The man, whose name was Middleton, closed his eyes. Owing to themorphia, he had at least a hundred things he wished to discuss. Thetrouble was to fix on one out of the lot."I feel like a bit of conversation," he observed. "How about you?"Then he saw that she was busy again. She held an old-fashionedhunting-case watch in her hand, and her eyes were fixed on hischest. At each rise and fall of the coverlet her lips moved. Mr.Middleton, who was feeling wonderful, experimented. He drew fourvery rapid breaths, and four very slow ones. He was rewarded byseeing her rush to a table and write something on a sheet of yellowpaper."Resparation, very iregular," was what she wrote. She was not aparticularly good speller.After that Mr. Middleton slept for what he felt was a day and anight. It was really ten minutes by the hunting-case watch. Justlong enough for the Senior Surgical Interne, known in the school asthe S.S.I., to wander in, feel his pulse, approve of Jane Brown, andgo out.Jane Brown had risen nervously when he came in, and had profferedhim the order book and a clean towel, as she had been instructed. Hehad, however, required neither. He glanced over the record, changedthe spelling of "resparation," arranged his tie at the mirror, tookanother look at Jane Brown, and went out. He had not spoken.It was when his white-linen clad figure went out that Middletonwakened and found it was the same day. He felt at once likeconversation, and he began immediately. But the morphia did acurious thing to him. He was never afterward able to explain it. Itmade him create. He lay there and invented for Jane Brown afictitious person, who was himself. This person, he said, was anewspaper reporter, who had been sent to report the warehouse fire.He had got too close, and a wall had come down on him. He inventedthe newspaper, too, but, as Jane Brown had come from somewhere else,she did not notice this.In fact, after a time he felt that she was not as really interestedas she might have been, so he introduced a love element. He was, ashas been said, of those who believe that nurses go into hospitalsbecause of being blighted. So he introduced a Mabel, suppressing herother name, and boasted, in a way he afterward remembered withhorror, that Mabel was in love with him. She was, he related,something or other on his paper.At the end of two hours of babbling, a businesslike person in acap--the Probationer wears no cap--relieved Jane Brown, and spilledsome beef tea down his neck.