A Farewell to Arms / Ernest Hemingway / Ch-41


One morning I awoke about three o’clock hearing Catherine stirring in the bed.

“Are you all right, Cat?”

“I’ve been having some pains, darling.”


“No, not very.”

“If you have them at all regularly we’ll go to the hospital.”

I was very sleepy and went back to sleep. A little while later I woke again.

“Maybe you’d better call up the doctor,” Catherine said. “I think maybe this is it.”

I went to the phone and called the doctor. “How often are the pains coming?” he asked.

“How often are they coming, Cat?”

“I should think every quarter of an hour.”

“You should go to the hospital then,” the doctor said. “I will dress and go there right away myself.”

I hung up and called the garage near the station to send up a taxi. No one answered the phone for a long time. Then I finally got a man who promised to send up a taxi at once. Catherine was dressing. Her bag was all packed with the things she would need at the hospital and the baby things. Outside in the hall I rang for the elevator. There was no answer. I went downstairs. There was no one downstairs except the night-watchman. I brought the elevator up myself, put Catherine’s bag in it, she stepped in and we went down. The night-watchman opened the door for us and we sat outside on the stone slabs beside the stairs down to the driveway and waited for the taxi. The night was clear and the stars were out. Catherine was very excited.

“I’m so glad it’s started,” she said. “Now in a little while it will be all over.”

“You’re a good brave girl.”

“I’m not afraid. I wish the taxi would come, though.”

We heard it coming up the street and saw its headlights. It turned into the driveway and I helped Catherine in and the driver put the bag up in front.

“Drive to the hospital,” I said.

We went out of the driveway and started up the hill.

At the hospital we went in and I carried the bag. There was a woman at the desk who wrote down Catherine’s name, age, address, relatives and religion, in a book. She said she had no religion and the woman drew a line in the space after that word. She gave her name as Catherine Henry.

“I will take you up to your room,” she said. We went up in an elevator. The woman stopped it and we stepped out and followed her down a hall. Catherine held tight to my arm.

“This is the room,” the woman said. “Will you please undress and get into bed? Here is a nightgown for you to wear.”

“I have a nightgown,” Catherine said.

“It is better for you to wear this nightgown,” the woman said.

I went outside and sat on a chair in the hallway.

“You can come in now,” the woman said from the doorway. Catherine was lying in the narrow bed wearing a plain, square-cut nightgown that looked as though it were made of rough sheeting. She smiled at me.

“I’m having fine pains now,” she said. The woman was holding her wrist and timing the pains with a watch.

“That was a big one,” Catherine said. I saw it on her face.

“Where’s the doctor?” I asked the woman.

“He’s lying down sleeping. He will be here when he is needed.”

“I must do something for Madame, now,” the nurse said. “Would you please step out again?”

I went out into the hall. It was a bare hall with two windows and closed doors all down the corridor. It smelled of hospital. I sat on the chair and looked at the floor and prayed for Catherine.

“You can come in,” the nurse said. I went in.

“Hello, darling,” Catherine said.

“How is it?”

“They are coming quite often now.” Her face drew up. Then she smiled.

“That was a real one. Do you want to put your hand on my back again, nurse?”

“If it helps you,” the nurse said.

“You go away, darling,” Catherine said. “Go out and get something to eat. I may do this for a long time the nurse says.”

“The first labor is usually protracted,” the nurse said.

“Please go out and get something to eat,” Catherine said. “I’m fine, really.”

“I’ll stay awhile,” I said.

The pains came quite regularly, then slackened off. Catherine was very excited. When the pains were bad she called them good ones. When they started to fall off she was disappointed and ashamed.

“You go out, darling,” she said. “I think you are just making me self-conscious.” Her face tied up. “There. That was better. I so want to be a good wife and have this child without any foolishness. Please go and get some breakfast, darling, and then come back. I won’t miss you. Nurse is splendid to me.”

“You have plenty of time for breakfast,” the nurse said.

“I’ll go then. Good-by, sweet.”

“Good-by,” Catherine said, “and have a fine breakfast for me too.”

“Where can I get breakfast?” I asked the nurse.

“There’s a café down the street at the square,” she said. “It should be open now.”

