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“Gwen is very well,” she said, curtly.

“Ah, one hears so much gossip. Roxton is full of tattlers. I am often astonished by the strange tales I hear.”

She flashed a smiling yet eloquent look into her rival’s eyes,

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and was rewarded by the sudden rush of color that spread over Catherine Murchison’s face. Mrs. Betty exulted inwardly. The shaft had flown true, she thought, and had transfixed the conscience of the originator of the Pennington scandal.

“Please remember me to your husband, Mrs. Murchison,” and she passed on with a glitter of the eyes and a graceful lifting of the 长沙桑拿水会chin, feeling that she had challenged her rival and seen her quail.

But Catherine was thinking of that frosty night in March when she had found her husband drink drugged in his study.
CHAPTER VI
A doctor’s life is not lightly to be envied. Like a traveller in a half-barbarous country, he must be prepared for all emergencies, trusting to his own mother-wit and the resourcefulness of his manhood. He may be challenged from cock-crow until midnight to do battle with every physical ill that affects humanity on earth, and to act as arbiter between life and death. The common functions of existence are hardly granted him; he is a species of supramundane creature to whom sleep and food are scarcely considered vital. However critical the strain, he must never slacken, never show temper when pestered by the old women of the sick-room, 长沙桑拿哪里最好 never lose the suggestion of sympathy. People will run to catch him “at his dinner-长沙桑拿会所哪里最好 hour,” poor wretch, and drag him from bed to discover that some fat old gentleman has eaten too much crab. Of all men he must appear the most infallible, the most assured and resolute of philosophers. He walks on the edge of a precipice, for the glory of a thousand triumphs may be swallowed up in the blunder of a day.

The responsibilities of such a life are heavy, and may be said to increase with the sensitiveness of the practitioner’s conscience. The man of heart and of ideals will give out more of the vital essence than the mere intellectual who works like a marvellous machine. Yet, flow of soul is necessary to true success in the higher spheres of the healing art. There is a vast difference between the mere chemist who mixes tinctures in a 长沙桑拿洗浴论坛交流 bottle, and the psychologist whose personality suggests the cure that he wishes to 长沙桑拿按摩一条龙 complete.

James Murchison was a practitioner of the higher type, a man who wrestled Jacob-like with problems, and took his responsibilities to heart. He was no clever automaton, no perfunctory juggler with the woes and sufferings of his fellows. Life touched him at every turn, and there was none of the cynical adroitness of the mere materialist about Murchison. He worked both with his heart and with his head, a man whose mingled strength and humility made him beloved by those who knew him best.

The winter’s work had been unusually heavy, and the burden of it had not lightened with the spring. Murchison enjoyed the grappling of difficulties, that keen tautness of the intellect that vibrates to necessity. Strong as he was, the strain of the winter’s 长沙桑拿论坛 work had told on him, and his wife, ever watchful, had seen that he was spending himself 长沙桑拿洗浴 too fast. Interminable night work, the rush of the crowded hours, and hurried meals, grind down the toughest constitution. Murchison was not a man to confess easily to exhaustion, possessing the true tenacity of the Saxon, the spirit that will not realize the nearness of defeat. It was only by constant pleading that Catherine persuaded him to consider the wisdom of hiring help. Sleeplessness, the worker’s warning, had troubled her husband as the spring drew on.

One Wednesday evening in May, Murchison came home dead tired and faint for want of food. The day had been rough and stormy, a keen wind whirling the rain in gray sheets across the country, beating the bloom from the apple-trees, and laying Miss Gwen’s proud tulips in red ruin along the borders. Murchison’s visiting-list would have appalled a man of frailer energy and 长沙桑拿哪里好推荐 resolution. The climbing of interminable stairs, the feeling of pulses, and all the accurate minutes of the craft, the interviewing of anxious relatives, slave work in the slums! A premature maternity case had complicated the routine. Murchison looked white and almost hunted when he sat down at last to dinner.

Catherine dismissed the maid and waited on him in person.

“Thanks, dear, this is very sweet of you.”

She bent over him and kissed him on the forehead.

“You look tired to death.”

“Not quite that, dear; I have been rushed off my legs and the flesh is human.”

“Crocker will send a suitable man down in a day or two. He can take the club work off your hands. You have finished for to-night?”

He lay back in his chair, the lines of strain smoothed from his face a little, the driven look less evident in his eyes.

“Only a consultation or two, I hope. I shall get to bed early. Ah, coffee, that is good!”

Catherine played and sang to him in the drawing-room after dinner, with the lamp turned low and a brave fire burning on the hearth. Murchison had run up-stairs to kiss his children, and was lying full length on the sofa when the “detestable bell” broke in upon a slumber song. The inevitable message marred the relaxation of the man’s mind and body, and the tired slave of sick humanity found himself doomed to a night’s watching.

“What is it, dear?”

He had read the note that the maid had brought him.

“No peace for the wicked!” and he almost groaned; “a maternity case. Confound the woman, she might have left me a night’s rest!”

His wife looked anxious, worried for him in her heart.

“How absolutely hateful! Can’t Hicks act for you to-night?”