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THE DISTURBING DR SHELDON by ELISABETH SCOTT CHAPTER ONE Through the long months of waiting, Alison had thought and dreamed of the moment when she would see David again. Somehow, though, in her thoughts and in her dreams, their meeting always took place in Edinburgh. Under the shadow of Castle Rock, in busy and bustling Princes Street, or at the big hospital where they had both trained. Instead, he was waiting for her at Windhoek airport, and even in that first moment she could see how much he had changed. His fair hair was sun-bleached against the unaccustomed brown of his face. But the change went deeper than that. There was a new strength, a new confidence about him. The clear brightness of the Namibian light, the strangeness of the voices around her-she could hear German, and Afrikaans, she thought, because it sounded a little like Dutch, and a variety of other languages from the black people around-all this contributed to the unreal feeling of being with David again, here, and not in the places that were familiar to both of them. "It's good to see you, Alison," he said, and he hugged her, his lips brushing her cheek. In a brotherly way, Alison thought with sudden bleakness. And yet, she reminded herself as she followed him through the rows of parked cars, that was exactly what he would have been if Cathy hadn't died. Her brother-well, brother-in-law. In the car, he looked down at her. DID YOU PURCHASE THIS BOOK WITHOUT A COVER? If you did, you should be aware it is stoleq property as it was reported unsold and destroyed by a retailer. Neither the Author nor the publisher has received any payment for this book. All the characters in this book have no existence outside the imagination of the aa thor and have no relation whatsoever to anyone bearing the same name or names. They are not even distantly inspired
ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version, http://www.processtext.com/abctxt.html by any individual known or an known to the author, and all the incidents are i pure invention. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. This edition is published by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises II B. V. The lext of this publication or any part thereof may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, inc lading photocopying, recording, storage in an information retrieval system, or otherwise, without the written permission of the pablisher. ! This book is sold sabject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the prior consent of the publisher in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent ' purchaser. ' MILLS & BOON, the Rose Device and LOVE ON CALL are trademarks of the publisher. ! Harlequin Mills & Boon Limited, Eton House,18-24 Paradise Road, Richmond, Surrey 7W9 ISR ! This edition pqiblished by arrangement with Harleqain Enterprises B. V. (C) Elisabeth Scott 1996 ISBN 0263794989 I Set in Times 10 on 10q/ pt. by Rowland Phototypesetting Limited Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk 03-9603-49246 Made and, printed in Great Britain Cover illustration by Andy Lloyd lones i CHAPTER ONE THRouGH the long months of waiting, Alison had thought and dreamed of the moment when she would see David again. Somehow, though, in her thoughts and in her dreams, their meeting always took place in Edinburgh. Under the shadow of Castle Rock, in busy and bustling Princes Street, or at the big hospital where they had both trained. Instead, he was waiting for her at Windhoek airport, and even in that first moment she could see how much he had changed. His fair hair was sun-bleached against the unaccustomed brown of his face. But the change went deeper than that. There was a new strength, a new confidence about him. The clear brightness of the Namibian light, the strangeness of the voices around her-she could hear German, and Afrikaans, she thought, because it sounded a little like Dutch, and a variety of other languages from the black people around-all this contributed to the unreal feeling of being with David again, here, and not in the places that were familiar to both of them. "It's good to see you, Alison," he said, and he hugged her, his lips brushing her cheek. In a brotherly way, Alison thought with sudden bleakness. And yet, she reminded herself as she followed him through the rows of parked cars, that was exactly what he would have been if Cathy hadn't died. Her brother-well, brother-in-law.
ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version, http://www.processtext.com/abctxt.html In the car, he looked down at her. "Look," David said. "The three castles."
"I hope you're going to like it here," he said doubtqlly'It's a very different life, you know. Whatever She had read about them, these three Germanmade you decide to apply for the post here?" looking castles, and there they were on the skyline, Oh, David; she thought, not sure whether she felt incongruous, with the heat of the African sky burning closer to laughter or to tears. David, can you really down on them. be that blind? The Alte Fest," he said then. "It's the oldest building y in Windhoek-but that's only in a manner of speaking. She couldn t, of course say, I came because of ou. I came because I thought that perhaps now, after two It was built around 1890. Used to be the military fort years , you might be read to turn to me. And, since now it's a museum, and a restaurant. We'll have a It didn't look as if ou wy ere going to come back to meal there some time." me, I've come to you. And in spite of her sensible reminder to herself to No, she couldn't say any of that. greeted her her heart accept the brotherly way he had
"I suppose it's the old Scottish sense of adventure gave a small leap of hope. she sald lightly. "New countries, new horizons, new "But you don't want a guided tour right now," he challenges. Thanks for your help with the work permit said. "You must be tired. I'll take you to the flat, and by the way I hadn't realised it might be a problem." I'll show you where the clinic is, and I'll leave you to He shrugged. get settled in."
"Red tape," he told her. "When I came here they The flat he had found for her was just off the main gave me a temporary permit-three months, like the street-the street that used to be called the Kaiserone you have. They renewed it twice, and now I have strasse, he told her, but was now Independence a year's permit. It's always possible, with special skills, Avenue. and when you phoned me I told the board that we "It's just round the corner from the clinic-you couldn't afford to miss the chance of a sister with surgi- come out here, turn left, and that's it," he said. "You cal ward training, coming from my old hospital. did say you'd like a furnished flat, for a start, and Fortunately, they agreed." when I heard about this it seemed ideal. The girl She had barely been taking in the countryside around who owns it has been transferred to Cape Town for her, but now, because she had to think of something a year." other than the matter-of-fact briskness of David's The flat was small, but pleasant and cool after the voice, she looked out, and in spite of what she had heat of the day. And all at once she was tired, she read, in spite of the photos David's mother had shown realised, after the long flight. her, the bleakness of the land shook her. "Will you be all right?" David asked a little doubtfully " " You et as he set her suitcase
Miles and miles of nothin David said.
come of houses. And. and then he covering walls and doorways. and somehow the sight of her badge from St. They were both laughing. who had died in a car crash In the photo Cathy's hair. "Oh. "You're going because of David.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. and there hadn't been much point in denying that. Alison. We often laughed together. "I have to get back to the . two years ago. framed by the thick. her beloved older sister. round. Margaret's gave her a spurt of confidence. David had called it-and watched his tall figure striding towards his car. Alison. shoulder-length brown hair. "I have to Mum. at their feet. I miss you so much. and I'll take you to meet Matron. was gone. and after a moment she lifted her chin defiantly. and once again the pain of losing Cathy swept over her. Cathy. she wondered if she had made a mistake coming here. with the old spaniel. Her uniforms were ready to wear. From her sultcase Alison lifted her photographs. suddenly. and she could see vivid bougainvillea. they were driving between rows but. Her mother certainly thought so. hospital-you're not due to start work until tomorrow. She caught sight of herself in the mirror. and then cuddenly. she had asked." she had said flatly. was blowing across her face. her mouth firm in the oval face. Mac. She would think she had grown accustomed to a world without her sister. unsteadily. Alison looked down from the balcony-no. the two sisters." she whispered. if you do feel you want to have a look. She opened her suitcase and began to put her clothes in the built-in wardrobe in the small bedroom. and red. smiling at her. and set them on the dressing-table. g. For a moment she felt totally abandoned and totally alone. Cathy. hardly able to be borne. brushing it away. David was Cathy's. remembering. love. Her grandmother . remembering . she lifted out the photograph of Cathy and herself together.processtext. pink. "Oh. Ask for me. Her clear grey eyes were steady. a little darker than Alison's. http://www. Alison thought." Alison had said simply. and she had one hand lifted.html down. The girl in the mirror immediately looked more sure of herself. Then. In those days. g used to it. are you sure you should go?" There had only been one answer. the stoep. soon after he and Cathy had got engaged. Alison thought. And then. and a bright orange creeper Once again his llps brushed her cheek. her hands not quite steady." purple. the grief would be there. just like this. and that . Cathy. Her mother and father. for the first time.com/abctxt. And then. David had taken the photograph.
standing up. She wondered sometimes now if she had loved him right from the start. "So far away?" He had nodded. he would look at her differently. misunderstanding her silence. and . "There are too many memories for me here at St. At least not yet. It had been a disturbing realisation. he'd added. as time passed. It had seemed almost as if she was betraying Cathy. "Cathy and I met here while we were both trainjng.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. And made her become too hopeful. It was only then that she'd realised how much she had been hoping that he would turn to her as the pain of his loss eased. but only for a moment.html was that. months after Cathy died. And here I am. I need to go somewhere new.processtext. when Cathy was gone-none of that had been easy to come to terms with. He'd hesitated . Alison had begun to think and to dream of how it would be when he came back. "It seems a good idea. when the shared loss had drawn them together? She didn't know now. All she did know was that one day. of being here. and I think this is the best way to do it. working with him. and hoping. taken aback. So there was nothing. don't think that. being alive. Seeing him. But the loss of Cathy had still been too new. ' And then. http://www. too raw. She sat down on the bed now. But when she had seen the advertisement for the post of Surgical Sister at the clinic where he worked she had made up her mind immediately. and the guilt of that. she had realised later. Perhaps he was right." he'd said steadily. of feeling this way about David. She didn't know now how long she would have gone on waiting. we worked together here. to the new private clinic. remembering how she had felt the day David had told her he was coming here. But she's gone. for her and for David. when he did come back. she saw him often. she had just known that she loved David. made her completely certain of her feelings for him. I-I need to get away. Alison. Alison.com/abctxt. "It isn't that I'll ever forget Cathy. sensibly and realistically." There had been deep sadness in his voice. And so the waiting had begun. and she had known that there was no chance then of him turning to her. and perhaps. This is what I wanted. for her to feel guilty about. without even admitting it to herself Or had it only happened after Cathy died. and I have to get' on with my life. Margaret's. she thought. and because he was surgical registrar on the floor where Alison was sister. Because they worked in the same hospital. she would tell herself. And then. slowly and because she was a positive person. Perhaps this was the best thing. "Windhoek?" she'd said." She had been devastated. she had told herself.
And he had done more than that. As he would need time with her. Once again she lifted her chin. She could see. unconsciously determined and defiant. then did her eyes. seeing David again. She made herself a cup of tea and opened one of the packets of biscuits that David had put in the cupboard for her. And perhaps this is the right thing for both of us. she just needed time with him. It was pleasant to feel the sun still warm on her bare legs as she walked out into the street. to walk round to the clinic? Just so that she would know what she was doing in the morning. There was no doubt that David was pleased to see her. Two hours later. He even looked different-so brown. http://www. A little way along the main street and then turn left..ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. she reminded herself sensibly. She hesitated. friend. She was touched to think of David's hands-his competent. to start off afresh. Then she applied an all-in-one foundation and a touch of lipstick. There were flowers on the small coffee-table. just for five minutes. She touched the flowers again. but the sun was low in the sky now. through the long time of waiting. obviously going home from work. a lettuce. to meet here. steadily and faithfully.com/abctxt. Alison took a deep breath and walked up the steps. Was it too late. and there was a small posy bowl on the kitchen counter. She changed into a cotton skirt and a sleeveless blouse. and she thought of David doing this for her. David had said to come if she wanted to. and the heat of the day had gone. and to make her feel welcome.. surgeon's hands arranging these flowers for her. washed her face and brushed her hair. away from the past. or a brother. people hurrying along.html now I've got it. now. telling herself that she wanted to look her best for meeting Matron and any of the other staff. There were tea bags in the cupboard above the counter. that a . reaching for her sunglasses even now. and she shouldn t build too much on any of them. It was only half past four. . and suddenly she was so tired. some tomatoes. but David had told her that people started work early here. she wondered. it took her a moment or two to realise where she was. There it was. He had almost seemed like a stranger instead of the man she had loved. But of course he was still the same David. David had said. She kicked off her sandals and lay down on the bed. Alison reminded herself. would do. when she opened her eyes. It was still warm. on the main street. But. and a jar of coffee. a cucumber. a packet of sliced ham. For the first time. But he had gone out of his way to find this flat for her.processtext. All things. Anything more than that would take time. It had been a long flight. in the late afternoon. She jumped up and hurried out onto the stoep. away from all the memories . and even a few tins. she admitted to herself how strange it had been. Windhoek Surgical Clinic. his hair sun-bleached. The fridge held milk and butter and eggs.
Matron." Alison apologised breathlessly. "I'm sorry." he said. "Can I see Dr. It is for the initial consultation that our doctors see them privately.html She wasn't sure qulte what happened next-whether her dark glasses made it difficult for her to see or whether she tripped on the last step. and led the way along the polished corridor. http://www. she lost her balance. steadying breath and pushed the big glass door open. not really taking in what she was reading. you see. and on the top floor. I can catch him when he finishes. "Alison-so you found your way here." David said. "Here. with two chintz couches. explained that each of the doctors at this small private hospital had his or her own suite of rooms for seeing private patients as well as the hospital patients. "I didn't see you. "Come and meet Matron. look out. and which can be used by our staff after hospital hours. we have a kidney dialysis machine. "We are only a small clinic here. Alison took a deep. . and found herself in the arms of a tall man who was hurrying out. see in my rooms. we have a small swimming pool which the physiotherapist uses for treatment. beside the roof garden. ' David-and in his white coat he looked more reassuringly familiar than he had before. "If you'd like to sit down. and in spite of her German accent her manner was like that of so many matrons Alison had known that she found this reassuring too. and a restful fish tank." "I have some patients to Matron. It was pleasantly cool mside. Matron was small and brisk. We have a physiotherapist on the staff. But the door opened.com/abctxt. seeing Alison's surprise." "I'll leave you to it. anno ed." Matron said proudly. Helen.processtext. and the reception area was pretty and welcoming. we are very glad you have come to work here with us. Our board is hoping soon to buy equipment for doing angiograms. she's come from Scotland to work here." Alison sat down and picked up one of the magazines. this is Sister Maynard. we have our ICU. we have everything" We have our theatres. "Sister Maynard. y Hey. "Mostly they are patients who will come here for any surgery that is required. Come -I will show you around our little hospital. ' He sighed and shook his head then hurried on down the steps. glass-topped tables with magazines ." the red-haired young woman said doubtfully. " . "I think he's doing ward rounds.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. he said. but we can handle most cases. his jacket slung over one shoulder. Reid?" she said to the receptionist. the sleeves of his blue shirt rolled up.
there did seem to be the need for a small private clinic such as this. Firmly. His eyes brown of his face. Jake." she said. "When our patients are recovering from surgery we like to take them up to the roof garden." Alison said. "There is also the Catholic hospital. Matron told her. some Hereros. again with pride. This is Sister Maynard. He was the man Alison had bumped into on the steps. some of Afrikaans ." She smiled. . Oh-come and meet our new sister. Dark blue. Sister Maynard-Dr. but it also had two easy chairs and a small table. and the dark blue eyes were frankly appreciative." he said. "We've met. each other. as if were dark blue in the a little amused as he a tall man." she said. "And I know that David has a high regard for the nursing training in his old hospital-that is why he insisted we could not miss the chance of having you join us. "I know you and David worked there together. impressed. who has come from Scotland to join us. with thick dark hair that was a he had just run his hands through it. and now more than held out his hand. "Some of us are of German stock. ' Quite a few of the medical staff were Namibians she told Alison.com/abctxt. Margaret's." he murmured. and it is also very good. http://www. Jake Sheldon. "And when we say "Namibians we mean both black and white Namibians.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version.html ' The ward Alison would be in charge of was on the floor below the roof garden. opened recently because of demand. come and have Alison could see that every effort had been made to avoid the usual hospital formality." "Now." the older woman told her.processtext." Dr. back. and as she poured it into two pretty china cups she asked Alison about St." she said. But we are all Namibians. Alison drew her own hand "And here I was thinking that whisky was the best thing we imported from Scotland. "All that you will learn. and there are so many people here from other countries." "Or perhaps you could say we've bumped into His hand was still enclosing hers. . But this city has grown so much in the past few years. a cup of coffee before you go. Matron's office did have a large and impressive desk. "We try to be less formal than a large hospital . "There is the state hospital. ' There was a maternity ward. and a cardiac unit. Some are Ovambos. You will be working a great deal with him. some of English. and it is very good. Matron rang for coffee. Jake Sheldon was little rumpled. "I didn't realise you had so many facilities.
He hadn't missed Sister Maynard's emphasis on the word "working'. Sheldon. she realised. He was glad of that.com/abctxt. Sheldon said. they'd better call it a day. and she could see that he hadn't missed her slight emphasis on the word "working'. too. Dr. Dr. Dr. that she would always look on him as a friend. she'd said. Because I am certainly not looking forward to seeing much of you. she hoped. but that could be fun. CHAPTER TWO WELL. too. he wasn't into long-term relationships . now. now. Matron. dismayed. but you're certainly not the answer to this maiden's prayer. and the thick brown hair swinging to her shoulders. then. "I'm looking forward to working with you. things are looking up. with that heart-shaped face. yes. but she was "You shouldn't have such pretty nurses. But-Sister Maynard. And she had said. But there was . and he didn t think he had imagined the regret in her voice. and thanks for the memories. the wide-set grey eyes. More than a little on her high horse. Sister Maynard. nor had he missed the cool appraisal in her grey eyes. Jake. and I know how to deal with doctors like you! She looked up at him coolly and. dismissively But the big doctor was unperturbed as he smiled down at her. when red-haired Helen at Reception had just told him that what she was looking for was commitment and. since she knew very well that Ihat wasn't his scene. he looked as if he was rather enjoying the prospect of a challenge." Alison said formally. he thought. Alison thought.processtext. In fact. http://www. and she thought that perhaps she was.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. for some reason. Nice girl. And just at the right time. as he'd said right at the start. Jake Sheldon thought. Pretty.html "Jake. Helen. You may think you're the answer to a maiden's prayer. you are to leave my nurses alone!" smiling. So it was goodbye. It had been great fun. Jake Sheldon. and he hoped she would find what she was looking for. but. ." Dr." "I'm certainly looking forward to working here. I've met your kind before. Matron said.
." Like a little girl at a party. She has a real English complexion .com/abctxt." Jake coughed. they had worked together in Edinburgh. . Lips like that were made to be kissed. "I'm sorry. knowing very well that her disapproval was entirely for him. "So what do you think of our clinic?" David asked now. Alison.. but he's all right." "That could be very useful-but surely that's new since I left?" asked.." she returned. David Alison Maynard's grey eyes were even cooler as she shook her head. Dr. he said." She smiled. thank you. Of course. he thought. a tide of colour rose and flooded her cheeks. "I had no idea that you had such sophisticated equipment-I had a couple of months with the angiogram team just before I left. "Actually . Nice name-it suited her. http://www. Jake found himself thinking and he wondered if her skin would be as soft to touch as it looked. David had said when he'd recommended her for the post here. Alison. But if she did. "No problem. Alison. he told himself. "They brought in someone from Guy's-an Englishman. Jake thought. she didn't look as if she would take kindly to any shortening of her given name. very politely." David said now regretfully. and I found it fascinatmg. "but thank you. a little too contained. about her. And it would be Alison. "No. "I had hoped to take you out for dinner tonight.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. it was kind of you to offer." she said. and he wasn't sure whether he felt amused or annoyed. I have plenty to do. and David Reid smiled back. Slowly." he said airily. The door opened and David Reid came in. She looks as if she's too conscious of being the prim and proper Sister Maynard. " . getting myself settled in. "No. and the thick curtain of hair swung against her cheek. but I'm afraid I'm tied up. Sheldon. Jake noted. She should lighten up a bit.html something a little too reserved. I see you've been well looked after. "I'm most impressed. "Who's in charge Simon Perry?" Alison shook her head. and I'll be glad of an early night after that long flight." and then she said.processtext." Alison replied. isn't it?" "I'll look after Sister Maynard-Alison. He saw that she was all too conscious of his eyes on her lips. not to be pursed in that rather disapproving way.
They old building he had begin to see her as and surely here.com/abctxt. A professional relationship. Jake Sheldon thought. and the unconscious challenge pleased him even more.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version.html I didn't know there were still girls around who could blush. Time. For the first time then she admitted to herself that she was disappointed not to be with David on this first night in Windhoek. She looked at herself critically in the long mirror. she reminded herself. That had to change. I like it very much. She put out the bedside light and turned over. For a moment. But she had to be realistic and sensible about this. and although the place was different her morning routine was smooth and efficient. perhaps at that shown her-what was it? The Alte Fest-and he would herself. and patience. from the way he had greeted her. and nothing more. would happen. And probably particularly with nurses. It was easier to think of how much she disliked the arrogant and confident Dr. Jake Sheldon than to allow herself to think about being on her own when she had thought she would be with David. she realised that. there was no doubt about that. Alison thought indignantly. But obviously much too accustomed to success with girls. as Alison. Pretty nurses indeed. Jake Sheldon was concerned. in that smooth. The familiarity of her uniform. she admitted fairly. never mind whether or not she was a good nurse! And that was the only thing that mattered as far as her interaction with Dr. when the alarm rang. Alison told herself as she ran her bath and laid out her uniform. ready for morning. in these new surroundings. Alison Maynard lifted her chin. that she shouldn't have such pretty nurses. waiting to be worn. I like that. A good-looking man. delighted. But it could take time. What was it Matron had said to him? "Jake. It was obvious. But only for a moment. was reassuring.. Which meant that he wouldn't have bothered about her if she had had a face like the bacli of a bus. And I have enough of that. suddenly too sleepy even to read the book on Windhoek that her folks had given her when she left. He is just so sure of himself. that he still saw her as Cathy's sister. But he'll find out he's quite wrong if he thinks I'm ready to fall into his arms. you are to leave my nurses alone!" And he had said. arrogant way. http://www. it would meet outside the hospital.processtext. he thought. thinking of the long months she had already been waiting. Matron had . she couldn't think where she was.
He knows he is not supposed to walk without them. one a young German girl who had done her training at the State hospital and the other an older black woman.processtext. but Alison was glad of help from her staff. so you will have time to get to know the patients and the routine. African German-Namibian German ELIS. "Sister Maynard-I am Sister Biwa. She smiled. although he admits that his knees have been giving him trouble for a long time. a tall woman who was probably in her mid-thirties. in blue. moisturiser and lipstick. The night sister. Not a humid heat. we have our German culture. but we have never lived in Germany! Matron is the same. "Dr. Sister. went downstairs into the small courtyard. Sheldon will be removing the drain from his right knee this morning. The blonde nurse smiled.com/abctxt." Efficiently. but he says he forgets. You will have to remind him to use his crutches. thinking of the people she had met yesterday -the red-haired receptionist. and so is Marta "I'm South-West Alison asked Heldi Muller as . the nurses were all qualified. It was a dry heat. and her hair pinned up neatly. for comfort. Jake Sheldon. that she should bring short-sleeved uniforms. She locked her door. David had said that in an early letter to his mother. We are fairly quiet today. "I'm not German German. in the letter accompanying her contract. and out into the main street. Alison's day staff consisted of two qualified nurses. as she was a senior sister." she explained. My grandparents came out here from Munich. Flat shoes.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. and neither had had problems with blood pressure or respiratory rates. Alison decided. who had also trained there. Sheldon's knee replacement was now on crutches." The hospital routine was reassuringly familiar. Since this was a clinic. and even more so for the comfort of the patients. the appendectomy pat lent had reported a return of peristaltic sounds. his skin brown and his hair sun bleached . and Dr. she went over the list. There were two gastric resection patients." Sister Biwa said. "Which part of Germany do you come from?" they went over the charts together. There are plenty of people like us-we are Germanspeaking .4BETH SCOTT now. greeted her pleasantly. with her skin a warm golden brown David. It wasn't even seven o'clock but already the day was hot. and not a training hospital.html suggested. though. and somehow less trying. and she was ready. http://www. But she was glad that the clinic was airconditioned -glad for herself. I like the blue uniform but I'm too pale. with his eyes so dark blue in the brown of his face. Matron had told her. "He is a young man and he is impatient. although there were nursing aides on the staff. the two young tonsillectomy patients would be going home that day.