Outside it was getting light. I walked down the empty street to the café. There was a light in the window. I went in and stood at the zinc bar and an old man served me a glass of white wine and a brioche. The brioche was yesterday’s. I dipped it in the wine and then drank a glass of coffee.

“What do you do at this hour?” the old man asked.

“My wife is in labor at the hospital.”

“So. I wish you good luck.”

“Give me another glass of wine.”

He poured it from the bottle slopping it over a little so some ran down on the zinc. I drank this glass, paid and went out. Outside along the street were the refuse cans from the houses waiting for the collector. A dog was nosing at one of the cans.

“What do you want?” I asked and looked in the can to see if there was anything I could pull out for him; there was nothing on top but coffee-grounds, dust and some dead flowers.

“There isn’t anything, dog,” I said. The dog crossed the street. I went up the stairs in the hospital to the floor Catherine was on and down the hall to her room. I knocked on the door. There was no answer. I opened the door; the room was empty, except for Catherine’s bag on a chair and her dressing-gown hanging on a hook on the wall. I went out and down the hall, looking for somebody. I found a nurse.

“Where is Madame Henry?”

“A lady has just gone to the delivery room.”

“Where is it?”

“I will show you.”

She took me down to the end of the hall. The door of the room was partly open. I could see Catherine lying on a table, covered by a sheet. The nurse was on one side and the doctor stood on the other side of the table beside some cylinders. The doctor held a rubber mask attached to a tube in one hand.

“I will give you a gown and you can go in,” the nurse said. “Come in here, please.”

She put a white gown on me and pinned it at the neck in back with a safety pin.

“Now you can go in,” she said. I went into the room.

“Hello, darling,” Catherine said in a strained voice. “I’m not doing much.”

“You are Mr. Henry?” the doctor asked.

“Yes. How is everything going, doctor?”

“Things are going very well,” the doctor said. “We came in here where it is easy to give gas for the pains.”

“I want it now,” Catherine said. The doctor placed the rubber mask over her face and turned a dial and I watched Catherine breathing deeply and rapidly. Then she pushed the mask away. The doctor shut off the petcock.

“That wasn’t a very big one. I had a very big one a while ago. The doctor made me go clear out, didn’t you, doctor?” Her voice was strange. It rose on the word doctor.

The doctor smiled.

“I want it again,” Catherine said. She held the rubber tight to her face and breathed fast. I heard her moaning a little. Then she pulled the mask away and smiled.

“That was a big one,” she said. “That was a very big one. Don’t you worry, darling. You go away. Go have another breakfast.”

“I’ll stay,” I said.

We had gone to the hospital about three o’clock in the morning. At noon Catherine was still in the delivery room. The pains had slackened again. She looked very tired and worn now but she was still cheerful.

“I’m not any good, darling,” she said. “I’m so sorry. I thought I would do it very easily. Now—there’s one—” she reached out her hand for the mask and held it over her face. The doctor moved the dial and watched her. In a little while it was over.

“It wasn’t much,” Catherine said. She smiled. “I’m a fool about the gas. It’s wonderful.”

“We’ll get some for the home,” I said.

“There one comes,” Catherine said quickly. The doctor turned the dial and looked at his watch.

“What is the interval now?” I asked.

“About a minute.”

“Don’t you want lunch?”

“I will have something pretty soon,” he said.

“You must have something to eat, doctor,” Catherine said. “I’m so sorry I go on so long. Couldn’t my husband give me the gas?”

“If you wish,” the doctor said. “You turn it to the numeral two.”

“I see,” I said. There was a marker on a dial that turned with a handle.

“I want it now,” Catherine said. She held the mask tight to her face. I turned the dial to number two and when Catherine put down the mask I turned it off. It was very good of the doctor to let me do something.

“Did you do it, darling?” Catherine asked. She stroked my wrist.


“You’re so lovely.” She was a little drunk from the gas.

“I will eat from a tray in the next room,” the doctor said. “You can call me any moment.” While the time passed I watched him eat, then, after a while, I saw that he was lying down and smoking a cigarette. Catherine was getting very tired.

“Do you think I’ll ever have this baby?” she asked.

“Yes, of course you will.”

