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Newspaper Page Text
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Nurse Ray to Nurse Rensham indig
nantly, the next morning.
"At least, she ought to have been
"She doesn't know!"
The other looked at her scornfully.
"Of course she knows. She's waiting
to learn the result of the operation."
She came that afternoon, a tall,
proud-looking beauty, asking for the
little gentleman. She had just learn
ed, she said, that he had undergone
an operation. She did not know what
it was. He was a friend of hers
she was distressed.
Nurse Rensham took her apart.
Women can be cruder to each other
than men when it is needful, and
Nurse Rensham thought Edith Car
stairs was a hypocrite. She broke the
news to her with a few burning words
that made Edith Carstairs gasp, and
then shook her into passionate sob
bing. She had not known, she had not
dreamed, she said. She did not know
that the little gentleman had ever
cared for her like that. The nurse
was half convinced.almost convinced
when she took Miss Carstairs to the
little gentleman's bedside for a mo
ment and saw her kneel and press
his white hand to her lips. But she
was not sure.
"He shall never marry her until I
know," Nurse Rensham said.
The little gentleman was the dear
est patient they had ever had in the
hospital. He never complained,
though the pain of the cramped posi
tion ate into the flesh, and muscle
and sinew. After five weeks the sur
geon began to talk of taking off the
bandages and uncasing him.
"Nobody knows whether it has
been successful," he told Miss Car
stairs, who had been a regular vis
itor. The two had been loverlike
enough, but Nurse Rensham was still
scornful. "She thinks he will get
well she's waiting," she told her
The morning when the bandages
were to be removed arrived, Nurse
Rensham had said nothing to Miss
Carstairs; she met her at the door. -
"Will you come in here a moment,
please," said, motioning to her to
enter the drug room.
There she told her. The operation
had failed. The little gentleman
would be more hopelessly crppled i
than before. The nurse's face was
white and resolute. Her eyes gleamed K
vindictively. "Now let me see fhat.
mettle you are made of!" she seemed v
to say. 3
Edith Carstairs gasped and reeled ,
back against the wall. Then she
turned and ran swiftly down the pas- t
sage toward the elevator. But Nurse ?
Rensham caught her before shecoukLj
"I knew what you were made of, j
you worthless woman!" she hissed, ,
"You couldn't bear to have the love ,
of a good man because he was crook-i j
ed in body. You have turned from
him now that you know he will al-.j
ways be thus." ' j
Edith Carstairs straightened her-0
self and looked at the nurse with a
new dignity. )
1 ran away uecause iue uiuw j
stunned me!" she answered. "It was
not because I cared for myself. I
cared for him. Can't you under-
stand, can't you realize that a wo4
man who loves a man will never dare
to look upon him in his soul's agony,
because she cannot bear it on his ac
"No. I can't!" answered Nurse s
"Then come with me!" cried Ed
ith Carstairs fiercely.
She seized the nurse by the arm
and almost dragged her into the lit-
tie gentleman's room. 1
"Tell them!" she cried. "Tell them
now, because they doubted my love j
and loyalty. Tell them! See!" 1
She was thrusting something
fiercely upon her finger. It was a
wedding ring. She stood up bravely i
by the bedside, confronting all the,
nurses in the room. "I am his wife'",,
she cried. "I married him before he i