All right?" "All right.com/abctxt. But no food or fluid until the temperature and pulse rate fall further." Jake Sheldon agreed quite mildly." he said briskly. Dr. Alison removed the stitches holding the catheter in place. I did an implant procedure to replace both the tibial and femoral joints. said. white coat flying. the physiotherapist. Jake Sheldon strode into the ward. Sheldon. Jake Sheldon pointed to the vacuum container. ' He handed the chart back to Alison." Her hands sure and steady. "We'll remove that drain now. Ross." It was just another of the aspects of this place that she would have to get used to. Dr. this young man. Jake Sheldon took the . so we reduce the parenteral fluids. "Morning." Alison said. towards the doctor's round. Alison realised. Sister Maynard is going to take out these two stitches that are holding the dram in place and I will remove it." Roger Brook said cheerfully. as Dr. Sister. "I'll tell you what's going to happen. Sheldon replied. She followed him through the ward. Reid would be operating. Sheldon today and not Dr." the young man agreed a little faintly.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. "Does it hurt. Nurse. Too much sport." Dr. these fellows are like family now. It could hurt for a minute. because his eyebrows were raised. "I'm sorry."he said. Sister-morning. in one swift movement. But there was no time to dwell on that as the routine of the day speeded up. and he ignored the early signals -he had advanced destruction of the joint. and the operation has been a complete success-just keep him in order with his crutches. Rightstitches out. and drew the screens around his patient. "My appendectomy patient-Mr. I haven't had time to go over his chart. Roger. he's inclined to be impatient. taking this drain out?" "It isn't too pleasant. Got the picture?" "Yes. "No need. "Yes. Sister. Sister. taking the charts Alison had ready for him. Alison was annoyed at herself for being at a loss. Sheldon. Dr. dark hair once again just a little untidy.html Grellman. Sheldon?" she asked. Sister. Thank you. Glad to see there's a return of peristaltic sounds. but then it will be over. And then. Sister. I don't suppose you have. the night sister had Promptly at ten.processtext. Reid. It would be Dr. the peritonitis is obviously subsiding. "Hardly any drainage now. but the drain in the other knee needs a couple of days yet. Then. she said. then asked. http://www. with marked instability and increasing restriction of movement But he's young. but the morning routine of the ward hadn't allowed her any time to study the charts in any detail. "Is it a total knee replacement. ' "No.
." he said thoughtfully. So don't stand for any nonsense from him. I will not look away. "If you talk nicely to Sister I'm sure she'll bring you a nice cup of tea after that ordeal. formally." Alison assured him.com/abctxt. http://www.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version." she added hastily." Heidi said. obviously disappointed. Jake Sheldon handed Roger's chart to Alison. but I suppose I'd better settle for the tea. "No. I know what will happen now when the other one comes out." she said. Sheldon?" she asked politely. yes. "Be seeing you. Sheldon gone "I didn't offer him any. ' Back in the duty room. the Casanova of the clinic-no. "Anyway." he said. It wasn't easy. relenting. Sister Maynard. dark head high." "No. Maynard.processtext. with the ward round completed . But he still needs daily physiotherapy-has Marta been in yet? No? She'll be here soon. she could take. Jake Sheldon looked down at her and now his dark blue eyes were amused. "We always give him coffee when he finishes his ward round. For a moment longer the blue eyes held hers. Alison felt her cheeks grow warm. Sister To her annoyance. white coat flying." "I won't. professional and competent. "You'll probably have some trouble with young Roger as soon as the other drain comes out.html catheter out. "Oh. Dr. "He's already said he thinks he could be at home says he's bored. "Should I have?" And then. she thought. Jake Sheldon. already? Didn't he want coffee?" "Has Dr." Alison told her firmly. She watched him stride back down the corridor. nothing else right now. As I said. but she forced herself to ignore this. Jake Sheldon. he said to his patient. and promises he'd do his exercises." Dr. ." Sheldon murmured. " . Dr. not pleasant. Dr." Roger Brook said. Heidi Muller. Alison told herself. Reid too. "Is there anything else. came into the duty room. but it's over. Alison had to stifle the sudden thought that perhaps if it had been David and not Jake Sheldon she might have asked if he wanted coffee. "No. "Oh. coming back from taking tea to Roger Brook. I'm quite sure you won't." "I'd rather have a nice cold beer. Dr. sir.
I don't like doctors like that-I don't like men like that.html "Dr." "Yes. and from his chart Alison saw that opening up his abdomen had revealed a large tumour in the pelvis." Alison said. There was time for no more than a quick greeting before she went back to her colostomy patient. http://www. and competent." "Sounds as if there are quite a few of them around. and she saw that he looked very tired. tell him what more we're going to do. she thought. and this is the start of it. "When does the phsyiotherapist come. but her flat was only five minutes away. David said a little tersely. when David came to see his patient. and I want him kept sedated.processtext.com/abctxt. we've been pretty busy. "Busy day? Finding "I'm doing fine. but absorbed with her patients. Friendly. Grellman seemed quiet and pleasant." She hadn't meant to come over quite as strong. I didn't mean to leave you on your own. but tomorrow I'll come and have a talk with him. Alison was busy with David's colostomy patient from Theatre when the physiotherapist came. but I like it that way. and redid . her dark eyes wide. "A bit of a crisis. "The only procedure possible was to do a colostomy and take over the natural function of the rectum . Alison could see as the physiotherapist 's blonde head bent over Roger Brook's bed." Alison assured him. he's pretty special." Alison replied as composedly as she could. Nurse?" Heidi Muller accepted the change of subject away from Jake Sheldon. "Don't you think he's very good-looking?" "I suppose he is. surrounding the rectum. Reid is very nice. The colostomy patient was in his mid-sixties. of course. she asked what he had been able to do. And I'll tell you something-I can't think of any girl who's gone out with him for any length of time who doesn't stay friends with him when it's over." He smiled at her. and she bathed quickly. "He's going to be pretty drowsy for the rest of the day. Grellman would reach them at about eleven." she said. seeing the surprise on Heidi's face.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. David. "But Jake is-well." She looked at Alison. and she could do no more than note that Mrs. Eight o'clock didn't give her much time when she only finished work at seven and had to hand over to the night sister." he said then." Alison said reluctantly. she thought. and said that Mrs. your feet?" "How are you doing?" he asked. How about tonight? Can I pick you up just before eight and take you out for a meal?" "Thank you. "But he does have a pretty good opinion of himself-he acts as if every girl is just waiting for him to snap his fingers at her. Perhaps we do need to get to know each other again. "He doesn't mean any harm. "That's just his way. brushed her hair. "I'm sorry about last night. A little later. I'd like that." the German girl said.
" he said. whereas here winter was over. At first. especially in the duty-free shop. Alison. The small bottle of LAir du Temps had been very expensive. . he would see. and just for a moment there was a shadow in his hazel eves. What to wear on this. It wasn't that either of them would forget Cathy. The young woman sitting in the front seat turned to Alison and smiled. this was a very special occasion? Promptly at eight. shortsleeved shirt. surely. It was going to be all right. All right with you?" "All right with me. and his neck and his arms were very brown. without any need for words. ever. David looked quite different from the tired surgeon she had seen earlier. The topaz dress made her look less as if she needed to catch up with some tanning. and he smiled. and two. She hesitated in choosing between the silky blue dress she'd found at Jenner's sale and the goldy topaz one with the full skirt. and look out over Windhoek. And then. and her heart lifted.html her face. "You look very nice. was in the same colour range as her blue uniform." he said. But slowly. that she was Sister Maynard. And tonight she wanted David to forget two things: one. That could take some time. http://www. for in September at home it would be autumn. At least she wouldn't be Sister Maynard tonight. her doorbell rang. he opened the back door for her. Food's good.com/abctxt." Alison assured him. But not the blue dress tonight. she thought. Then the shadow was gone. her first real date with David? It was warm. "You've met Marta. She'd keep it for special occasions. of course it was. but-that had to happen. that she was Cathy's sister. it would be her. And with her hair loose she certainly didn't look like the sister he had seen in Men's Surgical a few hours ago. that he qvas thinking of Cathy. She followed him through the courtyard. she decided. It was only natural that her being here would make him think of Cathy. and she'd have to stop being surprised at this. she thought a little later. Alison knew.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. although it was a different blue. "I thought we'd go to the Alte Fest.processtext. but worth it. too. and it certainly felt like summer to her. at least. surely. She would hold onto that. The blue. to her surprise. He wore an open-necked. haven't you?" he said. on the stoep. and surely. Alison. "We can sit outside. she knew. and out to where his car was waiting.
When David left them." she said. the flowers she had been so touched to see. but she was the one who did the shopping and got the flowers. Alison. for the German phsyiotherapist went on to say. Perhaps it was the way David's hand touched hers. in the parkin area at the back of the to talk about young Roger Brook.processtext. politely. very "Of course he will still need extensive physiotherapy after he goes home." Marta was saying when David came down the steps and got into the car. something special. Marta Grellman began had total knee replacements. . who had and Alison was grateful for that. "Yes." There was warm affection in David's voice and in his eyes. I hope you don't mind . The flowers. "Marta says "we". She wasn't conscious of returning Marta's greeting." "Thank you-it was a great help. He was smiling.html It was the phsyiotherapist from the clinic. "David has told me so much about you. no matter how many explanations she found.com/abctxt. "I am so pleased to meet you properly. I got the impression that he was delighted to have the chance. "He's just looking in on one of his patients then he'll follow us to the Alte Fest. "I'll only be five minutes. parked clinic. wildly. that she could make some excuse.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. stop feeling as if hard." he said as he pulled out from the kerb. Marta held out her hand. "I have to look in at the clinic. "Jake's going to join us. grateful talk about that helped her to stop she'd been hit by a body-blow. but she must have made some adequate reply. between David and this girl." she said. The flowers she had pictured David arranging for her. say she'd rather not come out that evening. "And your flat? Is everything all right? We didn't know what you would need. to find something they could thinking. so there are just a few things until you can do some shopping. say she wasn't feeling well." Alison said carefully ." he said." And the moment was gone. But no matter what Alison told herself later. just for a moment. especially after you gave him something of the brush-off yesterday. in that moment she knew that there was something close. ' CHAPTER THREE PERHAPS it WaS the way Marta Grellman said David's name. but only for a moment. Alison. the moment when she thought. we've met. http://www.
Jake Sheldon. the panorama of Windhoek was spread out. she knew.. Remembering the drive in from the airport. But. smiled at Jake Sheldon and said demurely. Across the table. all too conscious of David's arm very close to Marta's. Dr. sophisticated city. how are my favounte glrls?" . "My lucky day. sitting opposite her. http://www. and came along the stoep to join them. and his arms were a deep gold. and she could feel her cheeks grow warm. The wine David had ordered had just arrived when Jake 9qIeldon ran up the steps from the street to the fort. dark blue as his eyes. she thought fervently. Below them. Sister MaynardAlison ?" And Alison. anything that would help. surrounded by what seemed to her to be virtually desert. and there were tables out on the wide stoep. and then I heard about this. "I'm glad you could join us. Alison thought how strangqe it was this bustling. "Jake. just for now. in spite of her instant determination that she wanted nothing to do with him other than in a professional sense. It was easier. she knew that too. "Maybe not Jake returned equably." she said then. Jake. to keep her mind filled with thoughts of that sort. rather than to allow herself to dwell on David and Marta. "-but this was going to be one." he said as he sat down beside Alison.com/abctxt." He raised his dark eyebrows and waited. "I do hope you don't mind. Even Dr. a wave of relief swept over Alison at the realisation that she wouldn't be on her own with David and Marta. ' His short-sleeved T-shirt was the same deep. "I don't think there can be many evenings like that in your life!" '.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. The old fort was brightly lit. "A lonely evening indeed. Easier. Tell me. but not possible to do indefinitely." she said. Sheldon.. "Here I was facmg a lonely evening.processtext. I'd welcome anyone.html Mind? In spite of the immediate resentment she had felt at Jake Sheldon's confident charm yesterday. Marta Grellman smiled at Jake.
Marta. I can't be thinking of trips away yet!" Jake waved his hand. as soon as possible." Marta said warmly. not now." Jake said. "I'll fix it with Matron." "Etosha really is very special. "The first night there were elephants at the waterhole. and then suddenly the desert ends and there is Swakopmund. "Like Marta . And Alison. remembering." he assured her. why was But that was the. "They are both blue-eyed blondes." He turned to "That would be lovely. not to respond to his enthusiasm." There was talk then of other places Marta and Jake thought she should . Isn't that true. you know how it is with children-yesterday Trudy was feverish and not at all herself. you must get to Swakopmund. Alison.processtext. You drive for miles and for hours over the desert. and the next night two rhino. kind of thought she dared not dwell on. "Maybe we could all go. and I had to stay at home with her." he said. she's a born and bred South-Wester-we're still getting used to calling ourselves Namibians-and she loves the chance to have people get to know the country." "Swakopmund?" Alison asked. "Swakopmund." he explained. but Trudy." Jake turned to Alison. Today she is fine. "is a small German town between the desert and the sea. And there were huge herds of zebra. Marta Grellman with David? Grellman? It was Mrs. and it was impossible not to return his smile. David?" "Wait a minute-' Alison protested. Grellman. you have to get to Etosha-I'll see what I can fix up. too. and four giraffes. and of wildebeest.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. And you'll find that after a few weeks or a few months in Windhoek you get quite desperate to see the sea." Of course. "We saw more game this time than I've ever seen." David said then. who is six. and the sea. and they look .com/abctxt. "Alison." he told her. identlcal. "Well.html "They're fine. and Brigitte at four is already a little actress. and she was glad when Jake began to ! talk of a weekend trip he had had to the huge national park at the Etosha Pan. "The girls would love it. ' He turned to Alison. http://www. and my mother is with them tonight. But where was Mr. "-I've only just started work. And if he was around. "That's gnu. is quiet and thoughtful . Alison thought." Marta said. "Marta has two delightful little girls. You'll love itit 's a different experience from anything in your life.
"I'll take Alison back to her flat." he murmured. "Her husband died a couple of years ago. Sometimes there would be an exchanged glance. still gently." she said quickly "How far from Windhoek is it? Did you say about five hours drive?" She listened without really tqking in what he was saying as he drove her back to her flat and stopped not in the main street but in the street at the back of the small courtyard. she asked him about Marta Grellman. "Thank you for bringing me back. Alison.com/abctxt. Jake. and without waiting for her to do up her seat belt herself he leaned across and fastened it for her. She deserves it. and his hand moved from her arm to touch her cheek." Jake murmured. and there was a sleepy warmth in his voice and in his eyes that all at once set alarm bells ringing. And the gentleness became a . "Tell me more about Etosha. she knew that. Then." she said. and then Wiener schnitzels. It was quick. And somehow the next moment she was in his car and they were saying goodnight to the others. "Thank you. And perhaps. It's been tough on Marta. "Is she divorced?" Jake shook his head. ' and Alison would feel her heart lurch. "Cancer of the colon. very gently. "You mentioned her little girls.html see. She moved back a little. "Seat belt. He was very close to her in the warm darkness of the car. "I'll just-' she said quickly.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version." he said. and for the first time Alison wondered if this was wise." she said politely. thinking quickly. His hand closed over her arm as she reached for the doorhandle. "Goodnight. it was because she was so grateful for that that it didn't occur to her to make any protest when he swept her down the steps and into his car. Maybe things are looking up for her now. "Any time." she said. and coffee. but he made no move to open the door. left on her own with the kids. http://www. And then. His cheek brushed hers. They had calamari steaks to start with. She could not have got through the evening without Jake Sheldon.processtext. he turned her face towards him and his lips found hers. or a brief moment when David's hand would brush Marta's ." he said." he murmured. that was the only blessing. she thought later." That was the last thing Alison wanted to talk about. her throat tighten.
"It's no big deal. before going home." she said coolly. "Goodnight. "It seemed to me." he said easily.com/abctxt. For a moment-an endless moment. No way. Sure.processtext. and in the darkness she was all too conscious of the uneven thudding of her heart. certainly didn't mean to. I don't need any more grlef tonight. "I'm sorry if I gave you the wrong impression. http://www. Or was it his? "I guess I misunderstood the signals. "Down. retreated. ' Fortunately for Shandy. clinging to him. of their own volition. his lips brushed her cheek.html searching demand. into his arms. Shandy sometlmes running ahead." she said stiffly." he murmured. trying to sound stern. She's no ice-maiden. the newspaper had for once escaped his attention. that's all. He didn't release her." Jake told him. "All right. you're in trouble. you dope. you're a good fellow." Alison felt her cheeks grow warm. she thought later. he laughed. "And if you've shredded my newspaper again. not sure whether "I Because no girl he had ever known had treated him like that. "I've already thanked you for bringing me back. and then round by the other two. walking sedately beside Jake." Unexpectedly." he told the dog." Lightly." he said. Shandy. It was warm and the stars were clear in the sky as he and the dog walked towards the highest castle. you deserve a walk. her arms. with an obvious effort. Now what was all that about? he felt annoyed or amused. you and I. her lips parting under his. Jake thought fairly-but Alison Maynard hadn't done that. when she had moved closer to him. situated high on the hill beside the three castles he found himself remembering that moment when Alison's lips had been warm and responsive under his. sometlmes. Alison. And yet as Jake parked outside his town house. he'd had his face slapped on occasio nand deserved it. Jake Sheldon wondered . He unlocked his front door and braced himself for the onslaught of a very solid golden Labrador. . he thought. her cheeks burning at the memory-she could do nothing but respond to him. over the evening. she drew back. too. And then.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. "Crossed signals. dismayed at this reaction. she had just-drawn back. that we were getting on very nicely. ecstatic at the end of his solitude. boy.
"That suction drainage on the other knee shouldn't exceed three hundred millilitres in six to eight hours. I've checked the dressing. there was nothing about the efficient and competent Sister Maynard that could remind him in any way of the girl he had kissed. Thanks for mentioning it to me. an extremely good sister. there was more to Alison Maynard.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. Standoffish at first. Dr. "Perhaps she can adapt some of his exercises. interested. thinking about his patients. he would find himself thinking about his day.html Often." he said. Alison's hair was always neatly pinned up.processtext.com/abctxt. I haven't met any-other men describe as a tease? The type to lead a man on. there seemed to be no pressure problem. her badges and her epaulettes perfectly in position on her short-sleeved blue uniform. and I'm certain there's no pressure that could be causing paralysis on the outer side of the lower leg. And yet she'd been so different tonight over dinner at the Alte Fest-warm. and found that Alison was right. And it hadn't been. in him. there was definitely something that intrigued him. he was certain of that. Alison said. he must use them all the time. I'm not giving up that easily. and then turn all cool? Somehow he didn't think it was as simple as that. No. "I'll have a word with Marta. Tonight he could not get Alison Maynard out of his mind. Is she playing hard to get? Or is she one of those women-and I've been lucky. Not at first. when he took the dog out late at night like this. he thought. there hadn't been anything in what she had said or done tonight to make him think that a goodnight kiss would be unwelcome. interested in hearing about Etosha." Jake looked at her. "I've been noticing that he has some trouble flexing his foot. "I'll have another look at him. she had been-he'd been quite amused at the cool appraisal in her grey eyes. There is one other thing. "There could also be pressure at the head of the fibula. in the clinic. She was. I gather from Marta that she has him on flexion exercises using the pulley and the sling. anyway." He went back to his young patient. briefly. and eventually he gave up trying. he remembered thinking. looking into the duty room. "We'll have to keep an eye on young Roger. Jake thought. Over the next few days. he had thought. Something of a challenge there. That is necessary. Sheldon. the girl who had. And watch him with the crutches." he said to her one morning when his ward round was finished. Sister. No. in Matron's office. he realised quickly and appreciatively." " ." he said. kissed him back. we'll see if that . and will be for some time. about their progress. http://www.
and again he was impressed by her professionalism. Jake. Sister. still embarrassed' Anyway I just wanted to say that I was sorry if-if there was any misunderstanding. Once again a tide of colour flooded into her cheeks.. "I-I'm sorry if I gave you the wrong impression. Not that he needed to be. "That you let me take you out again. "At least it is on one condition. into another. but.processtext." Jake held up one hand." she said. a little awkwardly. "Dr. ' Her grey eyes widened apprehensively. did enjoy our evening. Sheldon-about the other night. "Say no more. "Thanks. after some hesitation. and he could see that she was at a loss as to what to say next. on the point of turning away. Sister. Jake said as she handed him one mug and put the other on her desk. it's water under the bridge. and then.." he said. I suppose so. " . They talked about some of the other patients. her cheeks Yes. she wasn't the first Scottish-trained nurse he had worked with." "That was a life-saver. Sister Ma nard he're lied. Sheldon.com/abctxt. she said. He finished his coffee and stood up." she murmured. stopped. i Thanks. he reminded himself. I would." he assured her solemnly." Alison looked up from the charts she was working on. : " y . "Would you like some coffee before you go?" pink. Sister Maynard. "And you can make the condition that I won't do anything you don't want me to!" He couldn't resist this chance to remind her of that moment when she had undoubtedly wanted that kiss just as much as he had." he said. and once again her colour was high. And she didn't disappoint him. "No-yes. "Dr. unable to resist teasing her a little. thanks.html helps. She switched on the kettle and measured coffee into first one mug. http://www. just on our own. p she asked. . "But you didn't mean me to make too much of it?" Jake asked gravely. Alison stood up too.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version." I She stopped.
she realised-and she would have liked to sit down too. a girl who absorbed his every thought. she smiled. . Perhaps. CHAPTER FOUR ALrsorr was off duty that weekend.. You could do with that. Years ago." she returned. perhaps more serious than she should be. Alison thought. It had hurt him. and she looked quite different when she smiled. when he was very young. She cleaned her tiny flat. he had the sudden conviction that she was different from any other girl he had known. and the beautiful crochet work. It was disturbing. "Deal. And he wasn't too sure now how he felt about this. Margaret's and a second for her cousin. because he knew very well that he didn't often think in that sort of way about any girl who was currently in his life.html He held out his hand. and then she went to do some shopping at the nearest supermarket. and she had gone out of his life without a backward glance. "Deal?" he said briskly.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version.com/abctxt. he had wapted nothing more than to spend the rest of his life with her. to laugh. she had decided. enjoying the sun on her face and on her bare arms. it had hurt him so deeply that he had vowed that no one would ever come close to him again. unexpectedly. But standing here. She hesitated. but not alone. there had been a girl. with Alison Maynard's hand in his. He had a sudden and rather disturbing thought that this girl needed that very much-to smile. Jake found himself thinking. He was always fair with the girls he took out. Her hand was small and firm in his. his every longing. a first one for one of the other sisters from St. And no one had.. You should smile more. There were two babies on the way back home. although neither baby was due for a few months. But a struggling young doctor was not for her. and you could do with just generally lightening up. Alison Maynard. He found himself wondering what it was in Alison Maynard's life that had made her. There were people sitting at small pavement cafes drinking coffee and talking-most of them seemed to be talking German. he never in any way let them think there would be anything more than here and now. and then.processtext. admiring the wooden carvings spread out on the ground. http://www. so she bought a small carved elephant and a giraffe for them. by the time I send my elephant and my giraffe I'll have been to a game park and seen real ones. allowing herself to be sidetracked into walking around Post Street Mall. He had loved her.
