"You are almost a foreign type, Miss Harrison. Last year, in a London
ballet, I saw a blonde Spanish girl who looked like you."
"My mother was a Spaniard." She did not look up.
Where Miss Simpson was in the habit of clumping through the morning in
flat, heavy shoes, Miss Harrison's small heels beat a busy tattoo on the
tiled floor. With the rustling of her starched dress, the sound was
essentially feminine, almost insistent. When he had time to notice it, it
amused him that he did not find it annoying.
Once, as she passed him a bistoury, he deliberately placed his fine hand
over her fingers and smiled into her eyes. It was play for him; it
lightened the day's work.
Sidney was in the waiting-room. There had been no tedium in the morning's
waiting. Like all imaginative people, she had the gift of dramatizing
herself. She was seeing herself in white from head to foot, like this
efficient young woman who came now and then to the waiting-room door; she
was healing the sick and closing tired eyes; she was even imagining herself
proposed to by an aged widower with grown children and quantities of money,
one of her patients.
She sat very demurely in the waiting-room with a magazine in her lap, and
told her aged patient that she admired and respected him, but that she had
given herself to the suffering poor.
"Everything in the world that you want," begged the elderly gentleman.
"You should see the world, child, and I will see it again through your
eyes. To Paris first for clothes and the opera, and then--"
"But I do not love you," Sidney replied, mentally but steadily. "In all the
world I love only one man. He is--"
She hesitated here. It certainly was not Joe, or K. Le Moyne of the gas
office. It seem to her suddenly very sad that there was no one she loved.
So many people went into hospitals because they had been disappointed in
"Dr. Wilson will see you now."
She followed Miss Harrison into the consulting room. Dr. Max--not the
gloved and hatted Dr. Max of the Street, but a new person, one she had
never known--stood in his white office, tall, dark-eyed, dark-haired,
competent, holding out his long, immaculate surgeon's hand, and smiling
down at her.
Men, like jewels, require a setting. A clerk on a high stool, poring over
a ledger, is not unimpressive, or a cook over her stove. But place the
cook on the stool, poring over the ledger! Dr. Max, who had lived all his
life on the edge of Sidney's horizon, now, by the simple changing of her
point of view, loomed large and magnificent. Perhaps he knew it. Certainly
he stood very erect. Certainly, too, there was considerable manner in the
way in which he asked Miss Harrison to go out and close the door behind