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CHAPTER XIX._A Girl in Ten Thousand

 Dorothy talked a little longer to Effie. When at last she left her, the poor girl felt soothed and strengthened. She dropped off to sleep, to dream of the old days when she was living in the pretty little cottage in Whittington, and when she longed so earnestly to go out into the wide world. Effie woke long before it was time to get up. She thought of142 her dream, and sighed heavily to herself. She was in the wide world now with a vengeance. Did it look as fair, as rose-colored, as fascinating, as it used to look in her early dreams? No; the reality was bitter enough. She would have given a great deal at that heavy moment of her life to turn back the page and be a child at home again.

The nurses' bell rang, and she got up quickly. Next week she was to take her turn at night-nursing. She was getting on well, and, notwithstanding the small cloud which now existed between her and Sister Kate, Sister Kate knew Effie's value. There are nurses and nurses. Many girls who go as probationers to the great hospitals are thoroughly unsuited to the life; their qualifications are not those essential to the good nurse; they are destitute of tact, of presence of mind, of that tenderness which can be firm as well as gentle. But Effie was an ideal nurse; her soft and gentle ways, her kind yet firm glance, the cleverness she showed, the tact she displayed, all proved to Sister Kate that the young probationer might one day be a valuable help to her. She was angry with Effie at present, but she was determined to leave no stone unturned to help the girl and train her thoroughly in her noble profession.

During that night Sister Kate had thought of Effie. She had noticed her pale face during the past day, the sadness in her eyes, the heaviness in her steps, and her heart smote her a little, a very little.

"I don't believe that girl could do anything mean or underhanded," she reflected. "Of course it is tiresome that she should know any of the medical students, but I believe I can trust her word that she will never speak to this young man except out of the hospital."

Accordingly, Sister Kate met Effie the next morning143 with much of her old pleasantness. Effie's sad heart bounded again in her breast when Sister Kate spoke kindly to her, and she went about her duties with the determination not to leave even the smallest matter undone. Thoroughly but carefully she went through all the minuti? of those everlasting cleanings and brushings.

At last her morning's work was over, and now came the crucial moment when she must speak to Sister Kate. The doctors had gone their rounds, the patients were all settled for the morning. Effie came up to Sister Kate in one of the corridors.

"Can you spare me a few moments of your time?" she asked.

The Sister looked up at the tall clock in the passage.

"Do you want to see me about anything important?" she asked.

"Yes, it is something important."

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