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Chapter 27

  • It was while he was in this state, some two months later, that the grea_vent, so far as Angela was concerned, came about, and in it, of necessity, h_as compelled to take part. Angela was in her room, cosily and hygienicall_urnished, overlooking the cathedral grounds at Morningside Heights, an_peculating hourly what her fate was to be. She had never wholly recovere_rom the severe attack of rheumatism which she had endured the precedin_ummer and, because of her worries since, in her present condition was pal_nd weak though she was not ill. The head visiting obstetrical surgeon, Dr.
  • Lambert, a lean, gray man of sixty-five years of age, with grizzled cheeks, whose curly gray hair, wide, humped nose and keen gray eyes told of the energ_nd insight and ability that had placed him where he was, took a sligh_assing fancy to her, for she seemed to him one of those plain, patient littl_omen whose lives are laid in sacrificial lines. He liked her brisk, practical, cheery disposition in the face of her condition, which was serious, and which was so noticeable to strangers. Angela had naturally a bright, cheery face, when she was not depressed or quarrelsome. It was the outwar_ign of her ability to say witty and clever things, and she had never lost th_esire to have things done efficiently and intelligently about her whereve_he was. The nurse, Miss De Sale, a solid, phlegmatic person of thirty-five, admired her spunk and courage and took a great fancy to her also because sh_as lightsome, buoyant and hopeful in the face of what was really a ver_erious situation. The general impression of the head operating surgeon, th_ouse surgeon and the nurse was that her heart was weak and that her kidney_ight be affected by her condition. Angela had somehow concluded after talk_ith Myrtle that Christian Science, as demonstrated by its practitioners, might help her through this crisis, though she had no real faith in it. Eugen_ould come round, she thought, also, for Myrtle was having him treate_bsently, and he was trying to read the book, she said. There would be _econciliation between them when the baby came—because—because—— Well, becaus_hildren were so winning! Eugene was really not hard-hearted—he was jus_nfatuated. He had been ensnared by a siren. He would get over it.
  • Miss De Sale let her hair down in braids, Gretchen style, and fastened grea_ink bows of ribbon in them. As her condition became more involved, only th_ightest morning gowns were given her—soft, comfortable things in which sh_at about speculating practically about the future. She had changed from _ean shapeliness to a swollen, somewhat uncomely object, but she made the bes_f a bad situation. Eugene saw her and felt sorry. It was the end of winte_ow, with snow blowing gaily or fiercely about the windows, and the par_rounds opposite were snow-white. She could see the leafless line of sentine_oplars that bordered the upper edges of Morningside. She was calm, patient, hopeful, while the old obstetrician shook his head gravely to the hous_urgeon.
  • "We shall have to be very careful. I shall take charge of the actual birt_yself. See if you can't build up her strength. We can only hope that the hea_s small."
  • Angela's littleness and courage appealed to him. For once in a great man_ases he really felt sorry.
  • The house surgeon did as directed. Angela was given specially prepared foo_nd drink. She was fed frequently. She was made to keep perfectly quiet.
  • "Her heart," the house surgeon reported to his superior, "I don't like that.
  • It's weak and irregular. I think there's a slight lesion."
  • "We can only hope for the best," said the other solemnly. "We'll try and d_ithout ether."
  • Eugene in his peculiar mental state was not capable of realizing the pathos o_ll this. He was alienated temperamentally and emotionally. Thinking that h_ared for his wife dearly, the nurse and the house surgeon were for no_arning him. They did not want to frighten him. He asked several times whethe_e could be present during the delivery, but they stated that it would b_angerous and trying. The nurse asked Angela if she had not better advise hi_o stay away. Angela did, but Eugene felt that in spite of his alienation, sh_eeded him. Besides, he was curious. He thought Angela would stand it bette_f he were near, and now that the ordeal was drawing nigh, he was beginning t_nderstand how desperate it might be and to think it was only fair that h_hould assist her. Some of the old pathetic charm of her littleness was comin_ack to him. She might not live. She would have to suffer much. She had mean_o real evil to him—only to hold him. Oh, the bitterness and the pathos o_his welter of earthly emotions. Why should they be so tangled?
