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"You ask me a question no mortal can answer."

"I know. But the probabilities?" "That depends upon your constitution and mental equipoise, and the care you give yourself. It may be ten years, or it may be three months."

"Three months." He went off in one of his fits of abstraction, giving me leisure to study his face, There was a subtle change in his mouth, that most expressive feature, so far as suffering is concerned. He was evidently enduring great physical or mental pain. And was he altogether as indiffer"Three ent to his fate as he seemed? months-not a long time. Well, I can adjust myself to that, too, if necessary."

"It is not necessary. You are too sensible to fix a time which must be uncertain." "Time is of little consequence. It is not even essential 'to be, or not to be.' I don't know of anything that is worth a prolonged struggle."

Better labor for her bread all her days.
Really, I cannot see that either of us is to
be benefited by what has cost me so much.
If that is success, what is failure?"

"Who then is successful?"

"No one. I have bored you long enough," said he, rising. "About this case, I propose to be guided by you in the main. What are your orders?"

"Shut up your ledger; avoid care and
anxiety; stay out of doors; be amused;
and stop studying your case."
"And no medicine?"
"Not at present."

"If I need you, you will come?"



The summer passed, and Tom's vacation likewise. His elastic step and ringing voice told that he came back to his work with a clear liver and a clear brain. But I was

"And yet you have been a successful not prepared for the lively way with which man."

"What do you mean by success?"

"This: A young man starts with some aim-generally to be rich, sometimes to be learned and if after years of persevering toil he attains his object, he is considered successful."

"There are two sides to that, Doctor. A man may succeed and not be successful. Taken as a whole he may have made a contemptible failure."

"That cannot be said of you."

"But it can-just that. I feel like talking, and I will bore you a moment. I began life without a dollar, and now men say I am rich. Well, I shall leave it all soon, and how much better am I, that I have spent anxious days and sleepless nights, and toiled like a slave for what avails me nothing? I have had only what I have consumed. I should have had that any way."

"You have a family?" "Only a daughter, and how much better will it be for her? If she marries, she will get some one who cares more for her money than for herself. If he is rich, he will be either avaricious or a spendthrift. If he is poor, it will spoil him, and they will quarrel.

he threw himself into my den one Monday evening, crying:


Hooray Doctor! Help me exult." "Because you have gone stark mad?" "Nonsense!" ejaculated Tom, plunging his fist into the sofa-cushion as if he were pounding an adversary.

"What then? Explain, or I'll have you in a strait-jacket."

"Hold on, old Crusty !”—and Tom swung himself around, dropping his feet on the floor and his hands in his pockets, and look"I verily ing me in the face, said soberly: believe I am getting the best of mine enemy."

“An unfair advantage, no doubt." "How sympathetic! It makes me feel like turning my heart inside out for your inspection."

"Don't do that, Tom; don't. Leave me a little faith in human nature."

"What's the matter with you, old fellow? Has one of your best families called in a brother physician?"

"Tell me about your enemy, Tom."

"Perhaps I ought not to call him an enemy, since, strictly speaking, he may not be mine enemy at all."

"Worse and worse. You would have me exult because you are getting the best of your friend?"

It had been a cold, rainy November day. Toward night the cold increased. The rain froze as it fell, coating walks, trees and fences with ice; and by dark it changed to a fierce, driving sleet that neither man nor beast could face with any degree of equanimity.

"There, Jack," said I, as we drove up to the office door, "Put up the mare. She shall not go out again to-night for love or money." And getting out of my envelopes, I gave myself over to sister Mary, to be comforted by her ministrations, for I had been surprised by that New England nuisance, an influenza.

An hour later, thoroughly warmed and refreshed, and as comfortable as such a cold will permit any one to be, I fell asleep in my chair, only to be aroused by Jack, with, "Doctor, there's a woman in the office, and she will see you."

I groaned as I lifted my sore head, and wished that I had been born anything but a Doctor.

