“Eh?” cried the Senior Surgeon with a jump. “What? Is this an Insane Asylum? Is it a Nervine?” Madly he started for the door. “Order a ton of bromides!” he called back over his shoulder. “Order a car-load of them! Saturate the whole place with them! Drown the whole damned place!”
Half way down the lower hall, all his nerves on edge, all his unwonted boyish impulsiveness quenched noxiously like a candle flame, he met and passed Rae Malgregor without a sign of recognition.
“God! How I hate women!” he kept mumbling to himself as he struggled clumsily all alone into the torn sleeve lining of his thousand dollar mink coat.
Like a train-traveler coming out of a long, smoky, smothery tunnel Into the clean-tasting light, the White Linen Nurse came out of the prudish-smelling hospital into the riotous mud-and-posie promise of the young April afternoon.
The God of Hysteria had certainly not deserted her! In all the full effervescent reaction of her brain-storm,—fairly bubbling with dimples, fairly foaming with curls,—light-footed, light-hearted, most ecstatically light-headed, she tripped down into the sunshine as though the great, harsh, granite steps that marked her descent were nothing more nor less than a gigantic, old, horny-fingered hand passing her blithely out to some deliciously unknown Lilliputian adventure.
As she pranced across the soggy April sidewalk to what she supposed was the Senior Surgeon’s perfectly empty automobile she became conscious suddenly that the rear seat of the car was already occupied.
Out from an unseasonable snuggle of sable furs and flaming red hair a small, peevish face peered forth at her with frank curiosity.
“Why, hello!” beamed the White Linen Nurse. “Who are you?”
With unmistakable hostility the haughty little face retreated into its furs and its red hair. “Hush!” commanded a shrill childish voice. “Hush, I say! I’m a cripple—and very bad-tempered. Don’t speak to me!”