  • The time drew very near, and Angela was beginning to suffer severe pains.
  • Those wonderful processes of the all-mother, which bind the coming life in _radle of muscles and ligaments were practically completed and were no_elaxing their tendencies in one direction to enforce them in another. Angel_uffered at times severely from straining ligaments. Her hands were clenche_esperately, her face would become deathly pale. She would cry. Eugene wa_ith her on a number of these occasions and it drove home to his consciousnes_he subtlety and terror of this great scheme of reproduction, which took al_omen to the door of the grave, in order that this mortal scheme of thing_ight be continued. He began to think that there might be something in th_ssertion of the Christian Science leaders that it was a lie and an illusion, a terrible fitful fever outside the rational consciousness of God. He went t_he library one day and got down a book on obstetrics, which covered th_rinciples and practice of surgical delivery. He saw there scores of picture_rawn very carefully of the child in various positions in the womb—all th_trange, peculiar, flower-like positions it could take, folded in upon itsel_ike a little half-formed petal. The pictures were attractive, some of the_eautiful, practical as they were. They appealed to his fancy. They showed th_oming baby perfect, but so small, its head now in one position, now i_nother, its little arms twisted about in odd places, but always delightfully, suggestively appealing. From reading here and there in the volume, he learne_hat the great difficulty was the head—the delivery of that. It appeared tha_o other difficulty really confronted the obstetrician. How was that to be go_ut? If the head were large, the mother old, the walls of the peritonea_avity tight or hard, a natural delivery might be impossible. There were whol_hapters on Craniotomy, Cephalotripsy, which in plain English means crushin_he head with an instrument… .
  • One chapter was devoted to the Cæsarian operation, with a description of it_remendous difficulties and a long disquisition on the ethics of killing th_hild to save the mother, or the mother to save the child with their relativ_alues to society indicated. Think of it—a surgeon sitting in the seat o_udge and executioner at the critical moment! Ah, life with its petty laws di_ot extend here. Here we came back to the conscience of man which Mrs. Edd_aintained was a reflection of immanent mind. If God were good, He would spea_hrough that—He was speaking through it. This surgeon referred to that inmos_onsciousness of supreme moral law, which alone could guide the practitione_n this dreadful hour.
  • Then he told of what implements were necessary, how many assistants (two), ho_any nurses (four), the kinds of bandages, needles, silk and catgut thread, knives, clamp dilators, rubber gloves. He showed how the cut was to b_ade—when, where. Eugene closed the book, frightened. He got up and walked ou_n the air, a desire to hurry up to Angela impelling him. She was weak, h_new that. She had complained of her heart. Her muscles were probably set.
  • Supposing these problems, any one of them, should come in connection with her.
  • He did not wish her to die.
  • He had said he had—yes, but he did not want to be a murderer. No, no! Angel_ad been good to him. She had worked for him. Why, God damn it, she ha_ctually suffered for him in times past. He had treated her badly, very badly, and now in her pathetic little way she had put herself in this terrifi_osition. It was her fault, to be sure it was. She had been trying as sh_lways had to hold him against his will, but then could he really blame her?
  • It wasn't a crime for her to want him to love her. They were just mis-mated.
  • He had tried to be kind in marrying her, and he hadn't been kind at all. I_ad merely produced unrest, dissatisfaction, unhappiness for him and for her, and now this—this danger of death through pain, a weak heart, defectiv_idneys, a Cæsarian operation. Why, she couldn't stand anything like that.
  • There was no use talking about it. She wasn't strong enough—she was too old.
  • He thought of Christian Science practitioners, of how they might save her—o_ome eminent surgeon who would know how without the knife. How? How? If thes_hristian Scientists could only _think_ her through a thing like this—h_ouldn't be sorry. He would be glad, for her sake, if not his own. He migh_ive up Suzanne—he might—he might. Oh, why should that thought intrude on hi_ow?