She didn't want to seem too inquisitive. she hoped. just for a moment. I was tired and I was disappointed and I was probably imagining things. "Alison? I know you're off duty-I meant to talk to you yesterday. his lips on hers. Marta. Perhaps the one-piece. hands she had seen caring for patients. "Nice for Marta to have a swimming pool. But she pushed that thought away. surely it was natural for them to see something of each other? And of course David couldn't just drop Marta now that Alison was here." she said to David when he picked her up. of course he had had to make friends. And with that thought there was another memory of that evening-of Jake Sheldon's arms around her. "Can I pick you up in half an hour?" costume-Marta has a pool. . "Paul and Marta bought their house two years before Paul became ill. She hoped. angry and disappointed .processtext. A wave of colour flooded her cheeks as she remembered her response to him. stabbing memory of that evening on the way to the Alte Fest-Marta saying David's name. David had been on his own here for well over a year. that Jake himself had forgotten Bikini or costume for swimming? she wondered. but it did seem a luxury for a young widow. to think that Marta wasn't included. "Lots of folk here have swimming pools. A swimming pool certainly makes life more comfortable here in Windhoek.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. a sudden. "Bring your bathmg Foolish of me. she told herself firmly. but I realised it's rather like folk at home having central heating. She managed to say lightly.html She walked back to the flat then and packed away her shopping and tried not to think of how she had imagined she would be spending her free time in Windhoek.com/abctxt. too. and it was certainly safer for swimming in. She had just finished having lunch when the phone rang. but I got caught up. although she could do with some sunbathing. he said. "I was surprised at first. without much conviction. David's hand brushing against Marta's-and her own sense of their closeness. http://www. Her heart lifted at that thought." David said. Are you doing anything this afternoon?" David. Alison told herself. when she looked at it reasonably. But the black and green costume looked good. that no." Of course. And since Marta was on her own. she wasn't doing anything. easily." He hesitated. Hands she had seen operating. over the years she had known him. His hands on the steering wheel were strong and brown. There was. And yet.
and David swung the car away from the three castles on the hill. and when Paul died it was paid off. http://www. where they had been for dinner. in her white bathing costume." he said casually. She lifted her chin. I am so glad you could come. any danger from Jake Sheldon." he said. Alison thought. I sometimes think.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. and her voice was steady. "Alison. Marta came out of the pool. but David assured her that it was. this small girl called "Give me a minute to get ready. But very tanned. then. Behind you." They passed the Alte Fest. after all. "David-come and teach me to swim!" imperiously. and he smiled. I can promise you. and for a moment it seemed that some of the warmth had gone from the sun. Brigitte. "You two seemed to get on pretty well the other night. with her hair wet and no make-up. while a smaller one was splashing Marta on the steps. "Marta lives in Pioneers' Park." " . David. and one small blonde girl was swimming earnestly up and down with armbands on. He glanced at her." Alison rotested. The pool was big enough for a reasonable swim. she observed enviously. "Jake Sheldon lives up there. Alison thought. "I'm not in "Don t worry. even in the names-you get the feeling of the early settlers. she said. "Go through the . It was this smaller one who was making most of the noise. . "There's still something of the pioneer spirit here in Windhoek. Alison-I feel kind of responsible for you." Marta said. There were sounds of laughter and of splashing as David opened a gate that led to the back of the house. outside a white Spanish-style house with a red roof. "Just don't take him too seriously. She looked younger." David protested.processtext." he said then. where the castles are. Alison realised. is Luxury Hill. p It can t really be called that.com/abctxt." Because Cathy was my sister." He drew up. smiling. .html Fortunately they had an insurance policy on it.
casual closeness between Marta and David. Marta?" "Perhaps some Brotchen. was there all the time as well." The house was pleasantly cool. Marta. Alison. as he asked her about her folks. "I'll take you back. and Alison changed in the pretty bedroom then went back through the kitchen. but she refused. being so far from your family. if the bakery has any left . that she really should write some letters. seeing that Marta was already outside. Her blue eyes were steady and friendly. "First I want to watch Trudy swimming. Alison thought later. and along the passage you will find the spare room. with some truth. David." David said. swimming. Marta said. The easy.html kitchen." he told the small Brigitte firmly. Trudy asking Alison shyly if she would come again.com/abctxt. lying on a lounger chair.. the company of the little girls-Trudy quiet.. Brigitte bright and bouncy. "Please do come again soon. Brigitte in tears because she wanted Alison to stay now. without saying anything.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. the swimming pool. But." She and the little girls came to the car with them. And David was browner than she had ever seen him. so accepted by the two blonde little girls." . pulling on his shorts and his T-shirt. Alison thought bleakly. so much at home here. I hope you will let us help you to settle here. The other level. her insistence on all of them putting a sunscreen on. took the sunscreen from Marta and rubbed some on her golden-brown shoulders. darker level. She couldn't help but enjoy the sunshine.processtext. the deeper. from your home. David. will you watch the girls while I get some cool drinks? Beer for you?" He nodded. All that was wonderful. and it was a lifestyle that she just knew she could really enjoy. It was almost. asked her to stay on and have something to eat with them." Marta said. saying. about people they had both known at the hospital. sipping a long. a little shy. As if. Alison. http://www. and took off the shorts and T-shirt he was wearing over his swimming trunks. sitting on the side of the pool. "Then it's your turn. then. her concern about Alison getting too much sun. "You must learn. it's something he has done so many times. "Want me to pick anything up on the way back. as if the rest of the day went by on two different levels. his beer beside him. the way David. too. to call rolls Brotchen-David had to learn too. to change in. "It won't be easy for you. an occasional reference to something they had done together. cool lime drink. She appreciated Marta's open friendliness.
no. and of course that was why she had this disturbing feeling when she was with David. a feeling that he was a stranger. and David was She wouldn't let herself use the word committed or tied. that evening. we want time for ourselves first. she had to admit that. her sharing them. he has a cousin who has a second-hand car place. you'll need a car. "We're going to get married soon. But it wasn't like that at all. just something to get me around. And now Cathy was gone.com/abctxt. "But we don't want to start a family for a while.html "Us'? David and her? But Alison pushed away the bleakness of that thought and thanked Marta." There was something else she wanted to ask him. there isn't much in the way of public transport. There's plenty of time for babies. the two sisters so close. once the little girls were asleep. Not.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. http://www. just not the way she had expected to feel. holding out her left hand with the diamond ring on it." He nodded. and it was understandable that he should have been glad of Marta's company. surely he must see that this was so wrong for him. longing for him to take her in his arms. And with that thought came another one that was even more disturbing. It had thrown her. I'll have a word with Jake. She put her pen down and the memories flooded back.processtext. "Yes. any longer. "Nothing fancy. she set out to write letters home. for she could see that the German girl really meant what she was saying. when she had found herself responding to his kiss-she hadn't ever felt like that . taking on responsibility for Marta and her children. ' Alison remembered all the dreams. But surely she was reading too much into what was possibly no more than a-a friendship? He had been on his own. That brief moment when she'd been in Jake Sheldon's arms. all the plans. she had to admit. back with Marta. Tell you what. We want to travel a bit-perhaps work in the Sudan-buy a house. there are so many things we'd like to do first." she had said. On the way back she mentioned to David that she would like to get a car. But her thoughts keep returning to David. perhaps helping to put the children to bed. her face alight with happiness. Did Marta know about Cathy-had he told her? Determinedly. In all the time apart she had thought so often of how it would be when she was with him again: conscious of his nearness. but somehow she could not bring herself to say the words. he found this one for me. Cathy. And later-alone with Marta.
and playing rugger for my country." Roger replied. there had been dates." she said." Roger assured her. do I come to be thinking about Jake Sheldon when it was David I was thinking about? Once the initial adjustments were made. and their monthly contributions paid for hospitalisation and necessary operations.processtext. "But remember saying that by the time you had the operation you couldn't even walk for any distance without pain? Hold onto that when things get you down." Alison told him. was a ridiculous thought. he says I'd enjoy sailing. Or anyone else. she found herself wondering. there was undoubtedly something quite special about Jake Sheldon. which gives care to people who can't afford to belong to medical aid societies and to come to places like our clinic. "Or on your visits to Mrs. Roger.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. because it was small and private. "I'll be so pleased to get home I won't do anything that will bring me back again ! For a moment his brown eyes were shadowed. Oh . her hands deft as she rebandaged his right knee. Grellman. And just how. And there are other sports. Alison told herself firmly. I was almost there. it was possible to spend more time with each patient. "No. It was very different from being in a large city hospital and. Matron had explained to her that most people belonged to medical aid societies. Now that. I might give that a go. parties. "And no slipping up on that when you're back home. you may not be able to do that. and the young man was becoming quite expert at using his crutches." . "but it works. And my Dad plays golf." Alison and Jake had talked about this. Alison found that she was very much enjoying her work at the clinic. Sheldon says I can crew for him. Now. Sister. "Dr. if I ever do get back to it.com/abctxt." "I know. And of course there is the state hospital.html about David. and Alison knew there was no point in not being truthful with Roger. you know-I had a good chance of being chosen. to bq honest and to be fair." she agreed. Marta had worked out new exercises and treatment for him. And. http://www. Because there just hadn't been anyone else once she'd realised how she felt about David. it'll probably be too late." Young Roger Brook would be going home soon both Jake Sheldon and Alison had watched the progress he made after Alison noticed the difficulty in flexing his foot. and Jake was satisfied that there was no further danger of peroneal nerve palsy. but no one special. The second drain had been removed. ' "Don't worry. "Different from your National Health in Britain. "I suppose I just have to get used to losing out on running.
Mr. no teasing." . an appendectomy. ' Alison handed him a mug of coffee. knowing now that he liked it black with no sugar. I can see he needs that." Jake said to the old man. Alison realised with compassion." she said casually. Mr. Reid-seems to be doing more in the gynaecology line. but David-Dr. And if you should have any recurrence-well." she said. you'll come back and we'll look after you. I mean-it's not very nice. Jake." He smiled then.processtext. in his blue eyes. with Roger Brook's chart in his hand. "It must be quite a thought. Reid's. fractured femur." she said. He was young enough to accept the situation and to make the necessary adjustments. Archer was sixty-seven and a enjoyed playing bowls. you may feel quite bad after that. Archer. asked if he was she saw the bleakness in his eyes widower. As for the radiotherapy -yes." She turned round then to find Jake Sheldon standing there. http://www. "Oh-Dr. "Any chance of a quick cup of coffee?" he asked her. her face warm.html Roger Brook would be all right when he left the clinic. and we'll arrange for someone who's been through the same operation to come and talk to you.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. who would also be going home soon. "Sister Maynard. Alison thought. taking her by surprise. I didn't hear you. And I know I'll be having this radiotherapy thing too-maybe I won't feel too good after that. And what if I'm ill again-really ill?" He meant what if the cancer returned. an operation like this. actually told me there was no problem. and it was dressing one day. Sheldon will prescribe something to help you. can you let me have Roger Brook's chart?" Alison led the way to the duty room." he said. I was going to arrangq for someone from the stomatherapy group to go and see him at home. Mr. "I understood you were both surgical registrars. Sister. changing his looking forward to playing again that before he turned away. Archer. "to be going home when you've been here for almost a month. "I don't see myself playing bowls again. She put her hand over his. "We get more of your patients than we do of Dr. "I'll be back in a minute. he could cope with everything. Sheldon.com/abctxt. but you got to his real anxieties. "Not after this. Sister. "He's always been a bit offhand when I've talked to him. Until his illness he had only when Alison. looked at her. but I'm sure Dr. Sheldon. and a young fellow who came off his motorbike. I'm going to talk to Dr. and for perhaps the first time there was no laughter. but I'll fix it for right away. and having to have this appliance all the time. She was less happy about her colostomy patient. "I'm due in Theatre in half an hour-pretty straightforward the two admissions. "You do that sort of thing very well." he said quietly.
as she had said to David." Jake murmured. lightly. I'll pick you up and we'll go for a picnic-time you saw something outside Windhoek. I've heard old South-Westers call it. so a lass from Scotland should feel at home there!" He looked down at her. anyway. you'd be pretty chilly in your own Highlands dressed like . shouldn't it?" She asked as they went out through the courtyard. Jake." he told her. I'll bring a bottle of wine. means highlands. and he's finding this is perhaps the direction he wants to take." he said. anything?" Sheldon." she said. Alison hurried to the door and said. Only one other thing. Sister Maynard. if you know any German. "I see you're off on Friday." Jake said. she reminded herself-but-well. And. Alison. What a lovely day for a picnlc." he added. it's Jake. That's a good thing about working here-we have the chance to change direction. A picnic would be fun. It wouldn't surprise me if David decides to speciali se ' He put his cup down on her desk. She still distrusted this man's charm. "Remember our deal. "Hochland. "The Big Rains only come in January. ' "That should be quite soon. Sheldon. Jake carrying the basket she had had ready. "We begin to hope for the Small Rains next month. without prompting." he said. http://www. and now the warm laughter was back in his eyes.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. "Good morning. and swung it." "You'll have to get used to the fact that it is always a lovely day here. when the doorbell rang. "I'd like that. she had agreed to go out with him. "Until the rains come. "While I was looking for you I happened to see the duty lists. "On Friday it's not Dr. he's been working with Curt more and moreI gather he's very good. and she disliked his arrogant confidence about women-and pretty nurses in particular. "Thanks.html "Yes. "I'm taking you out into the Khomas Hochland.processtext. I can take that day off. Sister. "Mind.com/abctxt. he turned. Can I bring "You can bring some sandwiches or something." At the door. But if the Small Rains don't come in October it can become quite oppressive-"suicide month". she was certainly in no danger from Jake Sheldonand his charm. "Thank you. All right?" Alison hesitated. Dr. Why not? she thought." He took her hand in his." And on Friday morning.
" "Gosh-you have one of these?" herself. He pointed to a four-wheel-drive Land Rover parked just ahead of them." he agreed. There was lazy laughter in Jake's blue eyes. she really had no desire to spend the whole day alone with Jake Sheldon. to free her hand from his Jake threw back his dark head and laughed. "Meet Shandy. and knew it was absurd to feel so disappointed. don't you?" folk a chance. Shandy. Alison thought." Alison said. "Tests?" she repeated. liking what he "Meeting Shandy." Jake said. "Yes." " . He wagged his tail so enthusiastically that his whole golden body was wriggling. "Tests for what?" Alison asked. you can nip up to the pool and do some sunbathing. puzzled. I gather. You would know.com/abctxt. "Everyone here is so brown. Alison?" he said. very coolly." "I hope There was a large golden Labrador sitting on the back seat." he said. that she was so glad that this was the friend Jake wanted her to meet! CHAPTER FIVE JAKE SHELDON looked at the dog and the girl." Jake said sternly." he told Alison." "I really need to get a bit more tanned. and his hand held hers even more firmly." Jake suggested' If you have a couple of hours off in the afternoon.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. I suppose I would. and she tried. "Why don't you give They had reached the Land Rover. Alison said." "Bring your bathing costume to work. . "One of your girlfriends?" she asked. Alison returned. ' You too. "That's one of my tests. Anyway. so let down. "Glad to meet you. "Oh-thgre's someone coming with us I'm very keen to have you meet. you two will get on well together. http://www." she said. "Here we are. saw.html that. "You do jump to conclusions. And it was only because she loved dogs. I feel much too pale. impressed in spite of "Great for desert trips." Jake told her. Quite a few of the nurses do. "Shandy-manners.processtext. The dog held one paw out to Alison. conscious of her rather brief denim shorts. without success. He smiled. she told herself. She took it and shook it solemnly.
Look-the city's only just out of sight and we're almost into scrubland here. "I looked at this golden butterball when he was six weeks old and I was lost. Just so that there were no misunderstandings. But there was something in Alison Maynard's clear grey eyes now that made him feel just a little uncomfortable Jake realised he had probably made something of a tactical error. But the coolness had gone from her eyes." he said. Alison Maynard." she said. but he didn't know quite how to put it right." he told her. and her voice was cool. Alison turned to Shandy and rubbed the big golden head. "I'm not really into entering competitions. stumbling a little on the Afrikaans pronunciation." "Labradors fall for anyone who gives them a kind word. but he did at that moment.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. pleased. and I love the touches of old German architecture tucked away in corners. "Remember . and there are still big-game hunters. "I love seeing the stately Herero women." he said lightly.processtext. "So tell me. http://www." Alison said. "And that was in spite of the competition. in their long Victorian dresses and these wonderful headdresses. and all delightful." "There's all that and more. ""Daan Viljoen Game Park". Jake. but in the middle of the cosmopolitan atmosphere there still seems to be a-a sort of excitement . for a moment. I like you." He risked. there are still people trying to sell illicit diamonds. and she read from the notice ahead of them." Alison had seen something else. "Especially when the prize doesn't interest me that much. "A game park. "I think I like it very much. This was something he liked to get clear from the start. I was right. and she's quite something when she lightens up a bit. . he thought. Is that where we're going?" Jake shook his head. "Eight other pups. And-I don't know quite how to explain this." It wasn't often that Jake felt at a loss.com/abctxt. taking his hand off the wheel and covering Alison's lightly. She has spirit. "how do you like Windhoek?" She thought about that.' Alison told him. deadpan." Jake agreed. "How did a nice dog like you come to get mixed up with a fellow like this?" she said to the dog.html "To be girl of the month. Fortunately. and just outside Windhoek there's the desert. "It was love at first sight." she said at last. Jake threw back his head and laughed. and he was glad of that. like you'd find in a frontier town in America last century. Shandy fell for me too." he said. a breathless feeling. this girl.
" Jake said as they rounded a corner. Anyway. And when they went " back downstairs she exclaimed. and the staircase looked considerably less safe than it had last time he was here. "Bedrooms.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. just-an atmosphere." he told her firmly. and then said. Shandy is such a friendly dog-surely most girls pass the test?" There was a hint of warm teasing in her voice that he liked. He had always felt this slight shiver here himself. this old cooker. Alison was silent when they went inside. still here in the kitchen! It must have cooked so many family meals. This is just a small game park-we'll come here some time. Jake. A mansion . most do. "Yes. Tell me "We used to call it the Ghost House. that's four hundred miles. though. Jake." Alison leaned forward. Oh. out here. we couldn't take Shandy in. "is at the Etosha Pan. and this would be the bathroom. and Jake took Alison's hands in his as she jumped down. and opened the door. "Oh. he remembers family gatherings. and when he took her hand she didn't draw away. but there are girls around who don't like dogs. Then it belonged to one of the old South-West English settler families-I've spoken to an old man who grew up here. Not frightening. "Almost there. Jake. http://www. but not until you've seen something better." Alison agreed demurely. and he could see that she was fascinated." "A huge house like that. meals out on that big stoep. the house filled with people. and brought over the desert from Swakopmund. ahead of them. With the dog running ahead. And there it was." He parked the Land Rover." she murmured. . A big. and he liked that. and Alison looked back.html "The first game you're going to see. with empty windows and broken walls. Most of the floorboards were broken now. and a lot of the material and the furnishings were imported from Germany.processtext." Alison murmured. "Tell me. Give or take a bit. They walked from room to room. ruined house." he agreed. they climbed to the top storey. ' A bit further on the tar ended and there was a gravel road." They walked down the imposing steps that led to the front entrance." he told her as they drew nearer to it. about it. "You might find it hard to believe. almost to herself." "Of course. completely incongruous here in the scrubland. and I did want you two to meet.com/abctxt. Shandy jumped out. "It was built by one of the German cattle barons. they walked over the dry golden grassland towards the shell of the house. and looked out through the broken windows. "Oh. Carefully.
com/abctxt. http://www." Alison said. I do.processtext. "You grew up in Windhoek." he told her. yes." "Do you miss them?" Alison asked unexpectedly. "The old boy I spoke to said the water failed and they couldn't farm here any longer. and set them down under the biggest tree.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. he lifted out the picnic baskets.the dam. Does she think David should still be in " 1 q' h " mourning for her sister? he wondered. we've always been friends. . and I get on well with her husband. Have you little taken aback. Jake? Are your family still here?" He shook his head. more than a How about your fami y. her fa e." For a moment he thought she was going to say something . And the kids are great. my folks wanted to be closer to them. but he saw the sudden shadow on "What about this picnic?" she said gaily.decided that this was enough. I-yes. glib denial on his lips. I miss them. little dam and some trees-nice spot for a picnic. He looked down at her. but she seemed to change her mind as they reached the car. her voice. about you but I'm starving!" . e asked her." he said slowly. He retired five years ago. "I miss them a lot. but she had all too clearly She had been smiling at the sight of Shandy swim. but my sister and I have always been close. She looked up at him as they walked back towards the Land Rover." "There's a When they were parked again. Jake opened the door. "We're just going to drive round the corner. "My Dad was a GP here.html "Why did they stop living here?" she asked him. "I don't know " . My folks. "Yes. "The Ghost House-I like that. in the welcome shade of some trees." he told her. and the rug. and something about the warmth in her grey eyes stopped the easy. brothers and sisters?" "Alison-' he began. He and Mum moved to Cape Town-my sister lives there. she and her husband have three kids.
too. to The food was good. said she wouldn't have any more wine. for there was some. and he looked at her. thing-too light. Her have in common. You didn t know-he hasn't told you " . and Jake opened the cooler bag well as sisters.would be warm. And then. Cathy. from him. For a moment she hesi." wondered about fell into place." she pointed He was very quiet. her body warm and close. and he felt himself drifting off to sleep. But as she had slept she had moved towards see that some of the shadows had left her eyes. he told her lazily. her grey eyes steady. Alison. " "Shandy is exhausted after his swim. too. sort of thing. He was amused to "She was engaged to David-David Reid. When they had finished eating. not entirely truthfully." Jake said then. . She died in a car and poured white wine for them. when he felt her mouth against his. lay down too. "If I thought " ." came here. She was a nurse too. but-I suppose men don't tell each other that effect." he sald slowly. the wine perfect. and some things he had vaguely Shandy for a chaperon. " about Cathy?" It's all right. too casual. Alison laughed." Jake said. He "I suppose that's one of the things he and Marta leaned on one elbow and looked down at her." Alison said. with ." she a moment's hesitation. qust a little." Alison agreed. buttertly kiss to wake her. we get on well together both at work and out two glasses of pleasantly chilled white wine had their of it. but at a distance " . and Alison had feeling. It was soft as he had Gently. accident two years ago." touched her cheek. .processtext." Alison known it would be. face was pillowed on one hand and her arm was already "They've both lost someone they love. him.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. I just put it down to settling in a strange Me too.She unpacked the cold chicken and the hard-boiled tated. I like But soon the warmth of the day and the effects of David. place. "I went to the bakery "I'm sorry. It was a strange and disturbing warm. thinking about it. "I-had a sister. the buttertly klss changed to something else. For a moment she opened her eyes and looked up at him. Alison. and he was glad to asleep. when he first out. and her arm was touching his. so far from home. But somehow. Her lips agreed. Marta. I was pleased for golden from the sun. the way women do.com/abctxt. And-look. "All he wants to do is sleep. said then. Just that. Jake assured her. he "He must have been pretty lonely at first. but I guess meeting her has helped David too. remembering. see that Alison. and he had a sudden as soon as they were open. And warm from the sun." she said carefully. "She was two years older than me." When he woke he saw that Alison had also fallen "I suppose not. very reserved. and surprismg longing to put his arms around her.html There's only me. "Brotchen. but we were friends as eggs she had brought. after on the rug. meaning it to be a light. you know. and the day hold her close. she said. Jake lay down She turned to him. about it at all. http://www. We have He shook his head. he wasn't sure what-in He kissed her.
and there was lazy amusement in his voice.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. as demanding as his. And just in time. after a moment. "Only in a way?" he asked. Is there someone else?" She wanted to look away. She sat up. she thought. and I have no intention of being committed. Alison woke to find Jake's lips on hers and his arms around her. "I had the impression there was rather more participation than just letting me. and she couldn't move any further back because of the tree they were under." He raised his eyebrows. I'm certainly not committed to anyone. but I guess that's his business. "I suppose this is my cue to put my hand on my heart and say. but his hand held her chin lightly. he touched the corner of her mouth. his dark blue eyes lazy. But "Look. to break this unbelievable longing to move back into his arms. if not It is. http://www. she moved in his arms. Alison= he said. do something. ' Alison could feel the warm tide of colour rise in her face. Any longer and-Jake was still very close to her. she would tell herself that it had only been because she was half-asleep that her response had been immediate and instinctive. she didn't say anything. forcing her to keep her eyes on his. of course. Gently. she told herself firmly. He should never have let you leave him not knowing." she said. Slowly. "But I shouldn't have. you know. unsatisfactory. "Well-yes. you kiss me. She had to say something. she thought. He was still disturbingly close to her." she said. Jake. and ridiculous. smiling. ' "That seems a bit indefinite . she drew back from him. "-there's no need to take this too seriously. You're obviously not committed in any binding way to this fellow. "I'm sorry. whoever he is. "In a way. not quite steadily. and the certainty of this thought shook her. Unbelievable. "Let me?" he murmured." "I shouldn't have-let Jake leaned on one elbow. So what's wronq with a kiss. and her lips were as urgent.html a small sound. Afterwards. And yours. when it's what we both want?" . bewildered. Anyway ." she said awkwardly. everything in her body responding to the warm closeness and the urgent demand of this man.com/abctxt. at last.processtext.