“I try as hard as I can. I push down but it goes away. There it comes. Give it to me.”

At two o’clock I went out and had lunch. There were a few men in the café sitting with coffee and glasses of kirsch or marc on the tables. I sat down at a table. “Can I eat?” I asked the waiter.

“It is past time for lunch.”

“Isn’t there anything for all hours?”

“You can have choucroute.”

“Give me choucroute and beer.”

“A demi or a bock?”

“A light demi.”

The waiter brought a dish of sauerkraut with a slice of ham over the top and a sausage buried in the hot wine-soaked cabbage. I ate it and drank the beer. I was very hungry. I watched the people at the tables in the café. At one table they were playing cards. Two men at the table next me were talking and smoking. The café was full of smoke. The zinc bar, where I had breakfasted, had three people behind it now; the old man, a plump woman in a black dress who sat behind a counter and kept track of everything served to the tables, and a boy in an apron. I wondered how many children the woman had and what it had been like.

When I was through with the choucroute I went back to the hospital. The street was all clean now. There were no refuse cans out. The day was cloudy but the sun was trying to come through. I rode upstairs in the elevator, stepped out and went down the hall to Catherine’s room, where I had left my white gown. I put it on and pinned it in back at the neck. I looked in the glass and saw myself looking like a fake doctor with a beard. I went down the hall to the delivery room. The door was closed and I knocked. No one answered so I turned the handle and went in. The doctor sat by Catherine. The nurse was doing something at the other end of the room.

“Here is your husband,” the doctor said.

“Oh, darling, I have the most wonderful doctor,” Catherine said in a very strange voice. “He’s been telling me the most wonderful story and when the pain came too badly he put me all the way out. He’s wonderful. You’re wonderful, doctor.”

“You’re drunk,” I said.

“I know it,” Catherine said. “But you shouldn’t say it.” Then “Give it to me. Give it to me.” She clutched hold of the mask and breathed short and deep, pantingly, making the respirator click. Then she gave a long sigh and the doctor reached with his left hand and lifted away the mask.

“That was a very big one,” Catherine said. Her voice was very strange. “I’m not going to die now, darling. I’m past where I was going to die. Aren’t you glad?”

“Don’t you get in that place again.”

“I won’t. I’m not afraid of it though. I won’t die, darling.”

“You will not do any such foolishness,” the doctor said. “You would not die and leave your husband.”

“Oh, no. I won’t die. I wouldn’t die. It’s silly to die. There it comes. Give it to me.”

After a while the doctor said, “You will go out, Mr. Henry, for a few moments and I will make an examination.”

“He wants to see how I am doing,” Catherine said. “You can come back afterward, darling, can’t he, doctor?”

“Yes,” said the doctor. “I will send word when he can come back.”

I went out the door and down the hall to the room where Catherine was to be after the baby came. I sat in a chair there and looked at the room. I had the paper in my coat that I had bought when I went out for lunch and I read it. It was beginning to be dark outside and I turned the light on to read. After a while I stopped reading and turned off the light and watched it get dark outside. I wondered why the doctor did not send for me. Maybe it was better I was away. He probably wanted me away for a while. I looked at my watch. If he did not send for me in ten minutes I would go down anyway.

Poor, poor dear Cat. And this was the price you paid for sleeping together. This was the end of the trap. This was what people got for loving each other. Thank God for gas, anyway. What must it have been like before there were anæsthetics? Once it started, they were in the mill-race. Catherine had a good time in the time of pregnancy. It wasn’t bad. She was hardly ever sick. She was not awfully uncomfortable until toward the last. So now they got her in the end. You never got away with anything. Get away hell! It would have been the same if we had been married fifty times. And what if she should die? She won’t die. People don’t die in childbirth nowadays. That was what all husbands thought. Yes, but what if she should die? She won’t die. She’s just having a bad time. The initial labor is usually protracted. She’s only having a bad time. Afterward we’d say what a bad time and Catherine would say it wasn’t really so bad. But what if she should die? She can’t die. Yes, but what if she should die? She can’t, I tell you. Don’t be a fool. It’s just a bad time. It’s just nature giving her hell. It’s only the first labor, which is almost always protracted. Yes, but what if she should die? She can’t die. Why would she die? What reason is there for her to die? There’s just a child that has to be born, the by-product of good nights in Milan. It makes trouble and is born and then you look after it and get fond of it maybe. But what if she should die? She won’t die. But what if she should die? She won’t. She’s all right. But what if she should die? She can’t die. But what if she should die? Hey, what about that? What if she should die?