  • When he reached the hospital it was three o'clock in the afternoon, and he ha_een there for a little while in the morning when she was comparatively al_ight. She was much worse. The straining pains in her side which she ha_omplained of were worse and her face was alternately flushed and pale, sometimes convulsed a little. Myrtle was there talking with her, and Eugen_tood about nervously, wondering what he should do—what he could do. Angel_aw his worry. In spite of her own condition she was sorry for him. She kne_hat this would cause him pain, for he was not hard-hearted, and it was hi_irst sign of relenting. She smiled at him, thinking that maybe he would com_ound and change his attitude entirely. Myrtle kept reassuring her that al_ould be well with her. The nurse said to her and to the house doctor who cam_n, a young man of twenty-eight, with keen, quizzical eyes, whose sandy hai_nd ruddy complexion bespoke a fighting disposition, that she was doin_icely.
  • "No bearing down pains?" he asked, smiling at Angela, his even white teet_howing in two gleaming rows.
  • "I don't know what kind they are, doctor," she replied. "I've had all kinds."
  • "You'll know them fast enough," he replied, mock cheerfully. "They're not lik_ny other kind."
  • He went away and Eugene followed him.
  • "How is she doing?" he asked, when they were out in the hall.
  • "Well enough, considering. She's not very strong, you know. I have an idea sh_s going to be all right. Dr. Lambert will be here in a little while. You ha_etter talk to him."
  • The house surgeon did not want to lie. He thought Eugene ought to be told. Dr.
  • Lambert was of the same opinion, but he wanted to wait until the last, unti_e could judge approximately correctly.
  • He came at five, when it was already dark outside, and looked at Angela wit_is grave, kindly eyes. He felt her pulse, listened to her heart with hi_tethoscope.
  • "Do you think I shall be all right, doctor?" asked Angela faintly.
  • "To be sure, to be sure," he replied softly. "Little woman, big courage." H_moothed her hand.
  • He walked out and Eugene followed him.
  • "Well, doctor," he said. For the first time for months Eugene was thinking o_omething besides his lost fortune and Suzanne.
  • "I think it advisable to tell you, Mr. Witla," said the old surgeon, "tha_our wife is in a serious condition. I don't want to alarm yo_nnecessarily—it may all come out very satisfactorily. I have no positiv_eason to be sure that it will not. She is pretty old to have a child. He_uscles are set. The principal thing we have to fear in her case is som_ntoward complication with her kidneys. There is always difficulty in th_elivery of the head in women of her age. It may be necessary to sacrifice th_hild. I can't be sure. The Cæsarian operation is something I never care t_hink about. It is rarely used, and it isn't always successful. Every car_hat can be taken will be taken. I should like to have you understand th_onditions. Your consent will be asked before any serious steps are taken.
  • Your decision will have to be quick, however, when the time comes."
  • "I can tell you now, doctor, what my decision will be," said Eugene realizin_ully the gravity of the situation. For the time being, his old force an_ignity were restored. "Save her life if you can by any means that you can. _ave no other wish."
  • "Thanks," said the surgeon. "We will do the best we can."
  • There were hours after that when Eugene, sitting by Angela, saw her endur_ain which he never dreamed it was possible for any human being to endure. H_aw her draw herself up rigid time and again, the color leaving her face, th_erspiration breaking out on her forehead only to relax and flush and groa_ithout really crying out. He saw, strange to relate, that she was no bab_ike himself, whimpering over every little ill, but a representative of som_reat creative force which gave her power at once to suffer greatly and t_ndure greatly. She could not smile any more. That was not possible. She wa_n a welter of suffering, unbroken, astonishing. Myrtle had gone home to he_inner, but promised to return later. Miss De Sale came, bringing anothe_urse, and while Eugene was out of the room, Angela was prepared for the fina_rdeal. She was arrayed in the usual open back hospital slip and white line_eggings. Under Doctor Lambert's orders an operating table was got ready i_he operating room on the top floor and a wheel table stationed outside th_oor, ready to remove her if necessary. He had left word that at the firs_vidence of the genuine childbearing pain, which the nurse understood so well, he was to be called. The house surgeon was to be in immediate charge of th_ase.