Because it's David I love. would have led her to think of him as a less dedicated doctor than he in fact was. but she knocked her shin last week. Alison had to admit that Jake was nothing but professional in the clinic. she reminded herself. and we both know there are no strings attached-then why not?" Put that way. until a few months ago. knew all too well the danger of this. and I've brought her in because there's no doubt now that she has advanced vascular disease in the large and small arteries of her right leg. the professional charmer. she thought. to realise that he loves me too. and she didn't even realise she'd done it. of course it was. When I found the bruise." she said firmly.com/abctxt. and I found she had diabetes. he came into the duty room to talk to her about a patient he had just admitted Although Alison was senior sister on Men's Surgical." Alison said slowly. and because I'm waiting for him to come to his senses." "The disturbed function of the nerves. and this patient was Mrs. sitting on the edge of Alison's desk. She's been on insulin. and Mrs. There was laughter in his dark blue eyes. Making a big deal out of what was obviously. and I think perhaps you enjoy it too. http://www. I do love David. This time Alison was in control of herself. and knew it was ridiculous to feel a sudden doubt. Kayapua has lived a very traditional life until recently. to him. "You see?" he murmured. she couldn't say any of that. there were four small private wards that had either male or female patients. it sounded very reasonable. "Gangrene. Kayapua. "I want to tell you about her. Jake drew back. But at the same time she had to admit that her initial impression of Dr. her husband remembered it happening. during her check-up.processtext. She came to me first soon after they came to live in Windhoek. of course. just a kiss. but there was no danger this time of a return of that surge of passion that had swept over her. "You're right. She returned his kiss. But I've been unhappy about her circulation. Jake Sheldon. No. A few days after their picnic." he agreed. "So far we've been coping with it. "Just a kiss. And there was no way she could say to him. and he moved purposefully towards her." And she . Jake was waiting for her reply." Jake said. "Why not?" she agreed after a moment.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. it was just a kiss. "Her husband is a Member of Parliament-they're Hereros. And since I like kissing you. Not that she had expected anything else. But it was true. "Just a kiss. and she's been fairly well controlled.html He made it sound as if she was making a fuss when there was no need to.
Mrs." she said one day. "Not too happy about being in hospital-I haven't spelt out the picture for her yet. tea." Alison replied. were anxious. Her brown eyes. "Sometimes it's good for young folk to have responsibility like that. can he. with the fine and striking features Alison had noticed in the Herero men and women. she is at training college here in Windhoek. her eyes closed. Meanwhile. to admit that she was worried about her leg. Kayapua?" Alison asked. "She's a nice lady. "But he cannot stop this badness inside my leg. "One daughter.com/abctxt." he said quietly." "I suppose she can help a little.processtext." Alison suggested. "Would you like some tea or coffee. Kayapua?" Alison asked. Mrs. and about the two grandchildren And over the next few days she got to know that Mrs.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. "But he will ." "Any children still at home." the woman in the bed said. looking after my husband. "I hope Dr. Kayapua was lying back against her pillows. when Alison was checking the long delay in the return of colour to the right foot. She was a big. Sheldon will let me go home soon. But she looked a little brighter. "I know Dr. she said. blanching and exaggerated pallor after the leg is elevated for sixty seconds. reduced pulse volume in the arteries. "but I doubt very much if she's going to escape it. Kayapua hadn't found it easy coming to live in the city. She managed to get her patient to talk about her fears. " y ." Mrs. and heard about the son. and the other daughter. Alison went back to see her new patient. and sat down beside her new patient." "I would like Alison sent her staff nurse to make tea. "I should be there. I want you to keep a check on all the clinical manifestations-paleness of the lower extremities." When he had gone. and Thank ou. the woman opened her eyes." He stood up. Kayapua agreed doubtfully. but I think she knows." She is the youngest. stately woman. to take the part she had to because her husband was a Member of Parliament. Kayapua. I think Alison asked about the rest of the family. Sister. the youllgest. steady on Alison's face. I'm afraid he can't. Mrs. Mrs. Sister Maynard?" "No. Sheldon watches me carefully." he said. who was a lawyer. we have spoiled her. who was married. "You are right-it could be good for her. http://www. and she tried to smile. yes. "Not yet." "Then she will be able to help her father.html Jake shook his head. Do what you can to reassure her-you're good at that.
that she . Kayapua. I know that. but his eyes were bleak. And a little later. "I'm sorry to let off steam like that." Alison watched him go." " . not quite steadily. Alison. as swiftly as it had come. in every way. and the increased coldness of the whole foot. in the duty room. his anger had gone. Alison." he said after only a moment's swift and professional assessment. Later that day. Sheldon'. And she hadn't said "Dr." Jake replied. take it." he said. And then." His voice was steady. Kayapua's leg. with an honesty that Alison could see hurt him as much as it hurt his patient. I've put all the cards on the table they know we'll do all we can." he said." "She can It was only later that she realised that in that moment of weariness and closeness he hadn't said "Sister Maynard'. Jake. Kayapua said. Two days later. Mrs. gently.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. coming into the duty room. so that he could speak to them both together. Eventually. Jake came out alone. Sheldon?" she asked. "We're going to have to operate. she saw what she knew she had been waiting for: the first signs of darkened skin. a little unwillingly. Mr. suddenly. She sent for Jake right away. he had said "Alison'. go in and see her. Alison thought. and she thought. "All the progress medicine has made' he said. he said to Alison. professional. things we have to sit back and darned well accept!" Then. "I'm sorry. "She's a strong lady. but we have no choice. "and there are still things we just aren't able to control. ' The woman in the bed looked up at him.html know how to deal with it. when her husband came to visit her. when she changed the dressing on the wound on Mrs. but they accept that if gangrene does set in we have no choice.processtext. "He's going to stay with his wife for a bit. Dr. "Am I going to lose my foot. A lower-limb amputation. "I'm very much afraid we're going to have to do more than the foot. in the duty room. with the same aesthetically pleasing features. He is a good doctor. and with a dignified bearing that made Alison feel that he must be a valued member of the government. saw that the door to her patient's room was closed for a long time. possibly. Kayapua was a tall man.com/abctxt. you are. Mrs." He looked tired. "When he goes. "Yes. Alison let Jake know. "I'll let you know when we want her ready for surgery. and he tried to smile. http://www. he was angry." she said quietly. as he had asked her to. He added.
so you'll be watching for any signs of bleeding. "A flexion contracture of the hip could result. She waited while he drank half of it.com/abctxt. Kayapua. almost to himself." "Or a contracture of the next joint above the amputation . ious he said quietly. I want a tourniquet right there. "Good girl. honestly. although their patient was still deeply unconscious. Sheldon. http://www. CHAPTER SIX WHEN Mrs. ' "We were taught not to elevate on a pillow. and there's no way I can get here-will you tell her? I know you'll do it the right way. ' Jake nodded." . Kayapua was brought back to her room after surgery. any bleeding and I want to be called." he murmured. haemorrhage is a possible post-operative complication. but I didn't say how. and although I said she could lose her leg below the knee as well the actuality of that could be a shock. Sister. "As you know. And it wouldn't be a good idea to have her wait until I get there. her voice low as well. Jake." His blue eyes darkened. If it's necessary. "Right. was wrong in that. the lower-limb amputation having been unavoidable. Sister. Dr." he said. "And I want to be called when she's fully cons Alison had done enough surgical nursing and had seen enough amputation cases to know why. What was it he had said to her? "Why don't you give folk a chance?" No. Without asking." Jake said. And Jake Sheldon was a disturbing man. in every way. Alison and Jake went to the duty room. she admitted. "Because she's likely to be in shock. still in his theatre gown. Alison made a mug of coffee and handed it to Jake. He waited until Alison and her staff nurse had settled their patient. It was a disturbing thought.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. and his voice was level "she knew her foot was going to be amputated. I And perhaps I wasn't prepared to give you much of a chance in any way. "And although she knew this was going to happen she could be confused. so that if there is severe and sudden bleeding it can be applied and pulled tight while you get me. with the foot of the bed raised. came too. "Added to that' he said." Alison said. Alison-if I'm operating. "And we don't want this lady to have any more problems than she already has." Leaving one of the junior nurses to special Mrs. No. and he put the mug down. Day or night. I'd like to discuss the post-operative treatment." she said.processtext. and she may not fully realise what has happened. Check the suction drainage every half-hour. "I'd said I wanted the leg elevated after surgery.html had certainly underestimated Jake Sheldon when she had first met him.
Kayapua. "But even so I was worried. "You said "limb". Kayapua's hands in hers." Jake said. and said clearly that she wanted to see Dr. our physiotherapist. opened her eyes. he told her. Sister?" her husband asked. I'll be in and out to see her.. as she had sometimes been before. more than a little apprehensive at the thought of doing this. She went back to the small private room and told Mrs. Sister. she smiled." Alison told her. Grellman. It was a few hours later that Mrs. "That happens. Mrs. Mrs. as if it had turned to stone." she said. this lady." older woman's eyes were on her face. Sheldon said my foot would be gone. http://www. and now her voice was less steady. because when you get your prosthesis-your artificial limb-that sensation will help you to direct it." Alison replied. Kayapua and her husband that Dr. Alison. sent a message . Sister' the woman said. and that they would let him know if he was needed. yes. who had been drifting in and out of consciousness all day." she said to her husband. And she reminded herself that Jake had been sure she could handle this. because under it no one will see this thing. instead of the Western clothes you thought I should wear. Kayapua gentle exercising. Kayapua. "The pain-you will give her something. what you're told and you never comp lam "You do . Mrs. Marta Grellman came in every day to give Mrs. well?" "So-have I lost my leg as The "From below the knee. and to become used to it. looked at her husband." she said quietly." she said one day. When Jake came up a little later. but Jake was operating. by a patienYs positive acceptance of surgery such as this. "Dr. and why.com/abctxt. Alison found she had no need to remind her patient to do these exercises." Over the next few days Alison found herself humbled. Kayapua.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. her voice steady. Kayapua was still asleep. you have. I will. but pleased more than she would have thought possible by his confidence in her.html "Yes. of course. "And it's going to be helpful. will be talking to you about that. and showed her exercises to do on her own. Sheldon. "And so. "She's quite something. Mrs. For a moment the woman's face was completely still. "But I can feel it-it hurts. with an effort. isn't she? I was pretty sure she'd handle it. Alison assured him that they would keep his wife comfortable. and he left a telephone number where he could be reached. summoned by the junior nurse. and drifted back to sleep. "you will have to let me go back to wearing our traditional dress." She closed her eyes then. And then.processtext. He would be in a special committee." Alison took Mrs. "You're my best patient. Sheldon was unavailable. and Alison told him about her reaction.
Alison. that wasn't possible. Mrs. "We have neglected you badly. "You certainly are." she agreed. we have come through massacres by the early German soldiers. trying not to be hurt by this "we'. Jake had patients constantly coming and going on A1ison's floor. " to et home. Kayapua. it couldn't be relief. Not that Marta was trying to hurt . She is better now. and there was never a day that he wasn't in and out a few times. Alison thought. David and I. the Schutztruppe. It was Marta Grellman who seemed to feel that some explanation was needed. Kayapua.processtext. She had been busy on her floor. We are a proud people. but Trudy has had tonsillitis. And I tell myself many times. Hurt. not quite steadily.html The older woman smiled. and we are still a nation. she hadn't seen him out of work either. and yet in some strange way there was a feeling of-no. and once with the sister from Women's Surgical and her husband But she couldn't help feeling hurt that David hadn't made some move towards seeing her. that he was now doing gynaecology almost exclusively. Alison knew. a wife and a mother!" Alison felt her eyes blur with tears. I may have lost a small piece of myself but I am still a woman. and often tired at night.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. "This is because as much as I like you. I want g . and we were saying we must see how you are doing. and "David and I'." I'm doing all right. And yet there was this disturbing awareness that if she didn't see David she wouldn't have to examine her changed feelings towards him. she was being foolish. we Hereros. Apart from Mrs. Kayapua's treatment. Sister." she said one day when she was leaving the ward after Mrs. thank you. she said. But that. we have come through wars. " We feel so bad. this is not going to defeat me. she told herself. from talking to other sisters in the cafeteria." And then her smile gone. Apart from a few brief and hurried words in passing. she reminded herself. though. and she had been out for dinner twice. Changed? No. But David was seldom there. was work.com/abctxt. and the fact that Marta's daughter's tonsillitis had kept David tied up. http://www. once with Jake.
"Hi-glad I caught you. her eyes wide. "Checking out if you can cook. He seemed to be waiting.com/abctxt." he replied. In for a penny. ". that we've been apart. having Jake there." she said breathlessly' You quite a stranger. and she knew why." "I know. Alison. trying not to sound hopeful she added.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. "Would Marta like to come too?" she asked him. The German physiotherapist's blue eyes were clear I have to accept this-this friendship between David and Marta. http://www. They fixed a time. . she knew that. of course. because it was as easy to cook for four as for three. It's another of my tests. "I know very well what your motives are ! ' He laughed. I can invite you back without having you suspect my motives. catching him as he hurried away from Women's Surgical. Alison thought as he left her. We need time." David assured her. "How about coming to have a meal with me?" "I'd like that. And I have to accept." Jake admitted. for so long. David and I." It's a funny thing." I am not standing here waiting for a move from him. but I've actually grown to enjoy these little exchanges with Jake." Jake said. he said then. and friendly. Alison told herself firmly. she admitted that it would help her. "Between work and Trudy being ill I seem to have lost a couple of weeks. I'll be glad to come.processtext. "But there's something reassuring about a girl being able to cook. And then." "That's no problem now that Trudy's better. ' "Why should that be of any interest?" Alison countered' Considering any girl of the month isn't likely to be around long enough for cooking to be a problem!" "True. honesty winning. David. and she invited Jake to come as well. Alison thought. . So-thanks. "Why should I suspect your motives?" Alison asked him. "She may not want to leave Trudy. too. And then. his dark blue eyes warm as he looked down at her. his white coat flying. and David hurried off. The next day she made a point of looking out for David. she told herself after Marta had gone. and Alison said untruthfully that she was glad of that. she asked him brightly." David replied. "Good. she told herself.html her.
" "But anyway. "I've been wondering . And suddenly. but you're not letting yourself go. wasn't entirely truthful. in the small kitchen. Alison was glad to see him as she checked the vegetables ready to stirred the boeuf bourguignon.com/abctxt." she told him. She could feel her throat tighten. it should be afl right." she said. she knew. and then admired the fruit salad she had made. his lips warm on hers.processtext. in view of his remark about cooking being a test. without really thinking. his arms imprisoning her." Marta laughed. "As long as we have someone on stand by for any emergency. thinking about." Jake said." he said appreciatively. The stoep was just big enough for them to sit outside to have coffee.html Jake arrived early." She had put her hair up. for what she had been thinking was that this was rather pleasant-she and Jake together in the small kitchen. She knew. Alison-is he married? Is that why it's such an indefinite thing?" She drew back. and she knew that she was close to tears. . and when he had opened the wine he inspected the large pot. "Everything looks great. "Specially you. "We can all go in the Land Rover." he murmured. She thought. and he and David worked out if it was possible for both of them to be away from the clinic at the same time. and put the new potatoes on. unbearably. and Cathy was gone. David?" "She's a party girl in training. that he was going to kiss her. "Isn't that so. with David. Alison coloured. it hurt so much that Marta was here. But she couldn't help feeling pleased at the success of her meal. "The last thing Brigitte would admit to is needing to sleep.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version." Jake said. Jake talked about plans for a long weekend visit to Etosha. Alison looked at him. and he did. "Can I open it to let it breathe?" He joined her in the tiny kitchen. http://www. that that was why she spoke as she did. and he tucked back a tendril that had escaped." David agreed. "I've brought some Merlot-rather nice qouth African red wine. remembering all too well just how easy it was to let herself go in Jake's arms. it'll be more fun that way room for Brigitte to sleep if she needs to. afterwards. "Nice. it is the food I'm And that. "Either you're thinking about the food or you're thinking about that fellow. as his hand touched her cheek." he said. And that was a foolish thought. "He isn't married. the night of the dinner party.
ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. "It's getting late. "do you remember the one at St. smiling. and I bet Marta was too." "I promised to help with the She opened her mouth to ask what on earth he was talking about." she said. Jake?" she asked him coolly. http://www. I can't remember if I told you. but she doesn't go to sleep until I am home. that party had been a New Year one." Marta said. tender sort of feeling? disturbing. Who could forget a "Was that the one when the final-year medical students sent a bunny gram to Sir Martin?" Alison asked. his anger left him. When they had gone. "Oh. it was extremely at Alison. and David and Marta left. "Don't come the innocent with me." David admitted. a strange thing happened. unfamiliar to him. "What was that in aid of. but most entertaining. with something in these eyes that made her all at once extremely uncomfortable.processtext.html "Talking of parties. thank you so much. Alison." "Neither Clare nor I seem to get around to much in the way of letter-writing. Alison. "And of course. if they do She stopped. "I don't even know if they decided to go ahead with building onto the house.com/abctxt. I hope you will give me your recipe. his dark blue eyes steady on her face." There were hurried good nights then. You know darned well I was fed up with all this "Do you remember" business. ' Alison told him how successful the extension was. "We must get back anyway. Jake Sheldon was watching her. Margaret's when Tom Wilson climbed up the clock tower?" "And draped Matron's unmentionables at the top? party like that?" he replied . as he looked down Slowly. Alison turned to Jake. the beef was wonderful. A warm." he said impatiently. "Come on. "Your nephews are wild little boys. but I visited Clare and Bill and the children a couple of weeks before I left. "My mother is staying over. dishes. lightly. Jake was very angry. although she has better manners than I do! Just what were you trying to do?" His hands were hard on her arms. but that something in his eyes stopped her. Whatever . . to be replaced by a feeling that was quite treacherous. and he looked down at her. by talking about the memories and the experiences she and David had shared-it was unforgivable And then. Alison-maybe we should start. unsmiling. but David shook his head and said no." Alison said then." he said brusquely. David. He hadn't expected Alison to do anything as deliberately hurtful as that-to set out to exclude Marta in that way. with a playroom for the children and a study for his brother-in-law.
