I was pretty tired and worn out when I
got to Hillingham. For two nights I had hardly had a wink of sleep, and my brain
was beginning to feel that numbness which marks cerebral exhaustion. Lucy was
up and in cheerful spirits. When she shook hands with me she looked sharply in
my face and said,
"No sitting up tonight for you. You are worn out.
I am quite well again. Indeed, I am, and if there is to be any sitting up, it
is I who will sit up with you."
I would not argue the point, but went
and had my supper. Lucy came with me, and, enlivened by her charming presence,
I made an excellent meal, and had a couple of glasses of the more than excellent
port. Then Lucy took me upstairs, and showed me a room next her own, where a cozy
fire was burning.
"Now," she said. "You must stay here. I
shall leave this door open and my door too. You can lie on the sofa for I know
that nothing would induce any of you doctors to go to bed whilst there is a patient
above the horizon. If I want anything I shall call out, and you can come to me
I could not but acquiesce, for I was dog tired, and could
not have sat up had I tried. So, on her renewing her promise to call me if she
should want anything, I lay on the sofa, and forgot all about everything.