The doctor came into the room.

“How does it go, doctor?”

“It doesn’t go,” he said.

“What do you mean?”

“Just that. I made an examination—” He detailed the result of the examination. “Since then I’ve waited to see. But it doesn’t go.”

“What do you advise?”

“There are two things. Either a high forceps delivery which can tear and be quite dangerous besides being possibly bad for the child, and a Cæsarean.”

“What is the danger of a Cæsarean?” What if she should die!

“It should be no greater than the danger of an ordinary delivery.”

“Would you do it yourself?”

“Yes. I would need possibly an hour to get things ready and to get the people I would need. Perhaps a little less.”

“What do you think?”

“I would advise a Cæsarean operation. If it were my wife I would do a Cæsarean.”

“What are the after effects?”

“There are none. There is only the scar.”

“What about infection?”

“The danger is not so great as in a high forceps delivery.”

“What if you just went on and did nothing?”

“You would have to do something eventually. Mrs. Henry is already losing much of her strength. The sooner we operate now the safer.”

“Operate as soon as you can,” I said.

“I will go and give the instructions.”

I went into the delivery room. The nurse was with Catherine who lay on the table, big under the sheet, looking very pale and tired.

“Did you tell him he could do it?” she asked.


“Isn’t that grand. Now it will be all over in an hour. I’m almost done, darling. I’m going all to pieces. Please give me that. It doesn’t work. Oh, it doesn’t work!”

“Breathe deeply.”

“I am. Oh, it doesn’t work any more. It doesn’t work!”

“Get another cylinder,” I said to the nurse.

“That is a new cylinder.”

“I’m just a fool, darling,” Catherine said. “But it doesn’t work any more.” She began to cry. “Oh, I wanted so to have this baby and not make trouble, and now I’m all done and all gone to pieces and it doesn’t work. Oh, darling, it doesn’t work at all. I don’t care if I die if it will only stop. Oh, please, darling, please make it stop. There it comes. Oh Oh Oh!” She breathed sobbingly in the mask. “It doesn’t work. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t work. Don’t mind me, darling. Please don’t cry. Don’t mind me. I’m just gone all to pieces. You poor sweet. I love you so and I’ll be good again. I’ll be good this time. Can’t they give me something?If they could only give me something.”

“I’ll make it work. I’ll turn it all the way.”

“Give it to me now.”

I turned the dial all the way and as she breathed hard and deep her hand relaxed on the mask. I shut off the gas and lifted the mask. She came back from a long way away.

“That was lovely, darling. Oh, you’re so good to me.

“You be brave, because I can’t do that all the time. It might kill you.”

“I’m not brave any more, darling. I’m all broken. They’ve broken me. I know it now.”

“Everybody is that way.”

“But it’s awful. They just keep it up till they break you.”

“In an hour it will be over.”

“Isn’t that lovely? Darling, I won’t die, will I?”

“No. I promise you won’t.”

“Because I don’t want to die and leave you, but I get so tired of it and I feel I’m going to die.”

“Nonsense. Everybody feels that.”

“Sometimes I know I’m going to die.”

“You won’t. You can’t.”

“But what if I should?”

“I won’t let you.”

“Give it to me quick. Give it to me!”

Then afterward, “I won’t die. I won’t let myself die.”

“Of course you won’t.”

“You’ll stay with me?”

“Not to watch it.”

“No, just to be there.”

“Sure. I’ll be there all the time.”

“You’re so good to me. There, give it to me. Give me some more. It’s not working!”

I turned the dial to three and then four. I wished the doctor would come back. I was afraid of the numbers above two.

Finally a new doctor came in with two nurses and they lifted Catherine onto a wheeled stretcher and we started down the hall. The stretcher went rapidly down the hall and into the elevator where every one had to crowd against the wall to make room; then up, then an open door and out of the elevator and down the hall on rubber wheels to the operating room. I did not recognize the doctor with his cap and mask on. There was another doctor and more nurses.

