“Mary,” Rachael said quickly, “I want you to help me. Pack some clothes for the boys and me, and give them some luncheon. We are going down to Clark’s Hills on the two o’clock train—”
“My God! Mrs. Gregory, you look very bad, my dear!” said Mary.
The unconscious endearment, the shock and concern visible on Mary’s homely, honest face were too much for Rachael. Her face changed to ivory, she put one hand to her throat, and her lips quivered.
“Help me—some coffee—Mary!” she whispered. “I think—I’m dying!”
Warren went to the hospital and performed his operation. It was a long, hard strain for all concerned, and the nurses told each other afterward that you could see Doctor Gregory’s heart was in it, he looked as bad as the child’s father and mother did. It was after one o’clock when the surgeons got out of their white gowns, and Warren was in the cold, watery sunlight of the street before he realized that he had had nothing to eat since his dinner in Albany last night.
He looked about vaguely; there were plenty of places all about where he could get a meal. He saw Magsie—
Magsie often drove about in hansom-cabs—they were one of her delights; and more than once of late she had come to meet Warren at some hospital, or even to pick him up at the club. But this was the first time that she had done so without prearrangement.
She leaned out of the cab, a picture of youth and beauty, and waved a white glove. How did she know he was in here? she echoed his question. He had written her from Albany that he would operate at Doctor Berry’s hospital this morning she reminded him. And where was he going now?
“I’m awfully worried this morning, honey-girl,” said Warren, “and I can’t stop to play with nice little Magsies in new blue dresses! My head is blazing, and I believe I’ll go home—”
“When did you get in, and where did you have breakfast?” she asked with pretty concern. “Greg, you’ve not had any? Oh, I believe he hasn’t had any! And it’s after one, and you’ve been operating! Get straight in—”
“No, dear!” he smiled as she moved to one side of the seat, and packed her thin skirts neatly under her, “not to-day! I’ll—”
“Warren Gregory!” said Magsie sternly, “you get right straight in here, and come and have your breakfast! Now, what’s nearest? The Biltmore!” She poked the upper door with her slim umbrella. “To the Biltmore!” commanded Magsie.
At a quiet table Warren had coffee and eggs and toast, and more coffee, and finally his cigar. The color came back into his face, and he looked less tired.