"None whatever, Max dear." She had looked at him with level, understanding


He put the disagreeable recollection out of his mind as he parked his car

and made his way to his office. Here would be people who believed in him,

from the middle-aged nurse in her prim uniform to the row of patients

sitting stiffly around the walls of the waiting-room. Dr. Max, pausing in

the hall outside the door of his private office, drew a long breath. This

was the real thing--work and plenty of it, a chance to show the other men

what he could do, a battle to win! No humanitarian was he, but a fighter:

each day he came to his office with the same battle lust.


The office nurse had her back to him. When she turned, he faced an

agreeable surprise. Instead of Miss Simpson, he faced a young and

attractive girl, faintly familiar.

"We tried to get you by telephone," she explained. "I am from the

hospital. Miss Simpson's father died this morning, and she knew you would

have to have some one. I was just starting for my vacation, so they sent


"Rather a poor substitute for a vacation," he commented.

She was a very pretty girl. He had seen her before in the hospital, but he

had never really noticed how attractive she was. Rather stunning she was,

he thought. The combination of yellow hair and dark eyes was unusual. He

remembered, just in time, to express regret at Miss Simpson's bereavement.

"I am Miss Harrison," explained the substitute, and held out his long white

coat. The ceremony, purely perfunctory with Miss Simpson on duty, proved

interesting, Miss Harrison, in spite of her high heels, being small and the

young surgeon tall. When he was finally in the coat, she was rather

flushed and palpitating.

"But I KNEW your name, of course," lied Dr. Max. "And--I'm sorry about the


After that came work. Miss Harrison was nimble and alert, but the surgeon

worked quickly and with few words, was impatient when she could not find

the things he called for, even broke into restrained profanity now and

then. She went a little pale over her mistakes, but preserved her dignity

and her wits. Now and then he found her dark eyes fixed on him, with

something inscrutable but pleasing in their depths. The situation was:

rather piquant. Consciously he was thinking only of what he was doing.

Subconsciously his busy ego was finding solace after last night's rebuff.

Once, during the cleaning up between cases, he dropped to a personality.

He was drying his hands, while she placed freshly sterilized instruments on

a glass table.

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