he shows signs of a change for the
worse. He ought to puU'through,
however, with this atropin."
He lopked down at the race of the
unconscious man. There had not
been the slightest change; he was
breathing slowly and the almost im
perceptible pulse had hardly varied a
He went into his room and lay
down on the sofa. He could not
sleep, but, awaiting the summons, he
reviewed his action and justified it,
if vnot in the sight' of God, at least in
that of man. - r
It was nearly two hours later "when
the summonsitame. There, was a
light tap atipfce door. Dyce sprang
to his feet and'opened it Before him
stood the nurse.
"Come at once!"' she whispered
tensely. "I am afraid something is
happening to him, doctor."
He hurried up the stairs and into
the room. A single glance showed
him that the man was dying. The
crisis had come and passed. There
was hardly a flicker of life. At that
instant Dyce was afraid .for the first
time in his life He was afraid that
the dying man would open his eyes
and look at him. He felt his hands
trembling. Molly, beside him, clung
to the foot of the bed and stared at
But the,dying man gave no sign of
recognition. Slowly the remnants of
life faded out The breathing grew
deeper and slower: Once it stopped,
then it began again. It stopped.
There followed long-drawn "sigh.
The man was dead.
And Molly, suddenly overcome,
fainted clean away.
Dyce raised her in his arms and
carried her into the nurses' room. He
told the night superintendent what
had occurred. "She has been over
working;" he said.
"She wouldn't leave the patient
doctor," answered the woman. "She
had your permission, sir."
"Quite right." Bald Dyca -He
worked over Milly until she began to
revive. And now he had again that
singular dread of meeting human
eyes. He could not meet Molly's
eyes when at last they opened and
fixed themselves on his. Though the
girl did not suspect, it almostseemed