"The engagement will have to wait. I'm sorry you're ill. If you would

like me to stay with you tonight--"

Carlotta shook her head on her pillow.

"Mercy, no!" she said irritably. "I'm only worn out. I need a rest. Are

you going home to-night?"

"No," Sidney admitted, and flushed.

Nothing escaped Carlotta's eyes--the younger girl's radiance, her

confusion, even her operating room uniform and what it signified. How she

hated her, with her youth and freshness, her wide eyes, her soft red lips!

And this engagement--she had the uncanny divination of fury.


"I was going to ask you to do something for me," she said shortly; "but

I've changed my mind about it. Go on and keep your engagement."

To end the interview, she turned over and lay with her face to the wall.

Sidney stood waiting uncertainly. All her training had been to ignore the

irritability of the sick, and Carlotta was very ill; she could see that.

"Just remember that I am ready to do anything I can, Carlotta," she said.

"Nothing will--will be a trouble."

She waited a moment, but, receiving no acknowledgement of her offer, she

turned slowly and went toward the door.


She went back to the bed.

"Yes. Don't sit up, Carlotta. What is it?"

"I'm frightened!"

"You're feverish and nervous. There's nothing to be frightened about."

"If it's typhoid, I'm gone."

"That's childish. Of course you're not gone, or anything like it.

Besides, it's probably not typhoid."

"I'm afraid to sleep. I doze for a little, and when I waken there are

people in the room. They stand around the bed and talk about me."

Sidney's precious minutes were flying; but Carlotta had gone into a

paroxysm of terror, holding to Sidney's hand and begging not to be left


"I'm too young to die," she would whimper. And in the next breath: "I want

to die--I don't want to live!"

The hands of the little watch pointed to eight-thirty when at last she lay

quiet, with closed eyes. Sidney, tiptoeing to the door, was brought up

short by her name again, this time in a more normal voice:-"Sidney."

"Yes, dear."

"Perhaps you are right and I'm going to get over this."

"Certainly you are. Your nerves are playing tricks with you to-night."

"I'll tell you now why I sent for you."

"I'm listening."

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