"Neither can I call him exactly a friend, this heathen of mine. It is singular what an antagonism, a vindictiveness that man arouses in me, as if he had done me or mine a mortal injury. Of course I know that he has done nothing of that sort. On the contrary, he has ever treated me, personally, with the utmost consideration. And perhaps I ought to be grateful for his constant attendance on the Sabbath, and the liberal price he pays for his pew. And there are times when I feel that he is one of the sheep committed to my care, and desire that he should hear the great Master's voice, and follow in his steps. It argues ill for my Christianity, that I should harbor any but the kindest feelings towards any one, and especially towards a man who has done me no harm. While I was away this summer, I took myself in hand for this, and came home resolved to feel that he is in a sense my brother, whom I am under bonds to consider, love and spend myself for, with cheerfulness. And, strange to say, the very first Sabbath after my return, I detected a change in the man's face, as if he were a little less sure that he was entirely right, and I entirely wrong. Probably you will say that it is all in my imagination, or in something I had for my supper the night before. But I know there is a change in the man, and no slight change either. It was My vexation cooled a little, and I heard more than ever perceptible yesterday. He the wind shaking the blinds and the sleet looked worn and troubled, and his eyes fell dashing furiously against the windows, and every time they met mine-a thing that remembered that for the love of somebody, never happened before; and the latter part a woman had faced this bitter storm; and of the service he was ill at ease, and could it fell quite to zero as, entering the office, I not look me in the face." saw standing by the stove a slight figure enveloped in a dripping water-proof cloak. "Good evening, Madam."

"How modest we are. The man was sick or tired; or, perhaps, you were not as interesting as usual." Of course Tom knew nothing of my professional relations with Mr. Dyer.

"Who is it, Jack?"

"No one I ever saw before. And how she got here in this storm is a conundrum.” "Somebody's baby has a colic, and its mother don't know enough to give it a little hot water," I muttered, hoisting myself to my unwilling feet.

"You won't go out to-night?" questioned Mary, as I turned to go down to the office. "Not for all Hartford."

"Good evening, Doctor," and she came towards me, pushing, with a dainty ungloved hand, the wet water-proof hood from her head. It was a young, healthy face, and a well poised head. No bad blood, no weak spine there. She searched my face with large, serious eyes, as a tremendous blast For several weeks I heard no more of spent itself against the house, and I reTom's Heathen or my unique patient.

"Be that as it may, I know he is no longer invincible, and has got through riding me like a nightmare. Hence, I exult. Such is poor human nature."


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But I repented before I was half way to Column avenue, for the sleet drove spitefully in my face, blinding me effectually; and the wind taking advantage of my breadth of beam and the slippery walk, forced me into a sitting posture more than once. How that slender girl had come and gone over the route before me, passed my comprehension. Tired, breathless, and feeling as if I had within me the whole army of martyrs from Stephen downwards, I clambered up the icy steps.

Instantly the door swung open, and I

This, then, was the daughter to be benefited or otherwise, by his money; the Vassar student Tom supposed a heathen by inheritance. What is the matter with your father stood in a sumptuous hall, bewildered by to-night?" the abrupt transition from the storm and darkness without, to the light and warmth within.

"He is having frightful paroxysms of pain. They have increased in frequency and intensity for several days, till to-day they are almost incessant, and opiates are powerless. He told me that you studied the case for him, and that there is no help, but I am sure there must be a temporary relief." "Chloroform."

"Yes, but I have never seen it administered. If you will come over and give it this time, I may not be obliged to trouble you again."

She saw me hesitate, listening to the storm without, and feeling the aches and pains in my own person, and without moving her beseeching eyes from mine, she added, almost in a whisper, "In the name of Him who suffered for us all, come."

It was a prayer that I could not withstand,and perhaps she knew it; for without waiting for an answer she replaced her hood and hurried out into the storm.

"That woman must be crazy to go out on such a night as this," remarked Jack, struggling to close the door that blew open after her exit.

"I don't know which is the crazier," said I, putting on my arctics with one hand while I held my aching head with the other.