“They’ve got to give me something,” Catherine said. “They’ve got to give me something. Oh please, doctor, give me enough to do some good!”

One of the doctors put a mask over her face and I looked through the door and saw the bright small amphitheatre of the operating room.

“You can go in the other door and sit up there,” a nurse said to me. There were benches behind a rail that looked down on the white table and the lights. I looked at Catherine. The mask was over her face and she was quiet now. They wheeled the stretcher forward. I turned away and walked down the hall. Two nurses were hurrying toward the entrance to the gallery.

“It’s a Cæsarean,” one said. “They’re going to do a Cæsarean.”

The other one laughed, “We’re just in time. Aren’t we lucky?” They went in the door that led to the gallery.

Another nurse came along. She was hurrying too.

“You go right in there. Go right in,” she said.

“I’m staying outside.”

She hurried in. I walked up and down the hall. I was afraid to go in. I looked out the window. It was dark but in the light from the window I could see it was raining. I went into a room at the far end of the hall and looked at the labels on bottles in a glass case. Then I came out and stood in the empty hall and watched the door of the operating room.

A doctor came out followed by a nurse. He held something in his two hands that looked like a freshly skinned rabbit and hurried across the corridor with it and in through another door. I went down to the door he had gone into and found them in the room doing things to a new-born child. The doctor held him up for me to see. He held him by the heels and slapped him.

“Is he all right?”

“He’s magnificent. He’ll weigh five kilos.”

I had no feeling for him. He did not seem to have anything to do with me. I felt no feeling of fatherhood.

“Aren’t you proud of your son?” the nurse asked. They were washing him and wrapping him in something. I saw the little dark face and dark hand, but I did not see him move or hear him cry. The doctor was doing something to him again. He looked upset.

“No,” I said. “He nearly killed his mother.”

“It isn’t the little darling’s fault. Didn’t you want a boy?”

“No,” I said. The doctor was busy with him. He held him up by the feet and slapped him. I did not wait to see it. I went out in the hall. I could go in now and see. I went in the door and a little way down the gallery. The nurses who were sitting at the rail motioned for me to come down where they were. I shook my head. I could see enough where I was.

I thought Catherine was dead. She looked dead. Her face was gray, the part of it that I could see. Down below, under the light, the doctor was sewing up the great long, forcep-spread, thick-edged, wound. Another doctor in a mask gave the anæsthetic. Two nurses in masks handed things. It looked like a drawing of the Inquisition. I knew as I watched I could have watched it all, but I was glad I hadn’t. I do not think I could have watched them cut, but I watched the wound closed into a high welted ridge with quick skilful-looking stitches like a cobbler’s, and was glad. When the wound was closed I went out into the hall and walked up and down again. After a while the doctor came out.

“How is she?”

“She is all right. Did you watch?”

He looked tired.

“I saw you sew up. The incision looked very long.”

“You thought so?”

“Yes. Will that scar flatten out?”

“Oh, yes.”

After a while they brought out the wheeled stretcher and took it very rapidly down the hallway to the elevator. I went along beside it. Catherine was moaning. Downstairs they put her in the bed in her room. I sat in a chair at the foot of the bed. There was a nurse in the room. I got up and stood by the bed. It was dark in the room. Catherine put out her hand, “Hello, darling,” she said. Her voice was very weak and tired.

“Hello, you sweet.”

“What sort of baby was it?”

“Sh—don’t talk,” the nurse said.

“A boy. He’s long and wide and dark.”

“Is he all right?”

“Yes,” I said. “He’s fine.”

I saw the nurse look at me strangely.

“I’m awfully tired,” Catherine said. “And I hurt like hell. Are you all right, darling?”

“I’m fine. Don’t talk.”

“You were lovely to me. Oh, darling, I hurt dreadfully. What does he look like?”

“He looks like a skinned rabbit with a puckered-up old-man’s face.”

“You must go out,” the nurse said. “Madame Henry must not talk.”

“I’ll be outside,” I said.

“Go and get something to eat.”

“No. I’ll be outside.” I kissed Catherine. She was very gray and weak and tired.

