The hot August days dragged on. Merciless sunlight beat in through the

slatted shutters of ward windows. At night, from the roof to which the

nurses retired after prayers for a breath of air, lower surrounding roofs

were seen to be covered with sleepers. Children dozed precariously on the

edge of eternity; men and women sprawled in the grotesque postures of


There was a sort of feverish irritability in the air. Even the nurses,

stoically unmindful of bodily discomfort, spoke curtly or not at all. Miss

Dana, in Sidney's ward, went down with a low fever, and for a day or so

Sidney and Miss Grange got along as best they could. Sidney worked like


two or more, performed marvels of bed-making, learned to give alcohol baths

for fever with the maximum of result and the minimum of time, even made

rounds with a member of the staff and came through creditably.

Dr. Ed Wilson had sent a woman patient into the ward, and his visits were

the breath of life to the girl.

"How're they treating you?" he asked her, one day, abruptly.

"Very well."

"Look at me squarely. You're pretty and you're young. Some of them will

try to take it out of you. That's human nature. Has anyone tried it yet?"

Sidney looked distressed.

"Positively, no. It's been hot, and of course it's troublesome to tell me

everything. I--I think they're all very kind."

He reached out a square, competent hand, and put it over hers.

"We miss you in the Street," he said. "It's all sort of dead there since

you left. Joe Drummond doesn't moon up and down any more, for one thing.

What was wrong between you and Joe, Sidney?"

"I didn't want to marry him; that's all."

"That's considerable. The boy's taking it hard."

Then, seeing her face:-"But you're right, of course. Don't marry anyone unless you can't live

without him. That's been my motto, and here I am, still single."

He went out and down the corridor. He had known Sidney all his life.

During the lonely times when Max was at college and in Europe, he had

watched her grow from a child to a young girl. He did not suspect for a

moment that in that secret heart of hers he sat newly enthroned, in a glow

of white light, as Max's brother; that the mere thought that he lived in

Max's house (it was, of course Max's house to her), sat at Max's breakfast

table, could see him whenever he wished, made the touch of his hand on hers

a benediction and a caress.

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