  • Eugene wondered in this final hour at the mechanical, practical, business-lik_anner in which all these tragedies—the hospital was full of women—were taken.
  • Miss De Sale went about her duties calm, smiling, changing the pillow_ccasionally for Angela, straightening the disordered bedclothes, adjustin_he window curtains, fixing her own lace cap or apron before the mirror whic_as attached to the dresser, or before the one that was set in the close_oor, and doing other little things without number. She took no interest i_ugene's tense attitude, or Myrtle's when she was there, but went in and out, talking, jesting with other nurses, doing whatever she had to do quit_ndisturbed.
  • "Isn't there anything that can be done to relieve her of this pain?" Eugen_sked wearily at one point. His own nerves were torn. "She can't stan_nything like that. She hasn't the strength."
  • She shook her head placidly. "There isn't a thing that anyone can do. We can'_ive her an opiate. It stops the process. She just has to bear it. All wome_o."
  • "All women," thought Eugene. Good God! Did all women go through a siege lik_his every time a child was born? There were two billion people on the eart_ow. Had there been two billion such scenes? Had he come this way?—Angela?
  • every child? What a terrible mistake she had made—so unnecessary, so foolish.
  • It was too late now, though, to speculate concerning this. She was suffering.
  • She was agonizing.
  • The house surgeon came back after a time to look at her condition, but was no_t all alarmed apparently. He nodded his head rather reassuringly to Miss D_ale, who stood beside him. "I think she's doing all right," he said.
  • "I think so, too," she replied.
  • Eugene wondered how they could say this. She was suffering horribly.
  • "I'm going into Ward A for an hour," said the doctor. "If any change comes yo_an get me there."
  • "What change could come," asked Eugene of himself, "any worse than had alread_ppeared?" He was thinking of the drawings, though, he had seen in th_ook—wondering if Angela would have to be assisted in some of the grim, mechanical ways indicated there. They illustrated to him the deadl_ossibilities of what might follow.
  • About midnight the expected change, which Eugene in agonized sympathy wa_waiting, arrived. Myrtle had not returned. She had been waiting to hear fro_ugene. Although Angela had been groaning before, pulling herself tense a_imes, twisting in an aimless, unhappy fashion, now she seemed to spring u_nd fall as though she had fainted. A shriek accompanied the movement, an_hen another and another. He rushed to the door, but the nurse was there t_eet him.
  • "It's here," she said quietly. She went to a phone outside and called for Dr.
  • Willets. A second nurse from some other room came in and stood beside her. I_pite of the knotted cords on Angela's face, the swollen veins, the purpl_ue, they were calm. Eugene could scarcely believe it, but he made an intens_ffort to appear calm himself. So this was childbirth!
  • In a few moments Dr. Willets came in. He also was calm, business like, energetic. He was dressed in a black suit and white linen jacket, but too_hat off, leaving the room as he did so, and returned with his sleeves rolle_p and his body incased in a long white apron, such as Eugene had see_utchers wear. He went over to Angela and began working with her, sayin_omething to the nurse beside him which Eugene did not hear. He could no_ook—he dared not at first.
  • At the fourth or fifth convulsive shriek, a second doctor came in, a young ma_f Willets' age, and dressed as he was, who also took his place beside him.
  • Eugene had never seen him before. "Is it a case of forceps?" he asked.
  • "I can't tell," said the other. "Dr. Lambert is handling this personally. H_ught to be here by now."
  • There was a step in the hall and the senior physician or obstetrician ha_ntered. In the lower hall he had removed his great coat and fur gloves. H_as dressed in his street clothes, but after looking at Angela, feeling he_eart and temples, he went out and changed his coat for an apron, like th_thers. His sleeves were rolled up, but he did not immediately do anything bu_atch the house surgeon, whose hands were bloody.
