I don't wish not to sympathize with you

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 of course," she said, after a pause, "but the fact is, nurses should detach themselves as much as possible from home-lifeJinglingthe changein his handhe shookhishead. The nurse who really gives herself144 up to her splendid calling has to try to forget that she has a home. She has to remember that her first duties consist in taking care of her patients and in learning her profession."

"Then I can't be a nurse," said Effie, the color rushing into her face.

Sister Kate looked at her and shook her head.

"I am very sorry," she said, after a pause. "The fact is, I had great hopes of you—you have many of the qualifications which go to make a splendid nurse; I won't recount them here. I had, as I said, great hopes of you, but your words now make me fear that, excellent as those qualifications are, they are overbalanced."

"By what?" asked Effie.

"By sentimentality—by nervous overworry about matters which you should leave in other hands."

"I have no other hands to leave them in; the fact is, home duties must always be first with me. I've got a mother and several young brothers and sisters. I am the eldest daughter. I cannot let my mother suffer, even to indulge what has been for a long time the great dream of my life. It is very probable that I shall have to give up being a nurse."

"How can you? You are engaged here for three years."

"I must beg of the Governors of the hospital to let me off; the case is a special one—the trouble under which I am suffering is most unexpected. I fear, I greatly fear, that I shall be obliged to leave the hospital for a time."

"I am truly sorry to hear that," said Sister Kate. "Does your friend Miss Fraser know of this?"

"Yes."

"I hope it may not be necessary. As I said, you have the making of a good nurse in you. You want145 to go away for a few hours? Well, I'll try and manage it. Perhaps when you go home and see your people, you will find that it is unnecessary for you to sacrifice yourself to this extent. Anyhow you can have from two till five to-day. Now go and much in train for the afternoon as you can. You can stay out from two till five. I hope you'll have good news for me when you return."

"I hope I shall," said Effie; but her heart felt low. She had little expectation of being able to continue the life which she longed to perfect herself in. At two o'clock she went out, and did not take many minutes in reaching her mother's door.

Mrs. Staunton looked surprised to see her.

"What is the matter. Effie?" she said. "How white and worn you look! Why have you come back to-day?"

"I wanted to see you, mother, so I got an afternoon off duty. Sister Kate was kind—I begged of her to let me come. I have a great longing to see you."

"Well, my dear, I'm all right. The fact is, I get better and better."

Mrs. Staunton was seated by the window. She was making a pinafore for little Marjory—her needle flew in and out of the stuff. She was trimming the pinafore with narrow lace. Effie took it up and sat down by her mother.

"Your hands tremble, mother; are you really well?"

"Oh, yes, my love; yes! You look at me as if you thought there was something the matter. Have you—Effie, your looks frighten me."

"Don't let them frighten you, dear mother. You know the greatest longing of my heart is to help146 and serve you. If there is anything worrying you, you'll tell me, won't you?"


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