By evening Mrs. Page had worked herself into a state bordering on hysteria.

Harriet was out most of the day. She came in at three o'clock, and Katie

gave her a cup of tea. At the news of her sister's condition, she merely

shrugged her shoulders.

"She'll not die, Katie," she said calmly. "But see that Miss Sidney eats

something, and if she is worried tell her I said to get Dr. Ed."

Very significant of Harriet's altered outlook was this casual summoning of

the Street's family doctor. She was already dealing in larger figures. A

sort of recklessness had come over her since the morning. Already she was

learning that peace of mind is essential to successful endeavor. Somewhere


Harriet had read a quotation from a Persian poet; she could not remember

it, but its sense had stayed with her: "What though we spill a few grains

of corn, or drops of oil from the cruse? These be the price of peace."

So Harriet, having spilled oil from her cruse in the shape of Dr. Ed,

departed blithely. The recklessness of pure adventure was in her blood.

She had taken rooms at a rental that she determinedly put out of her mind,

and she was on her way to buy furniture. No pirate, fitting out a ship for

the highways of the sea, ever experienced more guilty and delightful


The afternoon dragged away. Dr. Ed was out "on a case" and might not be in

until evening. Sidney sat in the darkened room and waved a fan over her

mother's rigid form.

At half after five, Johnny Rosenfeld from the alley, who worked for a

florist after school, brought a box of roses to Sidney, and departed

grinning impishly. He knew Joe, had seen him in the store. Soon the alley

knew that Sidney had received a dozen Killarney roses at three dollars and

a half, and was probably engaged to Joe Drummond.

"Dr. Ed," said Sidney, as he followed her down the stairs, "can you spare

the time to talk to me a little while?"

Perhaps the elder Wilson had a quick vision of the crowded office waiting

across the Street; but his reply was prompt: "Any amount of time."

Sidney led the way into the small parlor, where Joe's roses, refused by the

petulant invalid upstairs, bloomed alone.

"First of all," said Sidney, "did you mean what you said upstairs?"

Dr. Ed thought quickly.

"Of course; but what?"

"You said I was a born nurse."

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