The Street was very fond of Dr. Ed. It did not always approve of him. It

said--which was perfectly true--that he had sacrificed himself to his

brother's career: that, for the sake of that brilliant young surgeon, Dr.

Ed had done without wife and children; that to send him abroad he had saved

and skimped; that he still went shabby and drove the old buggy, while Max

drove about in an automobile coupe. Sidney, not at all of the stuff

martyrs are made of, sat in the scented parlor and, remembering all this,

was ashamed of her rebellion.

"I'm going into a hospital," said Sidney.

Dr. Ed waited. He liked to have all the symptoms before he made a


diagnosis or ventured an opinion. So Sidney, trying to be cheerful, and

quite unconscious of the anxiety in her voice, told her story.

"It's fearfully hard work, of course," he commented, when she had finished.

"So is anything worth while. Look at the way you work!"

Dr. Ed rose and wandered around the room.

"You're too young."

"I'll get older."

"I don't think I like the idea," he said at last. "It's splendid work for

an older woman. But it's life, child--life in the raw. As we get along in

years we lose our illusions--some of them, not all, thank God. But for

you, at your age, to be brought face to face with things as they are, and

not as we want them to be--it seems such an unnecessary sacrifice."

"Don't you think," said Sidney bravely, "that you are a poor person to talk

of sacrifice? Haven't you always, all your life--"

Dr. Ed colored to the roots of his straw-colored hair.

"Certainly not," he said almost irritably. "Max had genius; I

had--ability. That's different. One real success is better than two

halves. Not"--he smiled down at her--"not that I minimize my usefulness.

Somebody has to do the hack-work, and, if I do say it myself, I'm a pretty

good hack."

"Very well," said Sidney. "Then I shall be a hack, too. Of course, I had

thought of other things,--my father wanted me to go to college,--but I'm

strong and willing. And one thing I must make up my mind to, Dr. Ed; I

shall have to support my mother."

Harriet passed the door on her way in to a belated supper. The man in the

parlor had a momentary glimpse of her slender, sagging shoulders, her thin

face, her undisguised middle age.

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