“May I speak to you?” I said to the nurse. She came out in the hall with me. I walked a little way down the hall.

“What’s the matter with the baby?” I asked.

“Didn’t you know?”


“He wasn’t alive.”

“He was dead?”

“They couldn’t start him breathing. The cord was caught around his neck or something.”

“So he’s dead.”

“Yes. It’s such a shame. He was such a fine big boy. I thought you knew.”

“No,” I said. “You better go back in with Madame.”

I sat down on the chair in front of a table where there were nurses’ reports hung on clips at the side and looked out of the window. I could see nothing but the dark and the rain falling across the light from the window. So that was it. The baby was dead. That was why the doctor looked so tired. But why had they acted the way they did in the room with him? They supposed he would come around and start breathing probably. I had no religion but I knew he ought to have been baptized. But what if he never breathed at all. He hadn’t. He had never been alive. Except in Catherine. I’d felt him kick there often enough. But I hadn’t for a week. Maybe he was choked all the time. Poor little kid. I wished the hell I’d been choked like that. No I didn’t. Still there would not be all this dying to go through. Now Catherine would die. That was what you did. You died. You did not know what it was about. You never had time to learn. They threw you in and told you the rules and the first time they caught you off base they killed you. Or they killed you gratuitously like Aymo. Or gave you the syphilis like Rinaldo. But they killed you in the end. You could count on that. Stay around and they would kill you.

Once in camp I put a log on top of the fire and it was full of ants. As it commenced to burn, the ants swarmed out and went first toward the centre where the fire was; then turned back and ran toward the end. When there were enough on the end they fell off into the fire. Some got out, their bodies burnt and flattened, and went off not knowing where they were going. But most of them went toward the fire and then back toward the end and swarmed on the cool end and finally fell off into the fire. I remember thinking at the time that it was the end of the world and a splendid chance to be a messiah and lift the log off the fire and throw it out where the ants could get off onto the ground. But I did not do anything but throw a tin cup of water on the log, so that I would have the cup empty to put whiskey in before I added water to it. I think the cup of water on the burning log only steamed the ants.

So now I sat out in the hall and waited to hear how Catherine was. The nurse did not come out, so after a while I went to the door and opened it very softly and looked in. I could not see at first because there was a bright light in the hall and it was dark in the room. Then I saw the nurse sitting by the bed and Catherine’s head on a pillow, and she all flat under the sheet. The nurse put her finger to her lips, then stood up and came to the door.

“How is she?” I asked.

“She’s all right,” the nurse said. “You should go and have your supper and then come back if you wish.”

I went down the hall and then down the stairs and out the door of the hospital and down the dark street in the rain to the café. It was brightly lighted inside and there were many people at the tables. I did not see a place to sit, and a waiter came up to me and took my wet coat and hat and showed me a place at a table across from an elderly man who was drinking beer and reading the evening paper. I sat down and asked the waiter what the plat du jour was.

“Veal stew—but it is finished.”

“What can I have to eat?”

“Ham and eggs, eggs with cheese, or choucroute.”

“I had choucroute this noon,” I said.

“That’s true,” he said. “That’s true. You ate choucroute this noon.” He was a middle-aged man with a bald top to his head and his hair slicked over it. He had a kind face.

“What do you want? Ham and eggs or eggs with cheese?”

“Ham and eggs,” I said, “and beer.”

“A demi-blonde?”

“Yes,” I said.

“I remembered,” he said. “You took a demi-blonde this noon.”

I ate the ham and eggs and drank the beer. The ham and eggs were in a round dish—the ham underneath and the eggs on top. It was very hot and at the first mouthful I had to take a drink of beer to cool my mouth. I was hungry and I asked the waiter for another order. I drank several glasses of beer. I was not thinking at all but read the paper of the man opposite me. It was about the break through on the British front. When he realized I was reading the back of his paper he folded it over. I thought of asking the waiter for a paper, but I could not concentrate. It was hot in the café and the air was bad. Many of the people at the tables knew one another. There were several card games going on. The waiters were busy bringing drinks from the bar to the tables. Two men came in and could find no place to sit. They stood opposite the table where I was. I ordered another beer. I was not ready to leave yet. It was too soon to go back to the hospital. I tried not to think and to be perfectly calm. The men stood around but no one was leaving, so they went out. I drank another beer. There was quite a pile of saucers now on the table in front of me. The man opposite me had taken off his spectacles, put them away in a case, folded his paper and put it in his pocket and now sat holding his liqueur glass and looking out at the room. Suddenly I knew I had to get back. I called the waiter, paid the reckoning, got into my coat, put on my hat and started out the door. I walked through the rain up to the hospital.