Then. "there was a drought." All the colour drained from Alison's face. although she was trying to pull away from him. the floods that hit Windhoek in 1934. After a while he began to talk about all sorts of things-medical school in Cape Town." he told Alison solemnly. They did the washing-up. Casually. with relief. encouraged by the faint flush in her cheeks. he put his For a long time." she said. "And I'm not your "dear girl". we'd better start. Alison. "you-don't understand. and the next day-the floods? I guess they overdid the prayers. He took her hand and drew her towards the couch. I know you didn't even mention her name. He set down the last plate on the kitchen counter. and now she was really smiling. arm around her shoulder. "If you really meant that offer to help wash up. that the colour would return to her cheeks. more than a little taken aback to find that he "Anyway." she said. David has to get on with his life and you have to let him. and she moved away from him. memories of the long journey south. he said." Now she managed to free her hands.com/abctxt.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. illogically. http://www." Alison said. they sat in silence. your sister is dead. that there were no more shadows in her eyes. but he was determined that the shadows would leave Alison's grey eyes. "My dear girl." "I don't believe you. by the beginnings of a smile." he said modestly. so they had a day of prayer for rain. "you can't expect David to go on grieving for your sister. "You must admit I'm pretty good in the washing-up line. "And do you know. "Aren't you?" meant it. . fairly silently at first. "He seems to be doing a pretty good job of getting on with his life. Prett ood. she added. but all the things you were talking about-you wanted David to remember her. "I think we should Alison began. his childhood here in Windhoek." "I swear it's true. you wanted him to stop thinking about Marta and to think about Cathy instead." Alison said. "You're having me on. Alison admitted. so don't call me that!" He refused to release her hands." he said softly." Jake assured her. Her hair brushed against his cheek and he could smell the perfume she was wearing. and he saw. " y g .processtext. when the road wasn't even tarred. not quite steadily. There was nothing more Jake could say. and her voice was clear and light.html He took both of Alison's hands in his.
the nursing staff Mrs. and her hair was fragrant and soft against his cheek. Kayapua was a patient like that. "Anything to make our job easier. There was something about this girl. too. Not when he had managed to take the shadows from her eyes. He wondered how she felt when this fellow she was "in a way' in love with kissed her. holiday plans. She didn't protest." Alison murmured.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. in a moment. to her mouth. but when he began to kiss her. and he could feel the release as she allowed herself to respond to him-her lips. "I suppose we do have a fairly primitive reaction to each other. She had said. "It's late. Jake. for the pleasure of seeing warm colour flood her cheeks." Alison murmured. I'm not usually as-as "As uninhibited?" he suggested. or she would ask about families. As Alison and her staff took care of her through her recovery period. managed to make her forget everything and everyone in the world except him while they were in each other's arms. http://www.processtext." he added. always grateful for anything did." he said lazily. "I'd better go. Jake found himself thinking. that she didn't know what happened to her when he kissed her. boyfriends. But he certainly wasn't going to ask her that. at last. she was very still in his arms. And just to make sure that she knew what he was really saying he kissed her again. Jake. washed and powdered the wound area." Her head rested on his shoulder. you got a patient who did everything he or she was told. she changed. her arms. something about the way she made him feel. changed the dressing and the stump sock she would ask what they were doing. and then. who who was always pleasant. CHAPTER SEVEN SoME rIMEs Alison model patient. And then. "This time." Alison said to Heidi Muller one . "I don't know what happens to me when you kiss me.com/abctxt. and drew her back towards him. her voice blurred and bewildered'I-I want you to know. his lips moving from her cheek to a tendril of hair that had escaped. that he had never known before. still holding back from him. But you must admit it's-rather pleasant. A never complained." he agreed unwillingly. her whole body gloriously answering hIs own urgency.html "Come here. He looked down at her. had often thought in her years of nursing. It was a long time before they drew apart.
and learning how to cope with the three-point crutch walk. Alison thought later. "because I want so much to be back at home with my family. and that is good. "And you Too quickly. it was because she was so pleasant and so reasonable. and how to keep her trunk upright.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. sensibly and reasonably . I'm sure. isn't it?" Mrs. The younger ones are changing. Kayapua did. "You'll manage to get someone to bring you?" older woman nodded. "She'll be pleased to have you home. They had been talking. as it would be some months before a permanent one could be fitted. who drive. too. someone to come if anything's wrong. and so positive. and discussed.html day. and the "My husband or my daughter always takes me where I want to go in any case. Kayapua replied quickly. All this time there's been someone here. that she herself almost missed realising that her patient was in fact very apprehensive about leaving hospital and going home. while Alison changed the dressing. http://www. Kayapua nodded.processtext." Deftly Alison finished putting on the new bandage. then said. and my daughter will be pleased to do this. Alison asked. Marta Grellman. Sister. What if I fall and there is no one there to help me up? What if my wound starts to bleed and I cannot stop it? What if-?" PP " She sto ed.com/abctxt. Sister. "It is foolish of me." she said apologetically. will certainly be very happy to be away from here ! ' "Of course. "At the same time. "There are not many women of my age. She looked at her patient. Marta said. There was just the slightest tremor in her hand. the faintest tightening around her mouth that made Alison wonder. brought up the subject of her prosthesis. her voice low. the temporary one she would have fitted before leaving hospital. "it must be quite a thought. in our people. She was on crutches now. Alison thought. about the arrangements to be made for twice weekly physiotherapy sessions. The older woman turned away to straighten one of the photographs on her bedside table-a photo of her small grandchildren. Perhaps. What if the same thing happens with my other leg?" . how to exert pressure on her hands." Mrs. someone to tell you there's nothing to worry about. She had even. often said that she wished all her patients would co-operate as much as Mrs." she said. It's going to be very different being on your own." she said. But sometimes I think." she said casually.
' that I needed you to tell me these things. . Alison. Thanks. he electrolyte balance. Alison thought-surprising herself at her always was much better m your left leg. Kayapua." he said. the woman in the bed said. and thank you for understanding said it didn't matter about wearing a crash helmet. "Thank brother took him for a spin on his motorbike-and you for your honesty. remember. brain eases. Mrs. . and at the lack of an hostilSheldon .ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. she said. but I will show you what "I think she had us all fooled." Alison said. and He ran his hand through his thick dark hair. The older boy had a fractured femur." to get you a phone that you can carry around with He looked at his watch. he said slowly. "Some of these things are certainly possible." Jake agreed. after he and Alison remained on her face. and I want " . but it was the Alison stood up. Kayapua had seen the two young brothers settled. Will you promise that? tories to reduce the risk of further swelling. "The smiled. Tomorrow we'll increase the fluid and correct the That afternoon. http://www. The circulation cheerful. "I certo do if it does. when Jake had done his rounds. emergency surgery. y . whistling. as he always did now. 'q coffee. Her hands tightened on her patient s. y And you'll be having regular check-ups with Dr." that your wound will bleed. ." Jake said tersely. For a long time the older woman's brown eyes "Young fools!" angrily. wh I wanted Sim s g. I'm prescribing anti-inflammatory suppositalk to me. We'll ask Mrs. "I'm supposed to be in my you-it would probably give him more peace of rooms in two minutes. Ity now in her thoughts of Jake Sheldon. I promise. without asking him.processtext. one is only seventeen and the kid is thirteen.html Alison sat down on the bed and took both of the older woman's hands in hers. I think we should ask your husband tainly didn't realise. that s If there is anything else that worries you. "I'm going to send Nurse Muller in with a cup of tea "We won't know the damage till that swelling on the for you now. "I can t He strode off along the corridor. "I'm not going to say that none of that will happen. It isn't likely but I should have looked beyond that. older Big Thank you." she said steadily. But if it does happen we will all be here to help you But he was anything but bright and cheerful the next day. when two of his patients were brought in after to get through it.com/abctxt." " . Grellman to show she was worried. so he will be watching you very carefully. " his breathin for one thing. please position. younger one who had come off worst. "She's always so bright. " . But the signs are good. and Alison a drip maintained until he can take naso-gastric feeds. already Alison. promise you that your other leg Is going to be all And he is another one who is always bright and nght. pleasure in the realisation." came into the duty room. and he finished his mind too. . knew that she would keep that promise. you the best way to get up if you do fall. she turned. Kayapua. Mrs. "I'm not too happy about At the door. my dear. and then. she said very quietly. made . Mrs. and I'm mighty glad you did.
"That I do it this way." he told her. taking the cup from her. and remember to pack insect repellant-it's essential for after dark. meaning it. he calmed down. with painful honesty. "Oh." Alison had said. "What about Shandy?" Alison asked him as he took her duffel bag and . well. when the malaria mosquitoes come out. and this way we divide the work of getting it. he turned. yes. I mean. something that shouldn't I m just sorry it took me some time to realise that have happened. reminded her to start a course of anti-malaria tablets. You obviously helped her a "Sorry. "Thanks. They left early on the Friday morning. Sister. As In other circumstances." top wlth something like this." He stood up.processtext. Alison. That da and the next. she was telling me With an all too obvious effort. Alison would often find herself thinking. Marta had already given Alison a list of provisions to take. http://www. But there was always the thought of David to make a barrier between them. rumpled. he said. There is a shop at the rest camp. Thanks. but by the following week the younger boy was making reasonable progress.com/abctxt.html coffee. she would have to add. and the sun very strong. "I hope you don't mind. Oh." Alison said quietly. she often did. "I'm grateful for your help. and he scowled. Marta. and also made some suggestions with regard to clothing. and Alison found herself with a long weekend that she really didn't think she deserved at this stage. And please don't forget a big shady hat. Alison. At least on my side. and Jake came just after seven to pick Alison up. in the middle of the day. I have a fellow still pleasantly drowsy from the premed he had before this lot was rushed in-I'd better go and deal with his piles now!" At the door. the German physiotherapist 's quiet friendliness would have been just what she needed in this strange new life. but we like to take our own food." he said." he said quietly. about your talk with her. Jake had done as he promised and talked to Matron." she'd said. Alison couldn t help wondering if their plans to go to Etosha would have to be shelved because of this. she'd felt a little awkward with this girl. "Bloody fools!" he said. And the trip to Etosha was on. and once the swelling was reduced the fear of possible brain damage was over. Jake. and he tried to smile. it can be very hot. "I just blow my great deal. . "The others are in the Land Rover. "Take it easy. "I've just been in to see Mrs. K.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version.
com/abctxt. Trudy. "I'm sorry. Somehow. the possibility. loving and patient. Jake. "But for my two best girls nothing is too much trouble. wanted to think. but she didn't really think he would have missed it. was too much for her to dwell on. she thought. and she thought that there was a hint of a shadow in his eyes." They were dear little girls. I do because I have known him so long. the words no longer had any meaning. yet firm. "The girl next door usually takes him if he can't come with me. He lifted Brigitte up into the Land Rover. she told herself. . Trudy quiet and thoughtful. The rest camp they were to spend the three nights in was called Okavkvejo. Brigitte bright and bouncy.html the basket of food.processtext. Alison found. But did she? Wasn't it true that she no longer felt the same about David? The thought. Other people wouldn't notice. Alison hoped he hadn't seen the colour rise in her cheeks." Jake said. He seemed to be very fond of the little girls. even in her thoughts. Because I love him. "This must be quite a different journey for you!" "It is. she wanted to say. The journey to the Etosha Pan took just over five hours. http://www. and she was very glad when they reached the national park. And David? She wondered about that. Now you. she stopped." he told her. very much at ease with them. Girl next door? For a moment Alison felt a surprising and completely unwarranted interest in her. But once or twice Alison saw him glance from Marta to the children. Marta was good with them. "She's twelve-she and her folks are old friends of mine. with one or two stops on the way. reappearing from a convenient bush with her two little girls.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version." Marta said." Jake agreed. and because And there.
" He turned to Alison.processtext.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. You need to have lots of patience. http://www. "At night it is lit." "Don't they mind the lights?" Alison asked. and we can have a game drive before sunset. a small two-plate cooker and a table and chairs. and Marta produced colouring books and crayons for the children." Settling in didn't take long." Alison agreed. I'm afraid. and I can take care of myself. "Lovely!" Alison exclaimed. was glad she had changed mto shorts and a cool cotton top." They drew up beside a waterhole. "So we've got two small ones.com/abctxt. Jake Sheldon. " . "Are we?" "Of course. Because it was obviously all right with him. And of you." Somehow." Marta told her while the men went to the office. this was a situation Alison hadn't thought of. A small hand slipped into hers. the little girls running in with food to be put in the fridge. Jake and David came back then. Alison. Alison?" And that decided it. she thought. "We couldn't get one of the big cottages. "We'll go to one of the nearest waterholes. I'm a big girl. The cottages were small." he said." Trudy said softly. David asked carefully. David said. and we can see the animals when they come to drink. it's fine." Jake said." she said. And outside there was a big stoep. going to Edinburgh Zoo!" "It isn't like . Just after four they all piled into the Land Rover again. Alison. sitting in the front beside Jake. "Not a barbecue. and steady. "Is that all right with you." Jake said. with a fireplace. next to each other.html "We chose this one because there is a waterhole right at the edge of the camp. "Are we going to have a-?" She stopped. "and sit and wait. and she didn't know what to do about it. her voice clear Alison lifted her chin. "That does make sense. and drove out of the camp on one of the dusty white roads with the heat shimmering between the flat grassy plain and the pale blue sky. a bra ai she said. "Yes. but delightful. a small kitchen with a fridge. "But let's get settled in now. Alison. she told herself. his dark blue eyes guileless' You and I can share one. and there was a fair bit of coming and going between the two cottages. "I think they like it 'cos the small ones can see when the big fierce animals come. Each had two tiny bedrooms separated by a bathroom." Jake replied. "And David and Martaand the children can have the other.
early." It was the air. "You like it?" "Oh. Soon after that some zebras appeared. "I want to stay with Alison. Alison. when she came out onto the stoep. yes. Then came a few small buck-springbok." she insisted." Alison told the little girl truthfully. Then one of the branches of the tree moved. "I didn't know they drank like that. Then. was magical. They had to leave then. At first. Brigitte. "I've never done anything like this before-there's something magical about sitting at a waterhole. the glass of chilled wine." The men got the fire going for their bra ai and Marta and Alison made a salad.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. too. his lips so close to her ear that his breath tickled. warm evening. "You can have first shower." she said. "I'm sleepy too. not to go and sit at the rest camp waterhole that night. they decided a little later." Jake said lightly. And they decided." Jake pointed out. for ." he told her. and then Marta put them to bed. and she found herself holding her breath. Alison was glad she had brought a shortie cotton dressing gown with her.processtext. the bigger ones keeping order. Alison asked when she and Jake were inside "Tomorrow morning. at the water." "Give me a Some fifteen minutes later. the small ones jostling each other. "Giraffe. because all cars had to be inside the gates of the rest camp by the time the sun set. Brigitte rubbing her eyes and protesting that she wasn't sleepy. Jake told them.com/abctxt. the flickering light of the fire." he said softly. slow and stately. "I'll be going to bed soon. and he put his arm around Alison and turned her head towards some trees. for she had been sitting beside Alison while they ate.html It was Jake who saw the first animal. http://www. shout when you're clear. when all four of them were yawning. waiting for the animals . waiting for animals to come. Alison could see nothing. It moved towards the waterhole. too. it spread its front legs wide so that it could reach the water. And that. The little girls only just managed to stay awake long enough to eat. and then watching them. "When do we go out again?" their cottage. "Only way they can reach the water." she whispered. everything so quiet. Alison thought the still. and she saw the giraffe.
She could hear him humming in the shower. a little thrown by not having to put her defence plan into action. "Get a jersey "A lion-and I think he's at the waterhole . His hand covered her mouth. to find Jake sitting on the edge of her bed. hardly daring to hope.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. "Night Alison. there were some other people there too. if it was necessary. with a start. Marta. Jake. ' "Goodnight. " . here in this small cottage. you're judging too quickly. " And then. "Bathroom's clear. realised. Disturbing. Jake said. Go back to our own room. Jake. Sleep well. and she sat u. Alison heard it then. http://www. ' "Goodnight . and there was something strange and a little disturbing about that. or something and come on hurry Alison was glad of the darkness as she got out of bed in her insubstantial shortie pyjamas and reached for tracksuit trousers and a top. was the thought of how she would deal with him. as she began to fall asleep. But not too distant. laughter in his voice." he whispered. were David and Marta. Instantly. A distant roar. Her bed was narrow and not very long. too. Everything was dark and completely still when she woke. So-here she was. what their sleeping arrangements were. she decided. Remember. standing beside the wall.com/abctxt. naturally. in the cottage next door. his hands on her shoulders." Jake said. she said. he said."night." she said. and she wondered how Jake would manage in his." Jake called through the closed door. she she asked." Alison called back. David. "What is it?" ' "Once again. it wasn't David and Marta she thought of-it was Jake Sheldon. she was awakq.html her shortie pyjamas were a little flimsy. no. in his room so near to hers. Listen. "Look-there he is. Jake took her hand. The running water stopped. and there. But very strangely. I shall just be very firm and tell him to go back to his own room.processtext. . looking and waitmg. When they reached it. She wondered. p " Oh. lock the door from the inside when you're in here. and they hurried along the path towards the floodlit waterhole. Outside the cottage.
Aren't you?" he added. . though. All at once they seemed to be on rather dangerous ground. seeing the lion together. just how true it was. and with the silent African night enclosing them." she said. your tracksuit pulled on over rather attractive pyjamas. Alison managed to pull her hand away.html Alison felt her breath catch in her throat. they went back to their cottage. hear him was. and it her. http://www. when he turned and walked majestically back into the darkness." he said softly. "just what is it we do have?" She was very conscious of his nearness in the tiny cottage. Jake's hand covered hers on the table. watching the lion. I'm glad we shared that experience. She wasn't sure how long they stood there. The lion watched. was so complete that Alison could lapping the water. laughter in his voice and in his dark blue eyes. "It's just instant. and the silence. Jake. " ." Jake said appreciatively." he said disarmingly. "What time is it?" she whispered. "Just after three. She cupped her hands around her own hot mug as she and Jake sat at the small table. "I don't mean the coffee. when you got out of bed." Jake whispered back. then. She put her cup down on the table and said hastily that she thought she'd go off to bed." Alison replied. She stood up." Jake said lazily." He shrugged when Alison looked at him.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. "I mean you-your hair a little tousled. I am. "Couldn't help catching a glimpse of them when I put the torch on. He stood up too. the sound of Africa.processtext. as she said it." The night was warm. so Alison thought it must be the excitement of seeing the lion that made her feel a little shivery as she made them both coffee. "Nice. As they he drank. "More than the way you look. but at last.com/abctxt. proud and regal. Alison said after a moment. for stood at the edge of the water. Then he lifted his head and roared. realising. "Let's have some coffee and then a couple of hours' sleep before we get up. Yes. "Don't you think tonight has added a new dimension to our relationship?" he said. "We don't have a-a relationship. "Tell me.
But the next day. and she became quite relaxed about seeing Jake coming out of his room with only a towel wrapped around his lean brown body. Alison realised to her surprise ." she replied. too. I don't call that a relationship. http://www. splashing each other with mud from their trunks." He sighed. well. Perhaps Jake was right. Marta had managed to get the little girls to lie down for a rest after lunch. And blushed as she thought it. Jake and herself. a family of black rhino. we'll have to settle for this physical attraction . And sharing the cottage with Jake was surprisingly free of problems. seeing them together. she found herself thinking. with everyone helping. and the sight of the red-streaked sky meeting the vast grassy plam. the men making a bra ai one night. six adults and five babies. "Oh.processtext. she saw. And that." he murmured. his lips brushed hers. Marta a ri sotto another night. ' For a moment. "Yes. the smallest two having a wonderful mud-fight. zebras. crossing the dusty white road a little way in front of the Land Rover. two big ones and a baby. In fact. "But I'm still glad we saw the lion together. "A physical attraction.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. jackals. trying to keep her voice light and casual. at the waterhole. was less painful than being with them. More than once she found herself wishing that it were only the two of them. funny little bat eared foxes. CHAPTER EIGHT TH ExE was so much about that time at Etosha that Alison knew she would remember for all her life: getting up before sunrise.com/abctxt. Buck of all kinds. Mealtimes were fun. when they went swimming. and with some reluctancq she had to smile too. Giraffes. and she and David had stayed at the cottage with them. Alison?" "You're laughing at me. Very brown as far as the towel. so that they could go out of the gates as soon as they were opened. a kiss that was warm and light and tender . and smaller animals. One night. "No. so that the magic of this . you could certainly call it that. perhaps there was a new dimension in whatever there was between them. That was so breathtaking that Alison forgot to get out her camera. And you don't call that a relationship. It was a different kiss this time." Jake repeated thoughtfully. Alison found.html "I suppose we have a sort of physical attraction. And every night a group of elephants. and as amused as his. here. once a hyena. and she caught herself wondering how much more of him was as tanned as that. that's all. that was fun too. Jake." she said. And one morning a long. she could certainly see that all of Jake that was visible was the same deep gold colour. slow line of elephants making their way to a waterhole.
" he said. Alison. for they had closed the curtains to keep the sun out. leaving Alison to scramble to her feet without any help. "Your shoulders are getting burned. colouring. with the little girls. Was it because of Cathy. And that." he told her. On the way back to their cottage she said. "You're going to have a mark on your back. "It would have been off if you had moved. The heat had made Alison drowsy." he told her. African sun." Alison replied drowsily without lifting her head.html wonderful place wasn't marred at all by the hurt of seeing David with Marta." Jake said. ' "It was only unfastened. "Anyway. was strange. you know.com/abctxt. Their cottage was cool and dark. They lay in the sun beside the swimming pool for half an hour longer. http://www. "Can you unfasten that . Without waiting to be asked. please?" She thought there might be a funny remark from him. then Jake said. he fastened the top of Alison's bikini and stood up. "I don't want any marks. "Or if I had. a little miffed. that she felt this way about David and Marta? Alison didn't know. The feel of the cool floor on bare feet was lovely. but he said nothing." "I didn't think you were. . sunscreen on for you. all she did know was that it hurt. and she didn't make any protest when Jake moved the shoulder straps of her bikini-top down over her shoulders. when she was becoming more and more certain that somehow her feelings for David had changed. I'm not made of stone." Jake looked down at her." she returned demurely. and his voice was warm with laughter." Jake said. just unfastened her bikini-top and smoothed sunscreen where it had been. she had to admit to herself with painful honesty. then. . that he thought they'd had enough sun.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version." "It wasn't off. and she could feel his hands close to the fastening of her bra-top. "I couldn't have taken much more of lying beside you in the sun with your bikini-top off." Alison told him.processtext. "You'd had long enough." "Don't ever underestimate the He took her hand in his then. and swung it as they walked. quite brusquely." "I'll put more His hands were big and strong as he smoothed the lotion into her shoulders. "I would have liked to go on sunbathing for longer.
"So he does. "You are not going to say this shouldn't have happened. Later-much later-he looked down at her. She started to speak." Alison replied truthfully. http://www. but his dark blue eyes were intent on her face. or even to say something-anything. Andqthen. because she had to be honest. But she said nothing. would be wiser to move away. with difficulty. Gently.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. and then her lips. she knew that. the time for any decision was gone." It . "I don't want to talk about it. knowing all too well that that wasn't true and knowing. she knew that he was looking down at her." he murmured. that it was difficult enough admitting this to herself. "The animals are too sensible to come out when it's as hot as this. "I don't have any doubts. when his hands.com/abctxt." she said. although she was honest enough to admit to herself later that she'd known very well what staying there close to him meant. at the same timP. but he put one finger on her lips. "I suppose it's still too early to go out on a game drive?" said. she Jake nodded. and you wanted me to." Alison shot back. when his lips found hers.processtext. I wanted to make love to you. his finger traced the outline of her cheek. and she stood still. we won't. unfastened the top of her bikini. let alone to Jake." Jake said. ' "But if you don't want "He's a very foolish man. "But it confuses me-feeling like this-wanting this to happen. She turned her head away. "Because it had to happen-I know that. and I think you do too. It wasn't a conscious decision. she said. ' "I wasn't going to say that at all. "All right. after what she had said to him before. to talk." In the cool darkness. And I don't really care whether we call it a relationship or-what did you say?-a physical attraction. Because everything that had happened between Jake Sheldon and herself until now had been leading up to this moment." "Confuses you?" Jake repeated thoughtfully. His voice was lazy. "You mean it makes you have doubts about this fellow you already have doubts about?" he asked her. amused." Jake returned equably.html Alison thought." he told her with authority. "I don't think these beds were made for two.. then. So don't say it shouldn't have happened. Every part of her body responded to the urgent demand of his. When he took her in his arms. warm and confident.
their game drive was wonderful. "Like Wordsworth's daffodils. "I hear Brigitte and Trudy outside. Alison thought that. And following them came a small herd of wildebeest. That night. reluctantly. although the animals were still far away. ' Neither David nor Marta made any comment when Jake and Alison joined them a little later. water. when the children were asleep.html Alison wriggled as far away as she could in the narrow bed. . with Jake spotting a long line of zebras in the distance. anyway." Brigitte whispered . "Windhoek and the hospital seem part of a different Life." he told her. Although all the animals approached any waterhole with caution. coming towards the waterhole they had chosen. and it was difficult for her not to laugh aloud. "I would have liked to see just one more lion. and let this flash upon your inward eye and fill your heart with pleasure!" Alison was unable to hide her surprise." she said quickly. "But tomorrow we'll be back there. David's eyes were questioning. when the nightly group of elephants were the only animals there.processtext. but no more than that. "Etosha is always here.com/abctxt." Alison said softly. At last. there seemed to be an unwritten rule that each must have its turn." "They share the The sharing was something that intrigued Alison." Jake said. you know. "They're pretending to be zebras too. the four of them went to sit at the floodlit waterhole at the gdge of the rest camp.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. "I think we should be getting ready for going out in the Land Rover." Alison said regretfully. you'll be able to recall it all . Once again. ' Jake's hand covered hers on the stone bench that overlooked the waterhole. "The zebras don't mind." her sister told her. "I'm not just a pretty face. they left the waterhole. http://www.
