Sidney went into the operating-room late in the spring as the result of a

conversation between the younger Wilson and the Head.

"When are you going to put my protegee into the operating-room?" asked

Wilson, meeting Miss Gregg in a corridor one bright, spring afternoon.

"That usually comes in the second year, Dr. Wilson."

He smiled down at her. "That isn't a rule, is it?"

"Not exactly. Miss Page is very young, and of course there are other girls

who have not yet had the experience. But, if you make the request--"

"I am going to have some good cases soon. I'll not make a request, of

course; but, if you see fit, it would be good training for Miss Page."


Miss Gregg went on, knowing perfectly that at his next operation Dr. Wilson

would expect Sidney Page in the operating-room. The other doctors were not

so exigent. She would have liked to have all the staff old and settled,

like Dr. O'Hara or the older Wilson. These young men came in and tore

things up.

She sighed as she went on. There were so many things to go wrong. The

butter had been bad--she must speak to the matron. The sterilizer in the

operating-room was out of order--that meant a quarrel with the chief

engineer. Requisitions were too heavy--that meant going around to the

wards and suggesting to the head nurses that lead pencils and bandages and

adhesive plaster and safety-pins cost money.

It was particularly inconvenient to move Sidney just then. Carlotta

Harrison was off duty, ill. She had been ailing for a month, and now she

was down with a temperature. As the Head went toward Sidney's ward, her

busy mind was playing her nurses in their wards like pieces on a


Sidney went into the operating-room that afternoon. For her blue uniform,

kerchief, and cap she exchanged the hideous operating-room garb: long,

straight white gown with short sleeves and mob-cap, gray-white from many

sterilizations. But the ugly costume seemed to emphasize her beauty, as

the habit of a nun often brings out the placid saintliness of her face.

The relationship between Sidney and Max had reached that point that occurs

in all relationships between men and women: when things must either go

forward or go back, but cannot remain as they are. The condition had

existed for the last three months. It exasperated the man.

As a matter of fact, Wilson could not go ahead. The situation with

Carlotta had become tense, irritating. He felt that she stood ready to

block any move he made. He would not go back, and he dared not go forward.

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