He lied, and Dr. Ed knew he lied.
The Lamb stood by the door, and Dr. Ed sat and waited. The office clock
said half after three. Outside the windows, the night world went
by--taxi-cabs full of roisterers, women who walked stealthily close to the
buildings, a truck carrying steel, so heavy that it shook the hospital as
it rumbled by.
Dr. Ed sat and waited. The bag with the dog-collar in it was on the floor.
He thought of many things, but mostly of the promise he had made his
mother. And, having forgotten the injured man's shortcomings, he was
remembering his good qualities--his cheerfulness, his courage, his
achievements. He remembered the day Max had done the Edwardes operation,
and how proud he had been of him. He figured out how old he was--not
thirty-one yet, and already, perhaps--There he stopped thinking. Cold
beads of sweat stood out on his forehead.
"I think I hear them now, sir," said the Lamb, and stood back respectfully
to let him pass out of the door.
Carlotta stayed in the room during the consultation. No one seemed to
wonder why she was there, or to pay any attention to her. The staff was
stricken. They moved back to make room for Dr. Ed beside the bed, and then
closed in again.
Carlotta waited, her hand over her mouth to keep herself from screaming.
Surely they would operate; they wouldn't let him die like that!
When she saw the phalanx break up, and realized that they would not
operate, she went mad. She stood against the door, and accused them of
"Do you think he would let any of you die like that?" she cried. "Die like
a hurt dog, and none of you to lift a hand?"
It was Pfeiffer who drew her out of the room and tried to talk reason and
sanity to her.
"It's hopeless," he said. "If there was a chance, we'd operate, and you
The staff went hopelessly down the stairs to the smoking-room, and smoked.
It was all they could do. The night assistant sent coffee down to them,
and they drank it. Dr. Ed stayed in his brother's room, and said to his
mother, under his breath, that he'd tried to do his best by Max, and that
from now on it would be up to her.
K. had brought the injured man in. The country doctor had come, too,
finding Tillie's trial not imminent. On the way in he had taken it for
granted that K. was a medical man like himself, and had placed his
hypodermic case at his disposal.