  • "Can't they give her chloroform?" asked Eugene, to whom no one was paying an_ttention, of Miss De Sale.
  • She scarcely heard, but shook her head. She was busy dancing attendance on he_ery far removed superiors, the physicians.
  • "I would advise you to leave the room," said Dr. Lambert to Eugene, comin_ver near him. "You can do nothing here. You will be of no assistanc_hatsoever. You may be in the way."
  • Eugene left, but it was only to pace agonizedly up and down the hall. H_hought of all the things that had passed between him and Angela—the years—th_truggles. All at once he thought of Myrtle, and decided to call her up—sh_anted to be there. Then he decided for the moment he would not. She could d_othing. Then he thought of the Christian Science practitioner. Myrtle coul_et her to give Angela absent treatment. Anything, anything—it was a sham_hat she should suffer so.
  • "Myrtle," he said nervously over the phone, when he reached her, "this i_ugene. Angela is suffering terribly. The birth is on. Can't you get Mrs.
  • Johns to help her? It's terrible!"
  • "Certainly, Eugene. I'll come right down. Don't worry."
  • He hung up the receiver and walked up and down the hall again. He could hea_umbled voices—he could hear muffled screams. A nurse, not Miss De Sale, cam_ut and wheeled in the operating table.
  • "Are they going to operate?" he asked feverishly. "I'm Mr. Witla."
  • "I don't think so. I don't know. Dr. Lambert wants her to be taken to th_perating room in case it is necessary."
  • They wheeled her out after a few moments and on to the elevator which led t_he floor above. Her face was slightly covered while she was being s_ransferred, and those who were around prevented him from seeing just how i_as with her, but because of her stillness, he wondered, and the nurse sai_hat a very slight temporary opiate had been administered—not enough to affec_he operation, if it were found necessary. Eugene stood by dumbly, terrified.
  • He stood in the hall, outside the operating room, half afraid to enter. Th_ead surgeon's warning came back to him, and, anyhow, what good could he do?
  • He walked far down the dim-lit length of the hall before him, wondering, an_ooked out on a space where was nothing but snow. In the distance a lon_ighted train was winding about a high trestle like a golden serpent. Ther_ere automobiles honking and pedestrians laboring along in the snow. What _angle life was, he thought. What a pity. Here a little while ago, he wante_ngela to die, and now,—God Almighty, that was her voice groaning! He would b_unished for his evil thoughts—yes, he would. His sins, all these terribl_eeds would be coming home to him. They were coming home to him now. What _ragedy his career was! What a failure! Hot tears welled up into his eyes, hi_ower lip trembled, not for himself, but for Angela. He was so sorry all a_nce. He shut it all back. No, by God, he wouldn't cry! What good were tears?
  • It was for Angela his pain was, and tears would not help her now.
  • Thoughts of Suzanne came to him—Mrs. Dale, Colfax, but he shut them out. I_hey could see him now! Then another muffled scream and he walked quickl_ack. He couldn't stand this.
  • He didn't go in, however. Instead he listened intently, hearing somethin_hich sounded like gurgling, choking breathing. Was that Angela?
  • "The low forceps"—it was Dr. Lambert's voice.
  • "The high forceps." It was his voice again. Something clinked like metal in _owl.
  • "It can't be done this way, I'm afraid," it was Dr. Lambert's voice again.
  • "We'll have to operate. I hate to do it, too."
  • A nurse came out to see if Eugene were near. "You had better go down into th_aiting room, Mr. Witla," she cautioned. "They'll be bringing her out prett_oon. It won't be long now."
  • "No," he said all at once, "I want to see for myself." He walked into the roo_here Angela was now lying on the operating table in the centre of the room. _ix-globed electrolier blazed close overhead. At her head was Dr. Willets, administering the anæsthetic. On the right side was Dr. Lambert, his hand_ncased in rubber gloves, bloody, totally unconscious of Eugene, holding _calpel. One of the two nurses was near Angela's feet, officiating at a littl_able of knives, bowls, water, sponges, bandages. On the left of the table wa_iss De Sale. Her hands were arranging some cloths at the side of Angela'_ody. At her side, opposite Dr. Lambert, was another surgeon whom Eugene di_ot know. Angela was breathing stertorously. She appeared to be unconscious.
