"Aye, aye," she would answer--which was, he assured her, the proper
Whether he came up the stairs at once or took his way back to Katie had
depended on whether his tribute for the day was fruit or sweetbreads.
Now that was all over. They were such good friends. He would miss her,
too; but he would have Harriet and Christine and--Max. Back in a circle to
Max, of course.
She insisted, that last evening, on sitting up with him until midnight
ushered in Christmas Day. Christine and Palmer were out; Harriet, having
presented Sidney with a blouse that had been left over in the shop from the
autumn's business, had yawned herself to bed.
When the bells announced midnight, Sidney roused with a start. She realized
that neither of them had spoken, and that K.'s eyes were fixed on her. The
little clock on the shelf took up the burden of the churches, and struck
the hour in quick staccato notes.
Sidney rose and went over to K., her black dress in soft folds about her.
"He is born, K."
"He is born, dear."
She stooped and kissed his cheek lightly.
Christmas Day dawned thick and white. Sidney left the little house at six,
with the street light still burning through a mist of falling snow.
The hospital wards and corridors were still lighted when she went on duty
at seven o'clock. She had been assigned to the men's surgical ward, and went
there at once. She had not seen Carlotta Harrison since her mother's
death; but she found her on duty in the surgical ward. For the second time
in four months, the two girls were working side by side.
Sidney's recollection of her previous service under Carlotta made her
nervous. But the older girl greeted her pleasantly.
"We were all sorry to hear of your trouble," she said. "I hope we shall
get on nicely."
Sidney surveyed the ward, full to overflowing. At the far end two cots had
"The ward is heavy, isn't it?"
"Very. I've been almost mad at dressing hour. There are three of us--you,
myself, and a probationer."
The first light of the Christmas morning was coming through the windows.
Carlotta put out the lights and turned in a business-like way to her
"The probationer's name is Wardwell," she said. "Perhaps you'd better help
her with the breakfasts. If there's any way to make a mistake, she makes
It was after eight when Sidney found Johnny Rosenfeld.
"You here in the ward, Johnny!" she said.