A Poor Wise Man (Chapter 46)

 
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Chapter 46 : Page 1 of 6

Doctor Smalley was by way of achieving a practice. During his morning and evening office hours he had less and less time to read the papers and the current magazines in his little back office, or to compare the month's earnings, visit by visit, with the same month of the previous year.

He took to making his hospital rounds early in the morning, rather to the outrage of various head nurses, who did not like the staff to come a-visiting until every counterpane was drawn stiff and smooth, every bed corner a geometrical angle, every patient washed and combed and temperatured, and in the exact center of the bed.

Interns were different. They were like husbands. They came and went, seeing things at their worst as well as at their best, but mostly at their worst. Like husbands, too, they developed a sort of philosophy as to the early morning, and would only make occasional remarks, such as: "Cyclone struck you this morning, or anything?"

Doctor Smalley, being a bachelor, was entirely blind to the early morning deficiencies of his wards. Besides, he was young and had had a cold shower and two eggs and various other things, and he saw the world at eight A.M. as a good place. He would get into his little car, whistling, and driving through the market square he would sometimes stop and buy a bag of apples for the children's ward, or a bunch of fall flowers. Thus armed, it was impossible for the most austere of head nurses to hate him.

 
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