« IndietroContinua »
TIME passed on. Mary Graham made several vain attempts to see her brother John; but she always found his door locked. Eddy Graham was progressing favourably under Dr. Kenton's care, and John Graham was going from bad to worse.
Dr. Kenton had indeed spent much time and money on Eddy's case, and there was every prospect of a cure, to his great delight. It was a great pleasure to the good man to relieve the sufferings of a fellow-creature, and a great triumph of science to manage successfully so very difficult a case. No money had been spared, and if Eddy Graham had been a nobleman's son, he could not have been attended with more anxious skill and care. Dr. Kenton had paid out of his own pocket for his little patient's nourishment, and for the bed on which he lay, with all the alterations which it required from time to time. By slow degrees Eddy Graham's hip got better, until at length he was allowed to lie upon a common bed for the greater part of the day. After a while he was allowed to walk a little ; and every day the Doctor became more and more confident that the cure was likely to be complete. While the little fellow had lain upon his bed, he had been frequently visited by several surgeons, who seemed to take the liveliest interest in his recovery; and Dr. Kenton had become quite fond of him, from the docility and patience which he had displayed. A very little unsteadiness on Eddy's part might have destroyed all hope of a cure ; but he kept as still as possible, and so everything went on well. And all this while he was making a friend of the worthy surgeon under whose care he was ; and not only of him, but of his sister-in-law, who had become greatly interested in the case. Good conduct is sure to have its reward ; and so it was in the present instance. We little know through whom God will send his blessing; but He can send it, how, and when, and by whom He will. Miss Avery, Dr. Kenton's sister-in-law, was the one destined to prove Eddy Graham's greatest friend. True, she had never seen him, nor had he seen her; but that lady. had already given the Doctor five pounds for his little patient's use, and promised to go and see him as soon as it was right and convenient that she should
Every one had been kind to Eddy; Mrs. Thompson the nurse had often sat with him, when she had a little time to spare; even the
porter had come several times to see him, and he had had frequent visits from his sister, and one or two from the friendly coalheaver. Nor had the stars deserted the sick child ; they shone upon him as brightly as ever, and he could see them plainly through his window. The only cause of sorrow which Eddy Graham knew, was his brother John's continued drunkenness, and his sister's not having any home of her own; he could scarcely bear to think of what his brother was likely to come to at the last, and every day he prayed earnestly to God to change his heart, and deliver him from the horrible power of drink. As to Mary, it was sad that she should have no home of her own; still it was far better to be with Mr. Dobbin, than to be subject, day by day, to ill treatment and blows.
It would be difficult to say which seemed the happier, the Doctor or his patient, when Eddy rose for the first time from his bed to go out, and walk in the open air. It is true he was obliged at first to use a pair of crutches, which seemed as strangely shaped as his bed had been; but Dr. Kenton watched him as he moved along with as much pride as a mother does her child when she sees it taking its first step. This was the last stage of the cure; the worthy man knew that in about two months, if nothing unforeseen occurred, his patient would be able to walk without either crutch or stick.
Each day the child grew stronger, and at last Dr. Kenton, who had gone to so - much expense and trouble, had the pleasure of seeing his protégé walk about as well as any one else.“ Now, my child," said the happy man, as Eddy finished a few turns in the long passage outside the room where he had been confined so long, “ you are cured, and you cannot be too thankful to Almighty God."
“I am grateful,” said Eddy, a to Him, and to you too." : “ To Him, principally,” said the surgeon; “ yours was a very difficult case, and two or three times I feared an operation must have been performed; all, however, has, thank God, gone on well. And now tell me what you're going to do when you're dismissed ?"
A thought of this had not crossed Eddy's mind since he had come into the hospital, and so the surgeon's question completely con founded him; the hospital had now for a considerable time been his home, and if once he left that, he really did not know where he was to go. He might perhaps have said, “ back to his brother John's;" but he knew from Mary's visits that there was no longer any home for him .there. The tears came into his eyes, as he answered Dr. Kenton,
and told him that he did not know ; what he was to do, or where he was to go, were both alike unknown to him.
" There, there, pooh, pooh, don't cry," said the surgeon ; * you're a regular little man, you shouldn't cry; I'll look after you; you'll be dismissed to-day at twelve o'clock, and I'll send for you, and see if something can't be done."
« Oh, I can walk," said Eddy, not liking to give so much trouble.
"Not yet, not yet," said Dr. Kenton, " you must not use your limbs too much for awhile; I'll send;" and after a few words with Mrs. Thompson, as usual, he went away.
“ Well, you have found a friend," said the nurse, as soon as the surgeon was out of sight;" he's going to have you taken to his own house, and he says his sister-in-law is going to do something for you; perhaps more good will come out of your poor hip than you ever thought.”
“I know," said Eddy, “ that God can bring good out of evil.”
“ You may say that,” said Mrs. Thompson," and who knows how much good will come out of your wounded hip? I can tell you you have fallen into good hands, and I'd tell you to be thankful, but that I know