Upstairs I met the nurse coming down the hall.

“I just called you at the hotel,” she said. Something dropped inside me.

“What is wrong?”

“Mrs. Henry has had a hemorrhage.”

“Can I go in?”

“No, not yet. The doctor is with her.”

“Is it dangerous?”

“It is very dangerous.” The nurse went into the room and shut the door. I sat outside in the hall. Everything was gone inside of me. I did not think. I could not think. I knew she was going to die and I prayed that she would not. Don’t let her die. Oh, God, please don’t let her die. I’ll do anything for you if you won’t let her die. Please, please, please, dear God, don’t let her die. Dear God, don’t let her die. Please, please, please don’t let her die. God please make her not die. I’ll do anything you say if you don’t let her die. You took the baby but don’t let her die. That was all right but don’t let her die. Please, please, dear God, don’t let her die.

The nurse opened the door and motioned with her finger for me to come. I followed her into the room. Catherine did not look up when I came in. I went over to the side of the bed. The doctor was standing by the bed on the opposite side. Catherine looked at me and smiled. I bent down over the bed and started to cry.

“Poor darling,” Catherine said very softly. She looked gray.

“You’re all right, Cat,” I said. “You’re going to be all right.”

“I’m going to die,” she said; then waited and said, “I hate it.”

I took her hand.

“Don’t touch me,” she said. I let go of her hand. She smiled. “Poor darling. You touch me all you want.”

“You’ll be all right, Cat. I know you’ll be all right.”

“I meant to write you a letter to have if anything happened, but I didn’t do it.”

“Do you want me to get a priest or any one to come and see you?”

“Just you,” she said. Then a little later, “I’m not afraid. I just hate it.”

“You must not talk so much,” the doctor said.

“All right,” Catherine said.

“Do you want me to do anything, Cat? Can I get you anything?”

Catherine smiled, “No.” Then a little later, “You won’t do our things with another girl, or say the same things, will you?”


“I want you to have girls, though.”

“I don’t want them.”

“You are talking too much,” the doctor said. “Mr. Henry must go out. He can come back again later. You are not going to die. You must not be silly.”

“All right,” Catherine said. “I’ll come and stay with you nights,” she said. It was very hard for her to talk.

“Please go out of the room,” the doctor said. “You cannot talk.” Catherine winked at me, her face gray. “I’ll be right outside,” I said.

“Don’t worry, darling,” Catherine said. “I’m not a bit afraid. It’s just a dirty trick.”

“You dear, brave sweet.”

I waited outside in the hall. I waited a long time. The nurse came to the door and came over to me. “I’m afraid Mrs. Henry is very ill,” she said. “I’m afraid for her.”

“Is she dead?”

“No, but she is unconscious.”

It seems she had one hemorrhage after another. They couldn’t stop it. I went into the room and stayed with Catherine until she died. She was unconscious all the time, and it did not take her very long to die.

Outside the room, in the hall, I spoke to the doctor, “is there anything I can do to-night?”

“No. There is nothing to do. Can I take you to your hotel?”

“No, thank you. I am going to stay here a while.”

“I know there is nothing to say. I cannot tell you——”

“No,” I said. “There’s nothing to say.”

“Good-night,” he said. “I cannot take you to your hotel?”

“No, thank you.”

“It was the only thing to do,” he said. “The operation proved——”

“I do not want to talk about it,” I said.

“I would like to take you to your hotel.”

“No, thank you.”

He went down the hall. I went to the door of the room.

“You can’t come in now,” one of the nurses said.

“Yes I can,” I said.

“You can’t come in yet.”

“You get out,” I said. “The other one too.”

But after I had got them out and shut the door and turned off the light it wasn’t any good. It was like saying good-by to a statue. After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain.

The End

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