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if brought before the surgeons again; and having made this resolution, he dropped asleep, exhausted with the morning's exertion.
Eddy Graham was fast asleep when Mrs. Thompson came into the room with his dinner. She brought him a little beef-tea and dry toast, and stood for some time over the sleeping boy, before she thought of calling him. The good woman was shocked at his emaciated limbs, and melancholy, haggard look. Even in his sleep, he looked as though he were crouching, in dread of some terrible being, and the arm which lay upon the coverlet was very little better than a bone.
“ I dare say you have a melancholy tale to tell," and so saying, she shook her head; “aye, aye, and there are many others, if we only knew all. I warrant there's something particular here, or he wouldn't have been so careful to say to the nurse how much nourishment should be given every four hours.”
Perhaps Mrs. Thompson began to talk a little louder than she intended, but so it was that Eddy Graham now awoke; at first he seemed startled, especially at the unaccustomed sight of a respectably-dressed woman standing beside him, with something to eat and drink in her hands; but he soon remembered where he was, and took almost with greediness the proffered food.
“That's pretty good, isn't it?” said Mrs. Thompson. “I warrant you seldom tasted any better than that.”
Eddy looked very much as though he would have taken more; but Mrs. Thompson shook her head. “No, no," said she, - not till two hours have passed, then you'll get another drop. Poor creature, you're very thin!"
“Do they give people plenty to eat here?” asked Eddy, fixing his eye on the nurse.
“ Well, some folks we do, and some we don't; we do what the doctor says ; sometimes we won't give them any at all.”
Eddy Graham looked awe-stricken ; perhaps this might be his case; and the taste of the beef-tea was so fresh in his mouth, to go back to starvation seemed to be making things worse than before.
“ I don't think they'll starve you," said Mrs. Thompson, with a look which somewhat reassured the sick boy; “they'll give you plenty, I guess, by and by." The nurse laid so strong an emphasis upon the latter words that the vision of plenty seemed very far off, and Eddy began to think that something was to happen before he had enough. What could it be? the thought flashed across his mind-it must be an operation ; they would not give him plenty to eat until he was get
ting well, and he could not get well until that was over.
This occupied Eddy Graham's mind until tea-time, when Mrs. Thompson made her appearance once more. This time she did not leave as quickly as she had done before, but sat by the sick child's bedside; and, after a while, began to ask him about his former life. Eddy was at first a little shy about telling his history, but Mrs. Thompson drew him on from one thing to another, until at last she knew all about him. “I heard to-day that you came in a truck with a little girl; was that your twin sister ?”.
“ Yes," said Eddy, “and she'll be here soon again.”
“No wonder you're ill," said the nurse; “but I hope you'll get better soon; if man can do anything for you it will be done here."
“ Are the doctors soon coming to see me ?” asked Eddy, half frightened at the idea of meeting the kind old man he thought he had offended.
“Yes, very soon," answered the nurse; " at least one is; but remember you must speak to him whenever he asks you any question; he is one of the kindest and most skilful men in London, and he has given particular directions that you should be taken care of.”
“Will he do anything to me that will hurt me?” asked the child.
“ I can't tell,” said the nurse, “what he'll say when he sees your hip; but whatever he says or does, you may be sure, will be entirely for your good.”
And Eddy Graham found that all Mrs. Thompson said was true; for a harsh word he never heard from the good man's mouth, nor felt a rough touch from his skilful hand.
That night Eddy Graham made up his mind to “be a man," whatever he had to endure. As he lay on his clean soft bed, he prayed that God would give him strength for everything he had to undergo; and in that strength he felt that he could indeed be a man. He remembered also the evening when he returned the little piece he had taken off the loaf, and his determination then to be a man. What troubled Eddy Graham most of all was, that he missed the stars; there was no skylight in his room, and he felt as though the night would be both long and lonely, without his favourite fellow-watchers; it was some comfort, however, to think that they were looking down upon his twin sister.
“Good night," said Mrs. Thompson ; “now try and go to sleep, there's a good child."
" Please, ma'am," said Eddy,“ tell me one thing before you go-are the stars shining ?”
“Yes, they are, thousands of them,” said the nurse, lifting up the blind.
“ Thank you," said Eddy ; “will you leave the blind up?"
“ What for, child ?”
“Oh, yes,” said Mrs. Thompson, “ you'll soon be tired of looking at them, and will go to sleep;" so saying, she shut the door, and, as she went out, said, “Dear me, there's something strange about that child; I wonder what Dr. Kenton will make of him tomorrow."
CHAPTER X. When Mary Graham left Eddy at the hospital, she had to make her way home with the truck as best she could. A glance at the clock told her that she had no time to spare ; for if she did not get home before her brother wanted the truck, she knew he would certainly fly into a rage. Perhaps her fear made her feel stronger than she generally did, for she rolled the truck along, and succeeded in getting it home before her brother was ready to use it; he was, however, up when she arrived, and he spoke very sharply to her when she came in.