"But Uncle Doctor, you are not going out in this storm, and sick, too?" cried Jack in dismay.

"Bring my heavy overcoat and fur cap, and tell your mother not to wait for me." "Hadn't you better have one of the horses?"


A servant was helping off my wrappings, when a voice at my elbow said:

"You are good to come out to-night," and turning I saw a daintily dressed young girl, looking like serenity itself, waiting for me to speak.

"Was it you who came to the office?" "Yes; only don't tell papa. It might trouble him.”

"How upon earth did you get there and back again?"

"I flew both ways," she answered, with a smile that lit up her face like sunshine.


I believe you, and wish I had the same means of locomotion. Now I will see your father."

We went up the staircase together, and as we reached the upper landing I heard stifled moans from an adjoining room, and following her, stood at her father's bedside.

"Father, father!" she called, bending over him; "the Doctor is here and he will relieve you." He slowly turned his head till his eyes met mine. They were' fierce with fever and deeply sunken, and his pinched nose and drawn lips, told of unutterable suffering. He stretched out a thin, hot hand, saying pluckily:

"Doctor, you see I am down, but if I could get a little rest I would soon be up again."

"Yes," said I, after a moment's examination, and I will see that you get a little rest. You are not afraid of chloroform?"

"Not in the least," and making an effort he continued: "Doctor, this is my daughter Agnes," looking fondly and proudly at the girl still bending over him. "She came home as soon as she learned that I was sick, and allows no one else to nurse me. If you want anything she will get it for you." She looked at me with a smile and a nod, and stood waiting.

I asked for a handkerchief, and as she expressed a desire to know how to administer chloroform in an emergency, and as I was convinced that her intelligence and discretion could be trusted, I gave her minute directions, and saw that she counted his pulse accurately, from ninety down to a little above forty, when I laid aside the handkerchief signing for her to look at him. He had surrendered himself implicitly, having no fears, and had fallen into a deep, quiet sleep. It was pleasant to see the sharp wrinkles fading out of his high forehead, and the tense lines about the mouth relaxing in the absence of pain, even if the counterfeit death took on somewhat startlingly the appearance of reality. For a moment the color forsook her face, and her eyes sharply questioned mine.

"It is all right," I answered, with my finger still on his pulse. "A person under the influence of chloroform will look like that." She was re-assured, and as she turned to him again her face was shadowed by a grave, sad tenderness, and the slight, tremulous motion of the full downcast lids, betrayed the gathering tears, though resolutely suppressed.

"Yes," she answered, raising her head and returning promptly to her surroundings. "Papa likes me best, and surely it is my place."

"How long has he been confined to his bed?"

"Only a few days. He was about the house when I came home. I wished him to call a physician then, but he explained that it was useless." Here she looked at me as if she would ask a question, but instead she went abruptly over to the window, and parting the curtains stood half hidden and quite motionless, apparently listening to the storm.

She seemed to have fallen into one of her father's abstractions, or to have been communing with some unseen presence; for when, after a long silence, she returned to his bedside, there was an air of tender solemnity about her that I was loth to disturb.

"Will he remain in this condition through the night?" she asked at length.

"Probably; but he will need watching, and, perhaps, more chloroform; and as I shall stay with him till morning, you had better go to sleep."

"But you are half sick, and ought to sleep yourself. I did not expect you to do this," said she, regarding me earnestly.

"I am better off here than I should be wandering about the city in this storm. For after my experience in coming over, I am no wise certain that I could find my way home before daylight."

"But you could sleep here."
"No; I prefer to watch him."

"Poor father!" she whispered, without raising her eyes, and as if speaking to her- She went to the next room and drew in a self. "He suffers so much and is so brave! large, easy chair, which she arranged with It seems as if there ought to be some com- cushions and a foot rest till it was more like pensation, and yet I know-" and broke a lounge than a chair. "Take this," she off as if met by a conviction or a doubt that said: "I have passed several nights here, she could not answer. watching father. You will find it comfort"Are you his only nurse?" I asked at able," and bidding me good night, she dislength.



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