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CHAPTER III._A Girl in Ten Thousand

 Meanwhile Dr. Staunton and Dorothy drove quickly to The Grange. It was still very early in the morning, and when they arrived at the great hall door it was opened by Squire Harvey himself.

"That's right, Dr. Staunton!" he exclaimed. "I am so glad you have come. Oh, and I see you have brought a nurse. What a blessing! Now, perhaps,30 you will induce my wife to take some rest. How lucky that you were able to find a nurse in a little place like Whittington!"

"I am very fortunate indeed," replied the doctor in his hearty voice. "Nurse Fraser has been trained at St. Joseph's, and happens to be staying at Whittington for a brief holiday. She has most kindly consented to undertake the case until we can get fresh assistance from London."

"I will stay as long as I am wanted," said Dorothy in her quiet voice. "If I can be shown to a room for a moment to take off my bonnet and cloak, I will go immediately afterward to the little patient."

Dorothy's voice was perfectly cool and calm. She did not speak in the constrained whisper which the poor Squire thought it right to use. There was an everyday tone in her voice which at this moment was absolutely refreshing, and the sympathy in her blue eyes just gave the right quality to the cool tones.

The doctor looked at her with unconcealed admiration. "That girl is one in ten thousand," he said to himself. "She will keep us all on our mettle, I can see, but there is plenty of heart underneath that cool exterior."

The great luxurious house looked neglected and wretched. Although the father and mother were up, and one or two servants were assisting in the sickroom, the greater number of the servants were still in bed. There was no one to take Miss Fraser to a room, and the Squire looked round him in hopeless bewilderment.

Dorothy saw at a glance that she must take matters into her own hands.

"I do not want to trouble you," she said. "I can put my cloak and bonnet in here. I should like to put on my cap and apron before I go upstairs."31

She opened a door as she spoke, and went into a room where all the blinds were down, took off her outdoor things, and, taking a cap out of her bag, slipped it over her hair, tied on a white apron, and then stood ready and capable, and fresh and bright, before the Squire and the doctor.

"Now, come straight upstairs with me," said the doctor.

They went up together; Squire Harvey followed them at a distance. When the doctor reached the first landing, he opened a green baize door, shut it behind him, and walked down a long, cool corridor which led in the direction of the nurseries.

"Now, look here," he said, turning and facing Dorothy, "the great thing that we have both to do is to keep this terrible disease from spreading. One or two of the servants have been with the case from the first; the father and mother have been in and out of the room as freely and unconstrainedly as if the child had only a cold the matter with her; if they are likely to take the infection, the mischief is probably done already; but, on the chance of this not being so, I shall beg of the Squire to come into this part of the house as seldom as possible. And as to Mrs. Harvey, she must be got away; that is your task, nurse. You will allow me to call you nurse, won't you?"

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