Why should she. she countered. he asked her. he thought bleakly.html "Perhaps we might. that she had to let David forget Cathy and get on with his own life. David had put his arm around Marta'sshoulder as he pushed the door open." Marta pointed out. "Alison. as she did so. "Jake. so he shouldn't mind that. "David's the man you're in love with.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. of course. as we drive out. He remembered. they parted. Marta had their key ready. so-forlorn about her that for a moment he needed to make a conscious effort to recall that surge of anger he had felt. He looked down at her. hearing. until that moment. feeling her . and she saw slow understanding dawn on his face. the door of the other cottage close. and while Jake was unlocking the other door Alison turned round to reply to Marta's whispered goodnight. the way he had been hurt by Sharon. he realised. He had assumed that Alison had left this man in Scotland. And in the light from the open dooqway there was no mistaking the way he was looking at her." he said flatly. feeling that strange and somehow treacherous pity for her. I= "Why should I?" She seemed to be on the point of saying something more.com/abctxt. And all the time it had been David. and once he felt that same bewildering surge of-pity? Tenderness? He didn't know. When she felt Jake's hand on her arm she turned to face him. "It's David. any doubts she had had about David and Marta gone. It had never crossed Jake's mind. But the word died on her lips. my dear." he said. and there was something so bewildered. but it wasn't as simple as that. He looked down at Alison. "Why didn't you tell me?" She shrugged. when in her eyes this wasn't a relationship. that was all he was looking for as well. And I told her. thinking she was upset because David had forgotten her sister Cathy and turned to Marta. then she shook her head. He closed the door of the cottage behind them. for anything that held the possibility of being hurt. So she said nothing. When they reached their adjoining cottages. that it could be David. Alison stood silent. only a passing physical attraction? And. she wasn't in love with David any longer. then. He certainly wasn't looking for anything more.processtext. indeed." Alison wanted to say that no. She was right. and he put his arms around her. http://www. perhaps that she had come here to forget him.
and the coolness of her voice told him all too clearly that it didn't matter what he had meant-she certainly didn't mean together. coming from me. Jake wondered how much sleep she had had the previous night. And that changes everything. you have to accept that. so determined to hold onto this unreal feeling she called love for the man who had been going to marry her sister. when he saw the shadows under Alison's grey eyes." he agreed carefully. "Chin up. he had to make her face the truth.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. there was no getting away from that. it isn'tAnd once again. not quite steadily. . where David's car was." Alison turned away from him. It was strange. http://www. lying unsleeping in his narrow bed. "And you think differently?" Once again. she stopped." Alison replied. Marta then falling asleep.html slim shoulders rigid against him." she said. It may sound strange. Jake. I know it's tough for you. as she had before. "He was lonely-Marta was there." "A good idea. anyone can see that. and then took Alison back to her flat. she shrugged." "But Jake asked. but you have to accept it. but those two are in love with each other. "He thinks he's in love with Marta." she said after a moment.com/abctxt." Jake agreed. and he was rewarded with a rather watery smile. it's late-let's go to bed. For her own sake. too that that Alison was the same one as the warm and passionatq_ girl he had held in his arms in this very bed. thanks. with the children both sleeping for a good part of the way. "but you must see that it's much more than that now. It was tough for her. Allson. it's understandable . he thought later. "They come from different backgrounds." she said." Her shoulders were still rigid. Now come on." "All that may be true.processtext." she said when he stopped in the street. Strange. "but you're leaving out one thing. the hint of red that told him of tears. that Alison could be so stubborn. he couldn't feel angry with her. David has made a new life for himself. and then Alison. But the next morning." he said. "I'm not coming in to overcome your scruples and throw you on the bed. Cathy and David didn't plan on having children for quite a while. He dropped David and Marta and the children at Marta's house. And there are the children. "They don't really have much in common. "I can manage everything. only to find he's in love with Marta. "Perhaps that's how it started. "you came all this way because of David. It was a quieter journey back to Windhoek.
" I am going to dress.." she said steadily.processtext. "My dear girl. Kayapua knocked at the door. when I am with Mrs. "and I will come in to say goodbye. "Thank you for taking me to Etosha. Sister. "my . "You helped me to bring these fears into the open. Dinner tomorrow night?" He kept his voice casual. There was an unexpected touch of mischief in her smile. but he wasn't about to forget his own ground rules. her husband and her daughter came to take her home. "It's an experience I'll never forget. http://www. don't we?" He kissed her. Now I know I can get up again if I fall. "I plan on making you forget him ! ' And he was taken aback to realise just how much he meant that. "Sorry." he said.com/abctxt. Alison looked up from the charts she was filling in when Mrs." she said. "Or later in the week"?" And then . Alison asked her. She was beginning to walk with her temporary prosthesis . and if I need help I have i this telephone that I will carry with me." she said when. Kayapua was allowed to go home.html Jake said mildly. "I hoped it would be special to you. All right. In the flat. Mrs. he said lightly." A little later. and to deal with them. using crutches now. and check that everything is all rlght at the flat. and the "I can do it. "I will come and see you." she murmured more than a little awkwardly. his lipc brushing hers for only a moment." she said.. and he was glad to see that the sleep in the Land Rover had taken the shadows from her grey eyes and left them clear again.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version." It wasn't the time for levity. he thought." It was worth that. "I just want to help. I know what to do if my wound bleeds. she was different. Sister. she turned to him when he had carried her basket and Thermos into the kitchen. you carry everything. "Since he became an important man in the government . and in a few months her permanent prosthesis would be fitted. for her or for anyone else. seeing the question in her eyes. "Anyway. to see the colour rise in her cheeks. we have fun together." she said. Grellman for phsyiotherapy." She patted Alison's hand." he said. A few days after the Etosha weekend. now. this girl. Jake. "You feel you can handle being at home?" older woman nodded. he knew. "It certainly is to me.
but it's time now for him to put it behind him. "I'm really going to miss you-you've been a star patient. Bill along the corridor.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. As long as he's learned his lesson. "I see you're ready for my elective varicose vein op tomorrow. "Bill doesn't need to be on his own now. "I think Richard is carrying a load of guilt about the accident which is right.. because it was his fault." Now he The skirt of her Victorian dress was wide and vividly coloured. pushing an excited young. . he's coming on well physically. Jake's surgery and subsequent post-operative measures for the younger boy having avoided the brain damage they had feared. trying to be casual. particularly as young Bill wasn't wearing a crash helmet." Richard said. encouraging him to help when they turned him by grasping the bedrails for support. "He's Down's . and her headscarf matched her dress. nurse. "Hasn't done Richard any harm to worry a bit about his brother. "I think you look wonderful." he said. He looked at the notes on her desk. "The active motion decreases the possibility of so many complications." Heidi Muller said.processtext. urinary problems-no. but I'm not too sure he believes us. Kayapua. But. and putting his bed next to hIs brother. her daughter on the other." Bill returned. "Thromboembolism." She and Heidi and the nursing aide moved the beds.html husband has wanted me to stop wearing our traditional dress." she said. "Qulte a bandage on your head. and then left them. eased the weights on Richard's leg. "That was a great idea. "No. She watched as Mrs." Jake said when he came in later to see both the boys. Kayapua made her slow and dignified way along the corridor to the lift her husband on one side of her." Alisonexplained to her staff . We've told Rlchard that Bill is going to be all right.. pneumonia." Alison said." "I'm sure he has. "I'm going to move young Bill into the four-bed ward beside Richard. I'm not." "But you're not entirely happy about him." Alison said sincerely. gastrointestinal problems." She came to a decision. Alison checked that they were both comfortable. agrees that it is better for me to be dressed like this." Alison admitted. "Pretty good plaster you have. and I think it with help Richard to see for himself that his brother is doing all right. Her deep fringed shawl was a darker blue. Mrs. and Alison and her staff made sure he moved as much as possible even in the bed. Sister. The older boy was recovering well after his fractured femur.com/abctxt. The two young accident patients were coming on well. http://www. in scarlet and blue and emerald.
It was the last thing he would want. she would be foolish to deny that.processtext. when they went dancing. much more than she would ever have thought possible. But still. sensibly. Dr.com/abctxt." Jake said gravely." "Thank you. on you. had meant more. overconfident . now that she had got to know him. Sheldon. http://www. and. "He'll probably want to help around the ward-the last Down's patient I had would have given all the other patients tea every hour on the hour if I'd let her." "I see that. She told herself." "I knew I could rely When he had gone. I'll see that your pat lent has some jobs to do. she realised that there was a very real danger of some rebound effect. carried away on this tide of passion engulfing them both-it was foolish. of course. but allowing herself to mistake a-a passing physical attraction for anything more-that was something she certainly wasn't about to do! CHAPTER NINE JAxE had said "we have fun together'. when his lips and his arms became . That she could be in his arms. and thinking of nothing and no one in the world but him. Not that she had any intention of taking him seriously . when Jake kissed her goodnight. with the shock and the dismay of finding that David was-or thought he was-in love with someone else. of course. that there was this undoubted strong physical attraction between them. That warm afternoon in Etosha. she thought. he had made that very clear. And. when they had made love. It was strange now. soberly. Perhaps it wasn't a bad thing thatqhe thought she was still in love with David. Knowing she felt differently about David was one thing." Alison said. she reminded herself hastily. He is a great deal more thoughtful and understanding than he would have people think.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. Sister Maynard. to remember her first impression of Jake Sheldon-arrogant. She'd had to change her opinion of him as a doctor pretty quickly.html syndrome. Because without even allowing herself to put the thought into words she knew that she dared not allow herself to be swept away like that again. many times. Add to that her own vulnerability. So. with a man like Jake Sheldon. she told herself. the last thing she would want. and that was true. here in this foreign country. not to be taken seriously. and she had changed her private opinion of him too. she had to make a very determined effort not to allow herself to be swept away by the way she knew she could so easily feel in his arms. a man so openly determined to enjoy himself and yet to keep his freedom. Alison put her pen down on the desk. when they were close together in the darkness of the car at the end of an evening together. But when Alison was with him. of falling into the arms of-of someone like Jake. just the sort of doctor she loved to hate.
. Alison was learning to call them large and beautiful houses. Our dogs came running back. and we were sure it would be the end of our dogs. for some reason. "When I was a boy. Shandy would look up at Jake intently. for a moment. She told herself that since he seemed to be content to go on as they were." He put his arm round her and pointed down the hill. but we were able to walk right down there. But once. a look she hadn t seen before. closer and closer to each other. and the baboons. Jake had found a small second-hand estate car for her. We used to hear them coughing and barking. Somehow. which made her see. and she drove it right up that koppie there-there was nothing more than a path-hooting furiously and shouting. and got into the car as if they had sent for a taxi. A look that brought a strange tightness to her throat. and our dogs chased the baboons. so Alison didn't move away. I was here with my mother. His arm. Shandy. here-and Shandy would have an enjoyable but unsuccessful chase. of meeting to take Shandy for a walk when their hours off coincided. He never said anything. but somehow she would manage to hold back. return his embrace. when I was quite small. and eventually he would release her. more demanding. Alison would return his kiss. her head was now resting on Jake's shoulder.processtext. strong and muscular as it was. she and Jake. and she would meet them sometimes on the hill beyond the three castles. and of course we kept our distance. to the open hillside above them. Jake and Shandy had favourite walks. to stop there. and a blur of gold would run ahead of therrq. Sometimes there would be a ground-squirrel-a meerkat. "Go. They got into the habit." Jake would say." he said. many of them foreign embassies. http://www. We came here with our dogs then.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. We could hear the dogs. felt much nicer than the rock had. thoughtful. As soon as they had passed the last house. "big troops of them. with the big golden dog walking sedately beside them. and there was a far-away look in his . and she would feel uncomfortable. And often she didn't know whether she was relieved or disappointed.com/abctxt. There were houses built high on the small hills there-the koppies.html more urgent. But they never chased baboons again. sitting here in the sun after their walk. in the koppies. she should just accept things as they were." Jake said one day as they sat with their backs against a warm rock. there was no reason for her to feel this way. eyes. But sometimes she would find his dark blue eyes resting on her. "There were baboons then." "He smiled. and this made a great difference to her independence. "there were no houses here. "My mother had an old Volkswagen then. Jake and Alison. since he had made it very clear that he wasn't looking for anything long-term. the exhausted dog at their feet. the boy he had been. beyond the foreign flags flying at the different embassies. questioning ." It was very pleasant. would walk up beyond the houses. Alison realised.
To come here looking like Cathy. She couldn't remember. She hadn't ever had her hair quite as short. When it was done." Jake replied. but he leaned towards her now." Jake said with certainty when he came into the duty room the next day." she said. her light brown hair falling thick and smooth to her shoulders. making any conscious decision to grow her hair. "Alison-Marta and I were just saying we've hardly seen you since our . "I like it. She turned away from the mirror and looked at the picture Jake has been talking about-the picture of Cathy. she was a little taken aback. back in her flat. the way Cathy's was. there were differences-Cathy had their mother's blue eyes. she thought. It was a strange and disturbing thought. and murmured." she murmured.processtext. but she couldn't help smiling as she said it.. Although he seldom had patients in her ward. "She is. knowing she sounded defensive. "I did like running my hands through your hair before. but I can't help feeling that letting your hair go must be even more drastic than letting your hair down! I can't wait to find out." Alison retorted. "You'd get on well together . I must say. http://www." "You are incorrigible. alone. aren't you? Especially with your hair like that. It was the next day before she saw David." he said unexpectedly. the thick fringe. but usually either he or she would be hurrying. laughter in his dark blue eyes. "Everyone always knew we were sisters. in your flat. and she didn't know whether she felt angry with Jake for making her think it or grateful to him. But that day they met just outside the staff dining room. and you and Cathy didn't look as alike..ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. But in the photo of the two of you together. your mother." Alison sat up and moved away a little. soberly. and she looked at the smooth shining cap. "We always were alike. she did look like her. you two. but it was too late now to have doubts. Jake lifted a strand of her hair. and the shape of their faces was a little different-but with her hair worn the same as Cathy's-yes. Jake Sheldon. ' She didn't answer that because it seemed better not to." That night. He was seldom less than professional when they were on duty. Oh. most days she saw him around the clinic. "I was looking at a picture of your sister the other night. "You're quite like her. now.com/abctxt. But the next day she went to have her hair cut.html "She must be quite a lady. The girl who looked back at her had serious grey eyes. and she certainly had never set out to look like Cathy. your hair was different then. it blew a little in the warm wind. she looked at herself in the mirror. she amended painfully.
" David said. then looked more closely." And while you were falling in love with Marta.processtext. your way in for lunch? It's late. "I love Marta. Marta and I. She brought you home soon after you met-it was her nineteenth birthday. "That must be just what you were when I knew you first. Alison thought. yes. "David. I wanted to see that he was comfortable. surprised.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. Remember?" "I remember. she know about Cathy. but. sounding pleased to see her. David asked.. "I told her soon after we met. "Hysterectomy." Alison said. but isn't it a problem to you. "It shouldn't be a problem. not knowing what he was going to say." he said as they sat down at a small table. waiting for you to realise that if anyone in the world was to take Cathy's place it had to be me! She wasn't sure. "We had an unexpected admission." he said." There was no queue at the counter at this time." Alison replied. "and I wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of my life with her.html Etosha trip. for quite a while before I knew that I loved her. I have no ." he said." he went on. his voice low. "Marta's little girls are delightful. but there was a shadow in his hazel eyes. "Cathy had just started nursing -I was still at school. "I think she knew quite a while before I did. He smiled. also with salad. "We were friends." he said carefully." He looked at her. Total abdominal. I was back home in Scotland.. "I loved Cathy. afterwards. He put his fork and knife down. http://www. and He hesitated. taking them on? Someone else's children-children with a different background?" He looked away. "Makes you look about sixteen. waiting for you to come back to me. surprised." He smiled.." "It was." David said. "And now there's Marta." He leaned across the table. David?" "Does "Oh. what made her say what she did. "I was in the theatre next door. "Was that Jake's peritonitis?" was. and Alison said that it They chose their food-Alison opted for cold chicken and salad. She hoped that it was a real concern for David." Alison waited. David for Kasseler chops. "You've had your hair cut. But Cathy is dead.com/abctxt." she said slowly.." he said at last. and her voice was steady." Alison replied." he replied. "Alison. "perhaps this is something I should have said sooner than this." "Are you on "I know.
ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. David. she told herself when David's bleeper summoned him to see his patient in Intensive Care." "No problem with that. "He'll have to have the elastic stocking on all the . him doing that?" Jake asked cautiously. Now she could accept it. "Marta senses that. http://www." And that is true. although I haven't said it in so many words. then the elastic stocking. to apply pressure. he told Alison. "Don't do anything in a hurry. when the ward is being cleaned. "I couldn't say it to anyone but you. He had done a ligatioh under general anaesthetic. I didn't say anything that wasn't completely valid. for it wouldn't be the first time a senior sister had objected to a mentally retarded patient's attitude to the usual ward regulations.processtext. ' "It doesn't bother you. And to the children." His eyes were troubled. and if he gets a chance first thing. of the troubled look in David's eyes. Jake was pleased with the progress his varicose-vein patient was making. . and at the same time he had treated the smaller veins by injecting a chemical into the vein. And keep him walking. the package deal of Marta complete with the children is something I haven't completely been able to commit myself to yet.com/abctxt. But-yes. time." Alison replied. You have to be sure about something as important as this. Alison. and he could see that she meant it.html doubts about that. Dr." Once that would have hurt. Sheldon. She put her hand on his. "Look-he's helping Staff to hand out tea to the other patients. She forced herself to ignore the faint sense of unease that came with the memory of what she had said. "Every time you change the dressing on the ligation. as well as to yourself. gauze cotton and then Velcro. "Not at all. I don't think-right from that first time Cathy took me home you've been like a real sister to me." Alison assured him. "Give yourself time you owe it to Marta." he said. knowing that the reminder wasn't really necessary." she said quietly. put a final dressing on the small veins. he likes to help to wash the floor.
the small matter of Alison being absolutely certain of two things. "I do find it makes a difference to my patients' recovery if their families are allowed to come more freely than just in visiting hours. he said to her. "I've cleared that with Matron. and felt her lips warm and responsive against his. and it wasn't a question. Jake assured her. he thought ruefully. "Chemistry'. It makes him feel more at home here.com/abctxt. It's sometimes difficult for people to be free at the arbitrary hours we set. didn't seem at all unpleasant. Perhaps I just needed to find the right girl.. "I've noticed." Y." Jake said." he said then "that you also have a fairly open attitude to visiting times. than a brotherly peck on the cheek. nothing more. And that. "He I m on your side. relationship. Alison-when David kissed you. There was. "He hasn't kissed you. One night." "Other "I don't want to talk about how I feel about him . that she was in love with David Reid. and that must be quite some time ago. "I still say you need something more basic-more physical. took in quite a number of girls. One. Sister. whatever-made him realise that he hadn't. defensively. .. Jake thought with certainty.html "Tommy is a dear.. and to learn to trust again. did you feel anything like this?" A slow tide of colour suffused her cheeks and she looked away." Her smooth cap of hair shone in the sunlight streaming in the window. . Alison. http://www. come across one quite llke Alison.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version.. and I know he feels less anxious and less awkward when he's allowed to help. Every new facet of their-friendship." Alison coloured. and Jake had a sudden and most unprofessional longing to reach out and touch it." she told him. if you . and two-following on from that-that therefore anything she felt for him was physical. Oh. A longing he hastily suppressed. out of the blue. she said quickly.processtext. she had even said once. too. you know. instead of dismaying him. of course. and to his astonishment the thought. he thought one day. in all the girls he'd known since Sharon. One thing I'd like to know. but nothing like as warm and responsive " as he knew they could be. I feel the same. Jake raised his eyebrows. when he had kissed her goodnight very thoroughly. But I wasn't joking when I said I planned on making her forget him.
taking her out for walks with the dog-kissing her.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version." Jake agreed.processtext." And suddenly. "You can tell Sister Maynard about this trip. though-I'll tell you on the plane. something new and disturbing. the wife of one of the directors of a big fishing company. holding her his luck. though. with a nurse. He reverted. "Has this Mrs. "But not in the clinic.html like-than that. There's more to it than that. But Ted Barton is on our board-he matters." "Do I go in uniform?" Jake shook his head. Take enough for a couple of days. ritz Hospital. that strange and treacherous feeling came over him as she looked up at him." he told her. "A fractured femur shouldn't need a doctor and a nurse flown from Windhoek. leaving them alone in her office. Working with him. "We have an emergency call to Luderitz. and what he wants he gets. and that pleased her. He put his arms around her gently and held her close to him. Sheldon had asked for her help on a special case. Alison repeated." He looked down at her." he told her. But Alison couldn't help after that. "We're going to see Mrs. Sister Maynard. taken aback. self-Ah. her clear grey eyes troubled. with no warning. They're sending a private plane for us. Barton. was something she could enjoy with no reservations. with a quick knock on the half-open door. "Something you and I have." Matron informed her. Sheldon can tell you about it him . she said as Jake hurried in. and she knew that he valued her work and her opinion too. "You have two hours to get ready-I'll pick you up. "But surely-?" ." "Trip?" Alison asked when Matron had gone out. He wants me there. Dr. for close." "A fractured femur?" She broke off. "Let's forget it-for now. here you are. ' "It's been X-rayed at L de Barton had an accident?" she said then. Jake hesitated. for dancing. sometimes pushing set. ' feeling troubled about Jake. Jake nodded. to his usual dinner. casual and carefree self. but accepting the limits Alison And yet-and yet sometimes she would find him looking at her with something new in his dark blue eyes. "I know. And so she wasn't too surprised when Matron summoned her and told her that Dr. "Dr. Alison asked." He looked at his watch." he murmured.com/abctxt. more than a little dazed. She knew that he was a good and caring doctor. Sheldon. http://www. "Sorry. against her hair. "She has a fractured femur.