  • Her face was covered with cloths and a rubber mouth piece or cone. Eugene cu_is palms with his nails.
  • So they have to operate, after all, he thought. She is as bad as that. Th_æsarian operation. Then they couldn't even get the child from her by killin_t. Seventy-five per cent. of the cases recorded were successful, so the boo_aid, but how many cases were not recorded. Was Dr. Lambert a great surgeon?
  • Could Angela stand ether—with her weak heart?
  • He stood there looking at this wonderful picture while Dr. Lambert quickl_ashed his hands. He saw him take a small gleaming steel knife—bright a_olished silver. The old man's hands were encased in rubber gloves, whic_ooked bluish white under the light. Angela's exposed flesh was the color of _andle. He bent over her.
  • "Keep her breathing normal if you can," he said to the young doctor. "If sh_akes give her ether. Doctor, you'd better look after the arteries."
  • He cut softly a little cut just below the centre of the abdomen apparently, and Eugene saw little trickling streams of blood spring where his blad_ouched. It did not seem a great cut. A nurse was sponging away the blood a_ast as it flowed. As he cut again, the membrane that underlies the muscles o_he abdomen and protects the intestines seemed to spring into view.
  • "I don't want to cut too much," said the surgeon calmly—almost as though h_ere talking to himself. "These intestines are apt to become unmanageable. I_ou just lift up the ends, doctor. That's right. The sponge, Miss Wood. Now, if we can just cut here enough"—he was cutting again like an honest carpente_r cabinet worker.
  • He dropped the knife he held into Miss Wood's bowl of water. He reached int_he bleeding, wound, constantly sponged by the nurse, exposing something. Wha_as that? Eugene's heart jerked. He was reaching down now in there with hi_iddle finger—his fore and middle fingers afterwards, and saying, "I don'_ind the leg. Let's see. Ah, yes. Here we have it!"
  • "Can I move the head a little for you, doctor?" It was the young doctor at hi_eft talking.
  • "Careful! Careful! It's bent under in the region of the coccyx. I have it now, though. Slowly, doctor, look out for the placenta."
  • Something was coming up out of this horrible cavity, which was trickling wit_lood from the cut. It was queer a little foot, a leg, a body, a head.
  • "As God is my judge," said Eugene to himself, his eyes brimming again.
  • "The placenta, doctor. Look after the peritoneum, Miss Wood. It's alive, al_ight. How is her pulse, Miss De Sale?"
  • "A little weak, doctor."
  • "Use less ether. There, now we have it! We'll put that back. Sponge. We'l_ave to sew this afterwards, Willets. I won't trust this to heal alone. Som_urgeons think it will, but I mistrust her recuperative power. Three or fou_titches, anyhow."
  • They were working like carpenters, cabinet workers, electricians. Angela migh_ave been a lay figure for all they seemed to care. And yet there was _enseness here, a great hurry through slow sure motion. "The less haste, th_ore speed," popped into Eugene's mind—the old saw. He stared as if this wer_ll a dream—a nightmare. It might have been a great picture like Rembrandt's
  • "The Night Watch." One young doctor, the one he did not know, was holdin_loft a purple object by the foot. It might have been a skinned rabbit, bu_ugene's horrified eyes realized that it was his child—Angela's child—th_hing all this horrible struggle and suffering was about. It was discolored, impossible, a myth, a monster. He could scarcely believe his eyes, and yet th_octor was striking it on the back with his hand, looking at it curiously. A_he same moment came a faint cry—not a cry, either—only a faint, queer sound.
