The Breaking Point (Chapter 5, page 1 of 6)


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Chapter 5

When he finished medical college Dick Livingstone had found, like other
men, that the two paths of ambition and duty were parallel and did not
meet. Along one lay his desire to focus all his energy in one direction,
to follow disease into the laboratory instead of the sick room, and
there to fight its unsung battles. And win. He felt that he would win.

Along the other lay David.

It was not until he had completed his course and had come home that he
had realized that David was growing old. Even then he might have felt
that, by the time David was compelled to relinquish his hold on his
practice, he himself would be sufficiently established in his specialty
to take over the support of the household. But here there was interposed
a new element, one he had not counted on. David was fiercely jealous of
his practice; the thought that it might pass into new and alien hands
was bitter to him. To hand it down to his adopted son was one thing; to
pass it over to "some young whipper-snapper" was another.

Nor were David's motives selfish or unworthy. His patients were his
friends. He had a sense of responsibility to them, and very little
faith in the new modern methods. He thought there was a great deal of
tomfoolery about them, and he viewed the gradual loss of faith in drugs
with alarm. When Dick wore rubber gloves during their first obstetric
case together he snorted.

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