Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

some day he'll be as good, and gentle, and kind as he was before.” So said Eddy Graham; and the surgeon answered that he hoped it might be so.

Then followed a long and careful examination of the little sufferer's hip; and a number of questions, all of which had reference to his health, and to the way in which he had lived.

The surgeon was about to go, and had told Eddy he should come and see him soon again, when the little fellow told him he had something to say to him.

“ Well, my boy, what is it?" said the surgeon, half surprised and half amused.

Eddy Graham looked earnestly at him, and said, “ If you want to do anything to me, you may. I won't even cry, except I can't help.”

“ That's a brave little fellow,” replied the surgeon. “Many come here that are not so brave as you; but we shall see, we shall see; perhaps we can do more for you than you think.”

Having said this, and written some directions for Mrs. Thompson, the surgeon took his departure; but, though away from Eddy, he did not cease to think of him; and that evening he sat a long time after dinner, musing upon the cripple's case.

“ 'Tis just as I thought," said he to him

self; “ the accident has done some mischief, but starvation has done more. Poor little fellow ! he shall be spared an operation, if it be possible ; at any rate, the delay involved in making an experiment will not be thrown away.” Thus mused Dr. Kenton, and taking out his pocket-book, he commenced making some little sketches, which would have puzzled any one but himself. Five or six did he make before he seemed satisfied ; he turned the book in every direction before he was content; at last, however, he seemed to have hit upon exactly what he wanted, for he shut up his book, and went up to the drawingroom to tea.

There he told Mrs. Kenton the whole history of the cripple, which drew tears from her eyes, and those of her sister, who lived with her.

“How very shocking,” said Miss Avery, " that such awful things are going on in the world! What can we do for him ?” Miss Avery was a practical woman, and did not confine her sympathy for the distressed to talk; she always longed to do something, and was always obliged to any one who told her what ought to be done.

“You need not be in trouble about him now," said the surgeon; “he's well cared for. I have him in a single room of the hospital, and have given the nurse directions to provide him with everything at my expense.”.

“Ah!” said his sister-in-law, "you're always considerate and kind.”.

“Well,” said Dr. Kenton, “I'm always glad to benefit a fellow-creature; it was by the charity of a comparative stranger that I was educated, and enabled to get on in the world; and when he died, his last wish was, that I should do for others even as he had done for me. That's why I'm paying for your little friend John Belchmore, while he walks the hospital; and why I am doing something for this cripple child; at least, that is a part of the reason. I hope I have another and a higher motive; for this one, however laudable as regards my fellow-man, would not be worth much in the sight of God. I have another motive, too,” said Dr. Kenton, smiling, “one which, perhaps, you ladies will not think much of, but which has no inconsiderable weight with me. This is a very rare case in surgery: we have had but three like it since I have become connected with the hospital; in all three, we have been obliged to operate, and that with only partial success; but here I hope to make a cure without any operation at all. It will be an expensive affair, and it would be hardly right to charge the hospital with it, so I have given directions that all that is done in this instance I am to be charged with."

And Eddy Graham was well off under

Dr. Kenton's hands. Day by day he was fed upon the very best that money could buy, and at last he began to look quite healthy and ruddy.

This good feeding had gone on for a considerable time, and Eddy began to wonder what was going to be done with him (for not a word had been spoken about any operation), when Dr. Kenton made his appearance one morning, accompanied by one of the porters of the hospital, and a man with his shirt sleeves tucked up, and a mat-bag upon his shoulder. The porter seemed heavily laden; for he had a kind of pallet on his back, made of wood, quite freshly planed, and as Eddy could plainly see, evidently made for him. At the sight of all these preparations, the little fellow's heart fluttered very fast; he fancied that the operation was now about to be performed, and that he had received no previous notice lest he should be afraid ; but the surgeon soon reassured him, and Eddy was able to watch all the proceedings without any immediate fear.

He soon saw that the man in the shirtsleeves was a carpenter, and the frame-work was that of a very strange kind of bed, which did not seem a whit less strange when it was put up.

“ We are going to change your bed, that is all,” said Dr. Kenton," and this one won't hurt you, any more than that on which you're

lying now, although, perhaps, you may have to lie upon it a long time."

As soon as the carpenter had done his work, and been dismissed, the porter brought in some bandages and a mattress, and taking Eddy up very gently, laid him upon the new bed; then Mrs. Thompson made her appearance, and she and the surgeon proceeded to work at once. Eddy gave himself up into their hands, and with a prayer, that God would enable him to bear pain, if he were to suffer any, he lay quite still.

Under Dr. Kenton's directions, the bandages were all adjusted, the whole of Eddy's hip having been first well rubbed with the contents of a large bottle. When this work was finished, Eddy Graham found out what they had done; he was now bound so tightly, and in such a peculiar way, that he found it impossible to lie in any position but the one. This was not the most comfortable that, under other circumstances, might have been chosen; but as he was allowed as many pillows as he chose, and Mrs. Thompson had a plentiful supply at hand, he soon felt pretty well at ease. Some change also was made in his diet; but he still got enough, and what was very good. Three times a week did the surgeon come and examine everything, and seemed pleased at the progress of affairs; but Eddy him

« IndietroContinua »