"I'll be right beside you. but somehow his words.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. and he had known them all his life. or even to Cape Town. "It's not really the fractured femur.html The next two hours were a whirl of activity for Alison. more than a little dismayed at the thought of flying over miles of desert in it. not sure where she was." He told her that Ted Barton and his wife were old friends of his parents. threw some clothes into an overnight bag. She's been reluctant to drive. Jake had parked his Land Rover and was hurrying her across to the small plane that was waiting for them. and was waiting for Jake when he arrived." she said. She followed him into the plane. What can you and I do?" "I don't know. "But she needs tests done in hospital. A very small plane." He frowned. I mean about doing things as they ought to be done. not the international one Alison had arrived at. I've seen them only twice since then. or lost her balance-she doesn't seem too sure what happened But over the last few weeks there have been some strange episodes. and the strong warmth of his hand on hers. CHAPTER TEN Ir was impossible to talk until the small plane had taken off and was heading away from Windhoek. and in no time.com/abctxt. were the only wild desert-dwelling horses in the world. the engine already revving. She's not a forgetful person. I'd have thought he would have whisked Betty to the clinic right away. In actual fact she tripped. pointing to the desert below them. ' Alison looked at him. locked up her flat. made all the difference in the world to her. http://www. changed into jeans and a cotton shirt. and her husband thinks she's having problems with vision. Someone took her home." he said. but she's missed turning up at a couple of meetings. and there are only about a hundred and fifty in total. Jake climbed up the steps ahead of her and held out his hand. "A scan-motor function tests. A little later. "It isn't like Ted. "We saw about twenty of them. in the Sperrgebiet. Barton was found in the library. Alison thought. it seemed. he told her that there. ' "It's It was ridiculous and it was foolish." . all right. "I'm not sure what the real problem is. confused.processtext. and I've been lucky-people can live here for years and never see them. I don't mean the medical problem. She handed over her ward to the relief sister then hurried back to her flat. the forbidden diamond territory. when we were coming to Luderitz to spend a holiday with the Bartons." he said. It was the small local airport they went to." Jake admitted." Jake said. "It's what led up to it. Mrs. and she was all right by the next day. "I saw them for the first time when I was about ten years old.
The older man nodded. Only when they were sitting down with coffee and biscuits did he suddenly seem to lose his cheerful brusqueness and look older.com/abctxt.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. I believe. rang the bell. Alison. "And I thought if that didn't work.html They landed at the small airfield outside Luderitz soon after that. He led them inside. That's why I need your help to persuade her to have tests done." he said." Alison replied. then perhaps you could get through to her. http://www. "I know she has to have tests done-she knows it too." He put his cup down on the coffee-table and looked directly at Alison. "Betty's in hospital. depending on what you think's best. to reveal the small town lying ahead of them. to come home." and instead pointing out to Alison the big security gates leading into the diamond area. "She's All right if we skip the Sister?" "You get a good view of Luderitz as . But I can't do that to Betty. or she just slipped. Ted Barton said. "We'll talk later. "All right. Jake. He and Jake were obviously glad to see each other. Ted?" Jake queried." he said abruptly. "Sister Maynard-Alison. so fortunately there's no question of that at the moment.processtext. I could ask the doctor to sedate her and just have her taken there. blurred impression of deserted houses." He hustled them into his Land Rover and drove off towards the town. Ted Barton's own house stood high on the hill." ""Fortunately". but she won't admit it. and ordered coffee from the pleasant woman who came into the big room. brushing aside Jake's enquiry about his wife with a brusque." He ran his hand through his thick white hair. as Ted Barton turned another corner. I've heard so much about you from Jake-that's why I . we did. the site of the first serious diamond rush in what was then South-West Africa. let her wake up in Groote Schuur or somewhere else. or she forgot. desperate to be allowed out. and very weary. "I hope that we can take her straight from there to either Windhoek or Cape Town. with the desert sand piled up against the walls. she can't do much about resisting. and a big white-haired man came forward to greet them. "Did Jake tell you what they say? Luderitz is surrounded by the desert on three sides and bombarded by the Atlantic Ocean on the fourth. but she's in plaster and in traction. shaking her hand. and a church that was almost Gothic. she says she's fine-she was just tired. a beautiful blue house high on the hill. you landed?" "Yes. and the ghost town of Kolmanskop . Alison had a swift. overlooking the harbour. It had German-style buildings.
She had blue eyes eyes that even when she was smiling were anxious. was white. and his sister and her children. but he did now. Jake stood up.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. "tell me more about some of the things that Ted is worrying about." Alison didn't think she had ever before seen Jake looked embarrassed. and he won't stop worrying until you've . "Maria will take them to your rooms. but curled softly around her face. like her husband. now-what do you remember about it?" The woman in the bed laughed." Ted Barton went on." he said. "A couple of weeks ago. and from the window of Betty Barton's room there was a lovely view of the little town." Jake commented lightly. And there were lines of strain around her mouth. That day in the library. Ted Barton nodded. bringing you all the way here. I'd be fine if they would just let me go home." Betty Barton held out her hand and Alison took it. "Leave your bags there. "This is nonsense. Ted. Jake and I went out for a steak. Alison looked at her carefully and unobtrusively." the woman in the bed said as he bent to kiss her. she thought." he said. this is Alison. Betty. "For Ted's sake. "this is all ridiculous." she said. "I think we should see Betty as soon as possible. but all three of the others recognised the effort she had to make to do that. ' The hospital was at the other side of the bay." her husband put in. and Alison was amused to see that he wouldn't meet her enquiring gaze. of course. "Jake. Betty. I'd had this awful flu-I think I was a bit light-headed." "That was a fortnight before. when I was in Windhoek." he said." Jake said now. "Let's have some tests done. Jake took both of her hands in his. quite gently." she said. with the blue waters of the bay between." "Not too easy with a contraption like this. clinging to the rocky hillside. "My dear. "Now that you have got us here. You're staying here with me. "Betty. Betty Barton. was in her late sixties.html asked if you could come too. and he talked about you most of the time. that's all." As she asked Jake about his parents. "For goodness' sake. Her hair.processtext. He's worried about you. but I'm glad to meet you.com/abctxt. too. http://www. "it was nothing-a bit of absent-mindedness.
processtext. In either case. but I have this feeling that it's urgent. Back at the beautiful big house on the rocky hillside they had dinner-grilled fish that Ted Barton assured them had been swimming in the bay that morning and then Ted went back to visit his wife again. or it could be malignant. Betty Barton could have had a mild . http://www. I don't like the idea. Obviously. and her voice was shaking.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. And this is similar-bouncing sound waves around. And I do agree that Mrs. ' Alison did." she said. "She has to have a scan done. nothing-I was tired. "You know as well as I do the possibilities. that's all. Barton suggested that perhaps I could persuade her-perhaps I could try talking to her tomorrow? Unless he comes back and says she's changed her mind." Jake told her." Jake said." "I know what you mean.html taken this further. Ted Barton kissed his wife and said he'd come back in the evening to see her." "It's "And I'm There was nothing more they could do. "I won't have tests done. Jake and Alison sat over coffee. "The tests I'd like you to have-they're not painful ." She turned away from her visitor and reached for the bell. "Ever get those feelings. "I have had feelings like that myself. His dark blue eyes were serious." He smiled. Remember the bone-density test you had done a couple of years ago. but if we can't I'm inclined to get Ted to sign the consent form and take her there anyway. He tried to smile. she could have a tumour. scanning to make sure there aren't any problems. of course. it had to be removed. and they're not invasive. "There's a new machine at one of the city clinics in Cape Town. I want to rest. "What's the point of Ted having a private plane if you can't make use of it? You could be flown to Cape Town tomorrow and be back in a few days plaster and all!" Betty Barton pulled her hands away. we want to get her to agree. stroke. but She hesitated. A tumour could be benign." Alison agreed. talking about what they knew should be done. "It's more sophisticated than the CT scan. he's the one she should see." . "Mr. ' . when we wanted to check for osteoporosis? That didn't hurt. And there's a very good man there. so my Dad says. That's what I'd like Betty to have. sometimes you have to doctor by the seat of your pants. she could have an abscess on the brain. Alison? In spite of modern technology. tired now. Barton must have tests done.com/abctxt.
processtext. that a tumour or an abscess was more likely. most of all. "I could handle that. from her previous experience. that's what it must be. that she might just turn away. she couldn't feed herself or dress herself. Betty Barton gave in. honestly It did seem to her. "But for ten years before she died she didn't know me . Alison took a shot in the dark. She had Alzheimer's. You owe it to yourself. Mrs. in going over the ground they had gone over the day before. is it?" she asked. that is malignant?" She thought that the woman in the bed wasn't going to answer. tears running down her cheeks. to find out. ' Betty Barton began to cry. The next morning." Alison replied slowly. not understanding. soundlessly. In the last few years she was incontinent. perhaps. The older woman nodded." Her eyes searched Alison's face. Jake took Alison over to the hospital. with a small sigh. and it wasn't a question. "My mother died five years ago. she didn't know Ted. There was no point in denying that. But at last." she said." she said quietly. she didn't even know who she was. I-I just don't want to know. Barton seemed pleased to see her. "No. either. but she knew that she didn't have the authority to say that. and I can't face that. It's if they don't find anything-that's what I'm really afraid of. clasped hands." Now Alison understood. And there was no point. I'm not afraid of a scan finding a tumour.html But Ted came back soon after that to say that his wife refused to consider having any tests done. perhaps.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version." she said shakily. http://www. even if it was malignant. "No. "Mrs. she said at last abruptly. . and her voice was little more than a whisper. She put her hand over Betty Barton's tightly "And you're afraid that what has happened to you could be the start of that. "I suppose Ted's sent you to try to persuade me . but let her go in on her own." Alison looked at her. but was very guarded.com/abctxt." Betty said quietly. and you owe it to Ted. to raise any hopes that might be false. it isn't impossible. "If they don't find anything else. "are you afraid of what this scan will find? A tumour. You owe it to them." she said. Barton. "It's not impossible . any other explanation. I was looking at the photographs of your grandchildren last night. "If it is. "But if it is there are new drugs being tested all the time that can make a difference to Alzheimer's.
"I've just cleared it with the clinic." she said at last. "It's all arranged. my girl. Then. possible. obviously forcing himself to pull himself together. When Jake finally came out." Alison said doubtfully. "For now. knowing that Ted Barton would want to make arrangements immediately He was at his office." Alison looked at Jake. He and Jake went into his study to make all the arrangements. "Ted is taking her to Cape Town this afternoon.processtext. he's the best neurology man in Cape Town. "I hope that's all right. where she had been sitting. Ted." "As soon as Alison went back right away. he stood up. and they were on the telephone for half an hour. Alison dried the tears. I mean. I'm going over to the hospital now to tell Betty what's happening. http://www. We'll be on our way to Cape Town as soon as possible." He left then." he said gruffly. ' Ted Barton followed Jake out.com/abctxt. let's get things moving. but they couldn't take her immediately And I've talked to Adam Steyn. "No need. I'll tell you just how grateful I am to you. "Later." "Only getting back . Tomorrow afternoon my pilot will get back here and take you to Windhoek.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. Ted has arranged for one of the nurses from the hospital here to go with them. that he should have realised what they were for himself. and he was silent for a long time before he said. we've got her in at the city clinic I wanted. Alison told him what his wife's real fears were." he replied. tomorrow. get on a commercial flight?" "Should we try to Ted Barton shook his head. and within ten minutes he was back. and she could see that he had the same question as she did. "Tell Ted I'll have the tests done. and they heard his Land Rover roar into life. but Jake phoned him there. Alison came in from the stoep." Jake told her." he said.html Gently. "We have to get back to the clinic. So you have this afternoon and tomorrow morning to show Alison the sights of Luderitz! At the very least take her out to Kolmanskop. quietly. They do have this machine at Groote Schuur too.
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Jake took both of her hands in his. "If Ted has cleared it with the clinic, you can take it there's no problem," he assured her. "And now that we know Betty is going to be in the best possible hands we're going to do just what Ted suggested and go to Kolmanskop. ' There was a small four-wheel-drive Jeep left for them to use, and they headed out of the small town and into the desert. It was like a mirage, Alison found herself thinking, this desert ghost town. Deserted houses, without windows, some with broken steps leading up to the broad stoeps, some with roofs caved in. And sand sifting through all of them, blown up against the walls, " piled up on the floors inside, in one house reaching halfway up the staircase leading to the bedrooms. "But they lived well, didn't they?" she said softly, feeling somehow that she almost had to whisper, as they walked through the big building called the Casino, where the diamond seekers had come to relax, to eat meals cooked by German chefs, to see shows put on by entertainers brought in from Europe. "They had to, with the desert all around them," Jake said. "And they could afford to. The early prospectors could pick diamonds up from the sand-there are photographs in the little museum over there of men crawling about picking up diamonds. They made and lost fortunes overnight." They came out of the Casino, and Alison looked again at the modest little house, most of it submerged in sand, behind it. "I think I like the schoolteacher's house best," she said. "It's small, and you can imagine someone living there. I wonder where the children she taught are now?" Jake looked down at her. "It does that to you, doesn't it?" he agreed. "Makes the people who lived here very real. Even if they do call this a ghost town." They spent most of the afternoon in Kolmanskop, and when they left Jake told her he was taking her out for dinner. , g, p It wasn Barton, results and see t easy, Alison thou ht to kee herself from thinking about Betty wondering about the flight to Cape Town, wondering what the of the scan would be. Sometimes, too, she would glance at Jake that his blue eyes were shadowed and his face still.
But Ted Barton phoned at six and told them that the flight had gone well, Betty was safely installed in her room at the private clinic, Dr. Steyn had already been to see her, and the scan and other tests would be done the following morning. "I think she's relieved, now, that this is happening," he said. "You'll let us know what the results are, Ted?" older man assured him that he would. Jake asked, and the
All Alison had brought with her were jeans and cotton shirts, but Jake said they weren't going to a smart place and she would be fine. She
ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version, http://www.processtext.com/abctxt.html took a cardigan, too, for there was a chilly wind from the sea-a wind that made her glad of her short hair, which fell so easily into its smooth cap against her head. "It's actually part of the rest camp, so we'll find campers here as well as people staying in the cottages," " , Jake said. But the food is good, and it s-well, you'll see." The restaurant was built right on the beach-almost in the sea, Alison thought when they reached it. They had a window table, and they could hear the sea lapping against the rocks that the restaurant seemed to be standing on. The moon made a silver path across the dark water of the bay, and it almost looked as if the stars were reflected in the sea. "You like it?" would." Jake asked when Alison turned to him. "I thought you
"It's magic," she said softly. They had oysters, and then crayfish, both of them speciali ties of L de ritz "You know what they say about oysters, of course," Jake said, straight-faced, when they were on the way back to the big house on the hill. "An aphrodisaic." Alison laughed. "I can't see you properly, but I think you're leering, Jake Sheldon," she told him. "Of course I am," he assured her. I'd be twirling it." He parked the Jeep then turned to look at her. "Did you yawn?" he asked her suspiciously. "If I had a moustache
"I'm afraid I did," Alison said apologetically, and she yawned -again. "It must be the sea air." And, she thought, it's been something of a strain, this whole trip here. Jake sighed. "So much for the oysters," he said. gracefully." "All right, I know when to give in
He kissed her, his lips touching hers for a moment, warm, and asking nothing more of her than that. "You know something?" nice man, Jake." Alison said as he drew away from her. "You're a
And that was her last thought as she fell asleep in the pretty rose-sprigged guest bedroom high in the eaves. He really is, she mused drowsily. Nice as well as-everything else.
ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version, http://www.processtext.com/abctxt.html The sun was shining again the next day, and Jake assured her that they were lucky, for the little town was often lost in sea-fog. "We're going out right after breakfast," he said mysteriously' So hurry up!" He was waiting in the Jeep when she went out half an hour later, and she could see a picnic basket behind the seat. "Just coffee and biscuits," he told her airily. pretty isolated." "Where we're going is
The track, for it was little more than that, took them right out of Luderitz, with the desert on one side-with notices reminding them sternly that this was the Forbidden Territory, the Sperrgebiet-and the sea on the other. When Jake stopped they were in a small bay, with rocky islands set like jewels out in the sea and the desert behind them. Gulls wheeled in the sky, white against the clear blue. And not another soul in sight, Alison thought in wonder. "It's lovely, Jake," she said. "It's more than that," he told her. "Come and see."
He took her hand and led her down to the sand, where he bent down, muttering something, shook his head, then moved further along. Alison, amused and intrigued, followed him. " , Ah, here are some, he said, and he opened her hand and put some small stones in it. "Agates," Jake told her. "This is called Agate Beach. You do find the odd garnet or cornelian too, and they say you just might find a diamond." In a moment Alison was down on her hands and knees, sifting through the sand, muttering to herself as Jake had, comparing what she found with the small stones he had given her. "I brought a bag for you to put your stones in," he told her. Together, they moved along the beach, sometimes finding tiny agates, sometimes not as lucky. When the bag was half-full, Jake pulled her to her feet, "Time to go back and have coffee," he said firmly. He kept her hand in his as they walked back along the beach, Alison still looking down, and sometimes finding another stone. They were almost back at the Jeep when she suddenly stopped and bent down. "Look, Jake," she said breathlessly, and she held out the stone to him. "Is it a diamond?"
as they lay on the rug in a pleasant tangle of arms and legs. http://www. his lips against her hair. with nothing but the sand and the sea and the sky. his lips left hers.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. "It's quartz. He looked down at her. Perhaps. all gentleness was gone. abruptly. She couldn't. Are you certain about this? A question that he must have seen there was only one answer to." he told her. Alison thought afterwards that perhaps she said his name as well. Keeping her close to him. A long time later. borne away in a tide of passion. is that what you call it?" Jake asked. he took her in his arms. his fingers traced the outline of her mouth just before he kissed her again.html He shook his head. as each of them recognised and responded to the urgent demand of the other. He put his hand on her shoulder and drew her closer. The only thing that did matter was that she was there on the deserted beach with his arms around her. It didn't matter. "I did wonder whether cutting your hair meant the same as letting it down-now I know. Then she said demurely. Jake said lazily. And then.. with one hand he opened the door of the Jeep and pulled out a rug. CHAPTER ELEVEN ALIsoN knew that her whole body was as urgent and as demanding as Jake's. holding her so close to him. quite gently. His blue eyes "Same goes for you. . slowly. his eyes asking. And then he wasn't smiling as he looked down at her." "Better put that on he told her. too. but she didn't care. were dark. What could be more wonderful than to be on a deserted beach.processtext.com/abctxt. Then. or perhaps she didn't wait for that.. now. and Jake's arms around me? And then there was no room for thinking anything. do anything to stop her own arms from finding their way around his lean body. He murmured her name. He hadn't taken her in his arms again and only their lips touched. remember. he made her sit down and sat down beside her. Alison could feel her heart thudding unevenly. smiling. There was only a moment when Alison thought dazedly." Alison returned. He looked at his watch. Still gentle. And then." He handed her her cotton T-shirt. "You did warn me about sunbathing. in that slow and gentle kiss. ' "Oh. "And-er-everything else.
even when it was quieter in the cabin. but there was a much better chance from the air. I once said to Jake. for a long time. smiling too. she remembered. too. questioningly. But not in any way as if she regretted what had happened on the beach. the plane banked sharply. he thought.html "I promised you coffee. about possible surgical intervention and further treatment. so he took Alison's hand in his and pointed to the horses. and the small plane flew as low as possible over the desert. She looks like a little girl." Just time before we should get They sat on the rug drinking mugs of coffee and eating biscuits. He saw rather than heard her gasp of delight. to let herself feel so deeply for this man. and then she clasped her hands toget5er in excitement. somehow that didn't seem to matter any more. but could it account for the way she had felt afterwards. But could chemistry make her wish that she and Jake could stay there on their beach for ever? Chemistry could perhaps account for that tide of feeling that had swept over them both. There. dark man beside her. Neither of them said much on the rest of the journey. perhaps. lying drowsily in his arms? Foolish. . There were questions in his own mind. Barton. "Chemistry'. and the pilot pointed down to the desert below them. didn't I? back. a small herd of them-nine or ten. At this slow speed the noise of the engine made it impossible to say anything. Jake thought. as the plane pulled up and turned to head for Windhoek. that it surfaced again. Then. And it was just as well that they were alone. Jake thought. Sometimes Jake would find Alison looking at him. could really be no more than a strong physical attraction. they were silent. were the desert horses. He didn't want to say anything to Alison in case there was no sign of the desert horses. running free. It was a ridiculous thought. when they were in the small plane heading back across the desert. with miles of sand and sea stretching round the bay. wondering if what she had felt today.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. and it was only later. about the scan she would be having done in Cape Town. just when he had given up. too! When Jake said it was time to go she suddenly thought. and an extremely disturbing one. I wish we could stay here for ever. Then. on the beach. But Jake had a quiet word with the pilot before they took off. They talked a little about Mrs. And for the first time she found herself wondering about her feelings for this big. http://www.processtext.com/abctxt. and Alison thought that there couldn't be many places in the world where they could be completely alone like this.
I think I love her. took Alison to her flat.com/abctxt. he had had the strangest thought. with her fixed idea of being in love with David Reid." he said to Alison once they were back in the duty room. thinking of Alison ten minutes away. Right. on the beach. if she stopped fighting it. "Let's do half-hourly temp and pulse-rate checks.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. wonderingly. just the two of them. there was no doubt about that. But after this morning surely she would begin to see the difference between dreams and reality? Alison was supervising her staff nurse changing dressings when he reached her ward the next morning. more than he should have after his appendectomy.processtext. he stood on his stoep looking out over the lights of Windhoek. he's got a cough and abdominal discomfort. you can finish off. There's always this danger of secondary infection with drainage . that she had similar thoughts. when he hadn't even kissed her. http://www. She looked. Nurse Muller. " . And slowly he began to realise that he could not any longer avoid the word that kept coming into his mind. from the faint colour that rose in her cheeks. He had to dismiss a swift memory of the way she had looked the morning before. And he hoped that he wasn't deceiving himself in thinking that Alison felt the same-or she would. But that night.html How had it happened that this girl had become so special to him? Why wasn't he. On the beach. and he found his thoughts running once again along the same lines. when he had collected Shandy from his neighbour's. and agreed that there seemed to be early indications of inflammation. ' Jake went with her along the corridor to see his patient. and went round to the clinic to check on his patients. "Dr. He said the words aloud. Horton. Jake said it again. But that was the last thing he wanted. and Shandy looked up at him. with her hair smooth and shining. She had a stubborn streak. and there was no more time for thinking as he collected his Land Rover. I'm not too happy about Mr. feeling as he always had done before-that it had been great fun. He had found himself wishing that they could stay there. by now. fresh and crisp and efficient in her short-sleeved blue uniform. and come back from the necessary late-night walk. as always. "I'm going to do a leucocyte count too. and he was pretty sure." She turned to Jake. "You can do the temperature charts next. They landed at the small airport just outside Windhoek soon after that. she told her staff nurse. and we may be looking at an abscess in the pelvis or in the . but it was just one of these things? Time to move on . Sheldon. he should be feeling by now.
