Jimmy’s nurse quite fell in love with Edith.
“She is such a sweet girl,” she said, “and always so cheerful. She is going to make some one a mighty good wife,” and she smiled knowingly at Jimmy.
The suggestion which her words implied came to Jimmy as a distinct shock. He had never thought of Edith Hudson in the light of this suggestion, and now he wondered if there could be any such sentiment as it implied in Edith’s heart, but finally he put the idea away with a shrug.
“Impossible,” he thought. “She thinks of me as I think of her, only as a good friend.”
In the toils.
At the office of the International Machine Company the work of the C.P.A.’s was drawing to a close. Their report would soon be ready to submit to Mr. Compton, and as the time approached Bince’s nervousness and irritability increased. Edith noticed that he inquired each day with growing solicitude as to the reports from the hospital relative to Jimmy’s condition. She knew that Bince disliked Jimmy, and yet the man seemed strangely anxious for his recovery and return to work.
In accordance with Jimmy’s plan, the C.P.A.’s were to give out no information to any one, even to Mr. Compton, until their investigation and report were entirely completed. This plan had been approved by Mr. Compton, although he professed to be at considerable loss to understand why it was necessary. It was, however, in accordance with Jimmy’s plan to prevent, if possible, any interference with the work of the auditors until every available fact in the case had been ascertained and recorded.
In the investigation of the pay-roll Bince had worked diligently with the accountants. As a matter of fact, he had never left them a moment while the pay-roll records were in their hands, and had gone to much pain to explain in detail every question arising therefrom.
Although the investigators seemed to accept his statements at their face value, the assistant general manager was far from being assured that their final report would redound to his credit.
On a Thursday they informed him that they had completed their investigation, and the report would be submitted to Mr. Compton on Saturday.
When Edith reached the hospital that evening she found Jimmy in high spirits. He was dressed for the first time, and assured her that he was quite able to return to work if the doctor would let him, but the nurse shook her head. “You ought to stay here for another week or ten days,” she admonished him.
“Nothing doing,"’ cried Jimmy. “I’ll be out of here Monday at the latest.” But when Edith told him that the C.P.A.’s had finished, and that their report would be handed in Saturday, Jimmy announced that he would leave the hospital the following day.
“But you can’t do it,” said the nurse.