  • "She's awfully little, but I guess she'll make out." It was Dr. Willet_alking of the baby. Angela's baby. Now the nurse had it. That was Angela'_lesh they had been cutting. That was Angela's wound they were sewing. Thi_asn't life. It was a nightmare. He was insane and being bedeviled by spirits.
  • "Now, doctor, I guess that will keep. The blankets, Miss De Sale. You can tak_er away."
  • They were doing lots of things to Angela, fastening bandages about her, removing the cone from her mouth, changing her position back to one of lyin_lat, preparing to bathe her, moving her to the rolling table, wheeling he_ut while she moaned unconscious under ether.
  • Eugene could scarcely stand the sickening, stertorous breathing. It was such _trange sound to come from her—as if her unconscious soul were crying. And th_hild was crying, too, healthily.
  • "Oh, God, what a life, what a life!" he thought. To think that things shoul_ave to come this way. Death, incisions! unconsciousness! pain! Could sh_ive? Would she? And now he was a father.
  • He turned and there was the nurse holding this littlest girl on a white gauz_lanket or cushion. She was doing something to it—rubbing oil on it. It was _ink child now, like any other baby.
  • "That isn't so bad, is it?" she asked consolingly. She wanted to restor_ugene to a sense of the commonplace. He was so distracted looking.
  • Eugene stared at it. A strange feeling came over him. Something went up an_own his body from head to toe, doing something to him. It was a nervous, titillating, pinching feeling. He touched the child. He looked at its hands, its face. It looked like Angela. Yes, it did. It was his child. It was hers.
  • Would she live? Would he do better? Oh, God, to have this thrust at him now, and yet it was his child. How could he? Poor little thing. If Angela died—i_ngela died, he would have this and nothing else, this little girl out of al_er long, dramatic struggle. If she died, came this. To do what to him? T_uide? To strengthen? To change? He could not say. Only, somehow, in spite o_imself, it was beginning to appeal to him. It was the child of a storm. An_ngela, so near him now—would she ever live to see it? There she wa_nconscious, numb, horribly cut. Dr. Lambert was taking a last look at he_efore leaving.
  • "Do you think she will live, doctor?" he asked the great surgeon feverishly.
  • The latter looked grave.
  • "I can't say. I can't say. Her strength isn't all that it ought to be. He_eart and kidneys make a bad combination. However, it was a last chance. W_ad to take it. I'm sorry. I'm glad we were able to save the child. The nurs_ill give her the best of care."
  • He went out into his practical world as a laborer leaves his work. So may w_ll. Eugene went over and stood by Angela. He was tremendously sorry for th_ong years of mistrust that had brought this about. He was ashamed of himself, of life—of its strange tangles. She was so little, so pale, so worn. Yes, h_ad done this. He had brought her here by his lying, his instability, hi_ncertain temperament. It was fairly murder from one point of view, and up t_his last hour he had scarcely relented. But life had done things to him, too.
  • Now, now—— Oh, hell, Oh, God damn! If she would only recover, he would try an_o better. Yes, he would. It sounded so silly coming from him, but he woul_ry. Love wasn't worth the agony it cost. Let it go. Let it go. He could live.
  • Truly there were hierarchies and powers, as Alfred Russel Wallace pointed out.
  • There was a God somewhere. He was on His throne. These large, dark, immutabl_orces, they were not for nothing. If she would only not die, he would try—h_ould behave. He would! he would!
  • He gazed at her, but she looked so weak, so pale now he did not think sh_ould come round.
  • "Don't you want to come home with me, Eugene?" said Myrtle, who had come bac_ome time before, at his elbow. "We can't do anything here now! The nurse say_he may not become conscious for several hours. The baby is all right in thei_are."
  • The baby! the baby! He had forgotten it, forgotten Myrtle. He was thinking o_he long dark tragedy of his life—the miasma of it.
  • "Yes," he said wearily. It was nearly morning. He went out and got into a tax_nd went to his sister's home, but in spite of his weariness, he coul_carcely sleep. He rolled feverishly.
  • In the morning he was up again, early, anxious to go back and see how Angel_as—and the child.