Alison asked. he turned back." "The tumour may be benign. As soon as they met. David a tubal ligation-and then. "But even if it's malignant it's a small one. and the fact that the older boy was soon to be discharged and then Jake had to hurry off to operate. both of them tired. They should have the pathology report the next day. He hesitated. he happened to finish operating in one theatre just when David Reid finished in the other." "I do think. "Nothing yet. sat down to have a cup of coffee together." They discussed his two young accident patients." he said a little awkwardly." Alison said." "You'll let me know anything more you hear?" promised that he would. it didn't seem possible to make a light or casual mention of something that had made him. He had the feeling-in fact he was almost certain-that Alison had been doing some thinking too. "Adam Steyn did every possible test." he said. Barton will be relieved. to let her make the first move. but she had already gone. "She can face anything rather than the prospect of Alzheimer's. "She's fine. "Shandy says are you coming for a walk with him tonight?" Alison smiled." "Meet you there-I might be There was a phone call from Ted Barton just before Jake left the clinic. and he tried to find Alison. .ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. late handing over tonight. but she said nothing. Bleep me if there's anything you feel I should know about. she turned to him." Jake pointed out. whatever the outcome." Jake told her. "Haven't seen Marta for a few days Jake said casually' How is she?" David looked away. and he He had wondered if she would make any reference to what had happened between them. Somehow. but she'll have a reasonable chance.html liver. "No news of Mrs. certainly. They discussed the operations-Jake had done a colostomy." At the door. Mrs. A few days later. "Had a bit of a tiff?" Jake asked. She wouid obviously need chemotherapy or radiotherapy after surgery. and there is a tumour-a small one. "Tell Shandy I'd love to." Jake told her. Barton yet?" Alison asked him as he made to leave. "I-haven't seen much of her either. "Ted will let me know.processtext. and he was prepared to give her time. "Ted phoned from Cape Town.com/abctxt. and she had returned Shandy's eager greeting. He's going to operate tomorrow. look at their relationship in a new light." she replied. and neither did he. http://www.
obviously taken aback. The time has come when I have to make a decision.com/abctxt. "Sorry. the girl he had held in his arms that day on the beach. And not only anger. and she agreed that we shouldn't see each other for a bit out of the clinic-but I know her so well that I can see she's hurt. It was Alison saying that I owed it to all of us to be sure that made me realise that perhaps I wasn't. And then. think it through. taking on someone else's children. come to your decision-but remember it's your life. it's just-I need to do some thinking. I saw very clearly that it wasn't fair to Marta and the children just to sort of drift along. "Not really second thoughts. "You're right. Not just for me but for them too. Sure. her as well." he said." he said. He had known and accepted her stubbornness in the way she felt-or thought she felt-about David Reid. "She says that. "They were there all the time." he said slowly. It was just that. searing disappointment towards he asked abruptly. Jake. With an effort. But not anger at David. David. It's certainly something we both thought a fair bit about earlier. But he had not expected this of the girl he had been close to falling in love with. but Marta thought I'd got it sorted out. not to rush into a decision. and it's Marta's life. Only at Alison. I owe it to all of us to be certain about this. Alison!" It's nothing to do with . perhaps I did need to take time to think about it all. "Jake?" David said now.html David shook his head.processtext. "She knows I have to be sure. of course." Jake stood up. "And Marta-how does she feel about this?" David's hazel eyes were troubled. But it's a big thing. with difficulty.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. but somehow I had the feeling things were working out all right for you and Marta he said carefully. "I just don't think it's any business of Alison's at all. "Did you just-start having second thoughts about It all?" David shook his head. some sorting out." A cold and unpleasant suspicion began to grow somewhere inside Jake. Jake managed to smile. Trudy and Brigitte. "I'm very fond of them. feeling a cold anger that he could only just hold in check. and it's the children's lives." He stared into his mug of coffee "They're super kids." he said. http://www. He felt a bitter. talking to Alison." he said. he went on. "No. "And thanks to Alison that's what you're working on." Jake put his cup down on the table.
I haven't. The scrawl at the end was his name. she knew. "No.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. taking the steps two at a time. the blue eyes very dark. and also with paperwork. his dark brows drawn together. There was something in his voice that made her look at him more closely. she realised." he replied coolly. "Jake?" she said uncertainly. She was leaving the clinic that evening. would complete the treatment. "Hey. You haven't heard any more. but along with antiobiotics Mr. She had been right about the possible abscess in his appendectomy patient. she came back from a late lunch break to find a note from him on her desk. she realised." he said. His lean brown face was taut. and a further drainage tube had had to be inserted. Sorry I missed you. and was as certain as he could be that a short course of chemotherapy .com/abctxt. They had been busy on the ward. have you?" He shook his head. "Perhaps I've just had my eyes opened. "It can't be that much of an emergency! Thanks for the note-it does sound as if Mrs.processtext. smiling a little at the brusqueness of the note.html It was a few days since Alison had seen Jake other than when he did his ward rounds. smiling and putting her hand on his arm. I hope you're satisfied now that you've ." she said. One afternoon. He hadn't even taken time to say. hurrying down the steps. http://www. as Jake came up. so he had probably been working late catching up with private patients. as an extra precaution. telling her that although Betty Barton's tumour had been found to be malignant the neurosurgeon was confident that he had managed to remove it all. Barton is going to be all right. that's all. or made brief visits to his patients at other times. a quick arrangement for them to meet to take Shandy for a walk. even if she does have a bit of an unpleasant time with chemotherapy. Horton was recovering nicely. Which would explain why he hadn't stopped for a quick word with her. and Jake had been busy in Theatre as well. "Is something wrong?" "I wouldn't say "wrong". But soon his busy time and hers would be over and they would see each other properly.
"I agree that's tough.html managed to stop David and Marta seeing each other. ' "Oh. that she had hardly seen David since they got back. "But he'd have sorted out those doubts if you hadn't interfered. He looked down at her.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. I bet you spend most of your time off pointing out to him what a mistake he would be making." she faltered. so I'd like to know-did you decide while we were making love that you were going to talk to David.processtext. And you can't make up your mind that because Cathy is dead David Reid is yours and to hell with anyone who gets in the way of that. "Funny how wrong you can be." she said. you and I. "Not that it really matters. "I should have the decency not to mention that day on the beach at Luderitz. "I did see that." His dark eyebrows rose. "I'm sorry about your sister. http://www. "My life hasn't been a bed of roses either. That day I was pretty sure we had something special going. He smiled . And that's what's really funny-that I could have been so wrong about the kind of girl you are. "Have you. "He had doubts anyway. ' "You don't understand." .com/abctxt. so have I. and I was pretty sure you would see that too once you stopped fighting it. She lifted her chin. Jake. "Well. since I talked to David Reid. taking on a couple of ready-made kids. and you've just made it a heck of a lot tougher. hardly able to believe the hostility in his eyes. a smile that didn't reach his eyes." he said." he said." "It isn't like that. slow anger began to rise. now?" he asked." That talk she and David had had in the dining room one day. don't suppose you stopped to think that Marta's had a pretty tough life. "There's only one thing I want to know. But I'm sure you know all about that." he said. I "Oh. She could feel the colour draining from her face and in spite of the warm evening she was suddenly cold. but I don't." she said." Alison said shakily. or did you only decide later?" Alison started to say that she and David had talked before she'd gone to Luderitz with him. But you can't spend the rest of your life feeling sorry for yourself. I understand very well." Her small spurt of anger was gone. unsmiling. But Jake brushed her stumbling words aside. The cool appraisal in his eyes shook her. her voice unsteady." Through the dismay at the way he was looking at her. So wrong that I really don't know why we're standing here talking. the things he was saying. I accept that. I'm sorry." Jake agreed. "I-I didn't say that." he assured her. I hope you're satisfied. "I-I've been doing a lot of thinking since we came back. As I say. but I have patlents to see.
It had been concern for David that had made her say what she did. what she had said to David that day. she had to make him understand. for although she saw David only briefly. She remembered. but walking up slowly. the fun they had had together. and say hello pleasantly. But the door swung closed behind him. CHAPTER TWELVE WHErr the door of the clinic closed behind Jake. it seemed to Alison that he was walking out of her life. . she told herself. accompanying him on ward rounds. deliberately. Home? The word. That realisation grew in the next few days. "Jake-wait. if Alison wasn't in the ward. But each time Alison was all too conscious of the German girl's shadowed blue eyes. was in regularly and conscientiously to see his patients.html Without even a nod. as there was only one patient in Alison's ward having daily physiotherapy at the moment. and her mother's arms around her. would find herself answering his polite questions equally politely. knowing she sounded desperate but beyond caring. just because-just because Because it's over. She didn't know how long she stood there. to be like a little girl wanting my mother. http://www. Foolish. making a note of any mstructions he had.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. It's over. But perhaps she should have kept quiet. not taking them two at a time now. of the strain on her face. in her thoughts. stopped her short. as if they were strangers. Because of his friendship. She hadn't realised it until now. but it was because of Jake that she hadn't been homesick before. Jake himself.com/abctxt. Marta. foolish. slowly and painfully now. he turned and went on up the steps to the clinic. she could see that neither of them was happy. for the big warm kitchen at home. she told herself. would always look into the duty room. Jake and me. just when I was beginning to admit to myself that he has come to mean so much to me. Alison. Somehow. For the first time since she'd arrived here she had a sudden surge of longing for Edinburgh on a grey winter's day.processtext. the time they had spent together." Alison said. It's over because he thinks I tqried to come between David and Marta. when she came to see her patient. as if they never had been and never could be anything but two people with nothing more nor less than a purely professional relationship between them. the things they had done-even the walks with his dog. and Marta little more. and in spite of the people hurrying past on the pavement she had never felt so alone in all her life. and eventually she went home. hoping against hope that the door would open and he would come back. as always. Impatiently she brushed away a treacherous tear. But the door remained closed.
"Nothing's wrong.processtext. Sheldon-he's a short-term man." she said a little breathlessly . "Analgesics. I certainly didn't expect or want more than a few evenings out and some company. and now they would know that she and Jake weren't seeing each other any longer. usually discussing one of their patients. followed by a bright discussion of a new film. been times when he hadn't had time to have coffee. There was a silence. Sister. and she shrugged. Dr. It was Heidi Muller who had the courage to ask Alison about it. I suppose you don't know about the girl he was in love with a long time "Pethidine first. a tide of colour rising in her cheeks." she replied. knew that they talked about it." she said slowly. "I've never seen Dr.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. Alison knew that her staff were all too aware of the change. "No. "Would you like coffee before you go. But the next time. and that's what we had. And always. "It's more than that. fifty. or some equally innocuous subject they knew. There would be sudden silences when she appeared. "You talk about Dr. Sheldon? He never stops for coffee. thank you. of course. "what's wrong with Dr. in the way that people always knew when a hospital grapevine flourished. and I expect before long you'll all be trying to guess who will be the new lady in his life. one day when they were checking the drugs cupboard together.com/abctxt. going out with him. The young staff nurse looked at her. "Sister Maynard. Alison ticked that on her list. moving to someone new. Alison steeled herself and said carefully. Sheldon?" The dark blue eyes met hers for a moment. but only for a moment.html The first time he was in the ward. always with warmth in his eyes. that she had been seeing him." Alison said a little impatiently. sometimes asking one of the young nurses about a current boyfriend. ' The young staff nurse shook her head." She hesitated . Sheldon the way he is now." he said politely. Alison couldn't feel annoyed with the girl. after their meeting outside the clinic. as he turned to go. But it's over now. for she knew it was genuine concern that had made her brave enough to ask. There had. but there had been so many times when he had sat in the duty room with her. his bleeper summoned him to another ward just as he was finishing. Sheldon being a short-term man. http://www." Heidi said. in his smile. "You know yourself that everyone says nothing is lasting with Dr." . and he-and you She stopped. "Syringes. when he had patted his patient's shoulder and said that he would be removing the drainage tube the next day.
he had is a very large lady. But what I do know is that Jake Sheldon was badly hurt. someone whose prospects were better. and the zigzag of lightning across the night sky.processtext. Marta and I. And there was no doubt." She shrugged. "That will help me was nothmg she could do now. "Thank you. And she could believe now how the build-up of clouds and the hope of rain made people become on edge as they waited. "that the time would come when I would be hoping for rain. she mao aged to smile. she wondered if it would have made any difference if she had known. But there really something-perhaps talk to David. when she finished with her patient. Now.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. that night. But perhaps it's too late now." she said lightly. with Heidi's concerned brown eyes on her. "I don't know the details. "You're ' g y making too much of it all. and then she smiled." She had only heard the story from some of the older nurses. It's affecting all of us. Jake had told her. with you. But she . that she herself felt better than she had before the rain. and she tells me so cheerfully that to face them." Heidi said. Alison knew very well that she had been going to say how Alison herself looked. She wondered. she said as li htl as she could. watching the rain on her small stoep and feeling the relief in the oppressiveness of the atmosphere." she said. But it was too late now. http://www. "Maybe it's unkind to say that's why she threw hIm over. Heidi. she said. "It's the weather. did build up to a sudden thunderstorm. The next day the sky was clear. the rumble of thunder. maybe it isn't even true. Alison thought as she walked to work in the early morning. About a girl Jake had loved-a girl who had thrown him over for someone who was older. "I would never have thought. I'm sure everyone will feel better when it does come. and She stopped. if she would have behaved any differently towards Jake. Shouldn't we have some rain by now?" The Small Rains. Alison thought. Marta?" should try to do she said. he had found someone to change that. She said to him was right. "Time for coffee. "I didn't know any of that. If he did have doubts. Alison. if she Marta hesitated. and-and we all thought that at last." A few nights later. Alison stood at her open door." she replied. In fact. "I don't even know her name.html ago. and everything smelled fresh and washed by the rain.com/abctxt. Onlynow he looks the way he does. For a moment . Perhaps it was because of that that she took her courage in her hands that afternoon and caught Marta We could be friends. she has never done exercises in her life and sees no . what she had before I go on to my hysterectomy patient in Six.
"It's so nice to see you. She hesitated. when it was hot. Because I will not have There was no change in the cool hostility in his eyes. and they "I'm on my way to take him out. for my children. as the rain the previous Shandy made it very plain that he had missed her g " too." he replied. it's better had to look in on the little tonsillectomy girl I operated that we all know now. you are right in that. and Alison shopping on her way home. later than sat ion So thank you. He'd been to Female i had been looking into her own ward it "I am fierce. a cup of coffee will help me to usual." she replied. "David told me you had was there. but that night she planned on doing some Asking Marta had been an impulse. "Hello. as she was going off duty. but cont mental custom of closing in the middle of the day. it is necessary. She usually be stern with her. If-if things are not to work out. "Just miss him.One evening. But even if he Marta managed to smile. and she walked across the car park to her own car. about. She knew. then. before she turned round. "I am like mattered whether she was there or not. boy.html was glad that Marta didn't seem to blame reason to start now! And I tell her that for her recovery her for making these doubts of David's surface. "How are the children?" near the door to the Alison asked. and clinic." she said quickly. what Marta meant. she went to the car park for her car. Every day we have the same con ver. she went on. Alison rubbed his ears and spoke to him softly." because she had to clear the air. and staying open late. this is something he has to be sure ) defensively.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. surprised. and as she hurried past it there was a welcoming then. Already they love him. a lioness with my young!" "Bye. have mattered. I'm very much afraid it was something I said that caused all this. I've missed you. http://www. No." Then Shandv barked again. for the shops followed the wasn't sure whether she would say anything 'more. "They miss David. But as she drove away she could see that Jake was still standing outside his Land Rover. ni ht had done. talked-but if he had had no doubts that wouldn't "I was just saying hello to Shandy. Shandy. that Jake "Not entirely.processtext." window. wouldn't have ." she said." walked." she said quietly." Alison said. my children hurt. Jake's Land Rover was parked "They are all right.com/abctxt." on today. Surgical. she said." Marta said. bark. it was Marta herself who gave her the opening." Alison said. window. And then. another welcoming Marta shook her blonde head. . bark and Shandy put his big golden head out of the And so do I." "You look quite fierce." she said. pattlng him through the open "I'm sorry about that. Alison could see from the way his whole body There was no point pretending that she didn't know was moving that he was wagging his tail vigorously. her blue eyes steady.
if I had suggested going with him to take Shandy for a walk? But she knew that she couldn't have done that . "I'm certain he's in pain. "due to rheumatoid arthritis." He nodded. Alison thought. She talked to Jake about it. Sheldon. unlike many other patients." she said as she accompanied him out of the ward. Wentzel was in more dlstress than he would admit.com/abctxt. The removal of the spleen should improve the blood count. she asked Jake had already put the chart down on her desk and had begun to turn away. http://www. of course. But that didn't mean failing to talk to him about anything that concerned her. "But when I ask him he says he's all right. if she wanted to know anything more than she had to. and reduce the tendency towards infection. he doesn't ask for anything more-nor does he ask if it's time for his next injection. Sheldon." he said. "be watching for post-operative failure of lung expansion. and left. he would have discussed his patient completely with her. at her. couldn't have given him the opportunity to refuse . Before." Alison replied. I will keep it entirely correct and professional too. his patient's chart in his hand. Jake came into the duty room one day to discuss the post-operative treatment of a patient whose spleen had been removed." They had reached the duty room and they both stopped.processtext. Please let me know immediately if there is any abdominal distension. she thought. He doesn't refuse anything you've prescribed for him. "He developed this abnormal enlargement of the spleen. and could well be followed by pneumonia.." he said. Their work relationship was professional. but. Alison. All right. knowing very well that incomplete expansion of the lung was a very real danger after a spleen removal. and any abscess formation below the diaphragm. "It isn't a communication problem. "This splenectomy was done because of a low blood count?" him. she found herself wondering . could see that In spite of the analgesics Jake had prescribed Mr. nothing more.html What would he have said. Dr. Sister?" home language is Afrikaans. beyond the particular post-operative care he had mentioned. Jake looked down "Mr. monitoring his patient in the next day or two. pneumonia. coolly and politely. "We will. Now. she would have to ask. And I will. As she was quite sure he would have done.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. Wentzel's ." he asked. If that's how you want it." "Certainly. Dr.
in spite of the fact that she could have touched him. Obviously." He wrote his instructions on his patient's chart and handed it to Alison." he said then. And over the time I've been treating Mr. with Trudy beside her. we'll go for an intravenous analgesic for a day or two.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. A few days after that. Marta." Alison went into the duty room. takin her b surprise. Either he thinks I'm criticising his post-operative treatment.processtext. He's undoubtedly the stiff-upper-lip kind. "I have complete faith in your judgement on pam control. In some ways it was helpful. And how distant.html "I know that." Jake's dark brows drew together and Alison's heart sank. Look. Friendship? Relationship? It doesn't matter what I call it. http://www. But she wasn't prepared to retract anything she had said. . I've found Alison!" amusement of all the passers-by. ". when a child's voice exclaimed obviously pleased. Brigitte called imperiously.com/abctxt. "Otherwise. But she couldn't help feeling that this satisfactory professional relationship only made her more conscious of the difference there had been before. Whatever he feels about me personally it doesn't affect what he feels about me professionally. Sister. knowing that. turned and came back towards them. And thanks. with the added warmth of their friendship. waiting. or he thinks I'm being completely unprofessional. "I'll be in tomorrow morning to see if you're happier about him. g y I'll buy that. beside her. she was walking through the Post Street Mall. conscious once again of how tail he was. standing beside her. she thought. "Alison-it's Alison!" She turned. to see little Brigitte. She stood beside him. it's no problem to Jake working with me. I'm going by facial expression. "Mummy-Trudy. Sister Maynard. she thought bleakly. a continuous infusion will gqve him more relief than intermittent doses. the chart in her hand. "I've had Staff Nurse Muller ask him in Afrikaans and she gets the same answer." he said. to the A little ahead. she thought. let me know if there are any problems." Alison replied. Wentzel for rheumatoid arthritis I've had to drag any admission of pain from him. wondering whether she should buy one of the hand-crocheted blouses the Herero women were making and selling. slightly heightened pulse rate-a general impression of anxiety. Marta's younger daughter. because whatever it is it's over.
"I haven't even had time to say hello to Alison." Over their blonde heads Alison looked at David and Marta. and-' Brigitte broke in. meaning it." Trudy said. "They are happy to see you. "We haven't settled that yet. Marta coloured. She looked at Marta. "When?" David." Brigitte said reproachfully. and Trudy and me are having new dresses for the wedding. "If you want to. "Mummy. "Here comes David. Alison?" Trudy said breathlessly as David reached them.html Trudy. "We're getting married. "And we're all going to live together. "We only decided last night. so we haven't had time yet. can we tell Alison?" "Yes. But before she had time to do more than take in the difference she saw Marta looking beyond her and smiling." Alison agreed. "It is." "That's a long time. always more shy than her little sister. Then Marta rescued Alison from Brigitte's enthusiastic hug." Alison replied.processtext. laughing' The whole world can see that. untroubled. lifted her face to be kissed." Alison said. "I haven't seen you since we were at Etosha together. Then she said to the little girls. smiling." he said. Mummy and David and Brigitte and me. http://www.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. "You know what. Alison." she said." Marta told her. The German girl's blue eyes were clear now." "I'm happy to see them too.com/abctxt. I'll meet you after the girls' appointment with the dentist -coffee at Schneider's?" . She looked up at David. are getting married-all of us!" "Congratulations." she said. quite different from the way they had been that day they'd talked over coffee. we For a moment her eyes met Marta's. put his arm around Marta's slim shoulders. And talking of time-David.
No. attraction. "I have you to thank. "You know what. David?" she said. were right-I did have to be certain." he said quietly. And. the cool hostility in his dark blue eyes when he looked at her. Would it make any difference when he heard that David and Marta were getting married? For a moment she couldn't help hoping that it would.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version." You The Saturday crowds moved around them. and her voice was steady. But she knew that David would never forget Cathy. would have liked Marta. And the Jake was right. moment. men in open-necked shirts. kissed her. When he'd held her. Just as she had been too blind to see the truth about her feelings for Jake.processtext. too stubborn to see that. mean it. she wept again for her beloved sister. Alison. she remembered how she had felt in his arms that day on the deserted beach. "I'm happy for you both. even more clearly than that.com/abctxt. drowsy." she said as she turned and left him. . she thought.html She hurried off. And I was too blind. it's too late. she thought with sadness. a small blonde girl on each side of her. she thought. colourful dresses. not now. It wasn't real. No. And I mean that." She stood on tiptoe then and kissed his cheek. close in every way. "In many ways. I was in love with a dream. thought didn't hurt. She had told both him and herself that it was just chemistry. what I felt for David. but for a moment it seemed as if they were alone. David looked at Alison. Physical With a stab of pain. with desolation. that she had been part of his life. And I am. women in bright. warm. that night. http://www. never forget that he had loved her. But only for a Then she remembered the things he had said. she realised as she walked back to her flat. other than being Cathy's sister. she remembered how she'd felt when they'd lain together afterwards. when they met in the lift going up to Women's Surgical. CHAPTER THIRTEEN JAxE heard the news from David himself. and nothing more. As I never was. And it seemed to Alison that David was waiting for something more from her. as she sat alone. I do "Cathy For a little while.
" David assured him. He doesn't know how Alison feels about He could picture the defiant tilt of Alison's chin. He hesitated." one of the young German doctors assured David." "Marta and you you seem right And then. she doesn't mind. "I didn't tell you-didn't tell anyone except Marta. him. it was talking to her that made me do some real thinking. but she had tried. when he protested that although they . made me see that I was foolish to be holding back when I just can't imagine life without Marta and the children. she told me.html "David. "Does Alison know? ' "Yes. It's a different life from the life I would have had with Cathy. http://www.processtext." He smiled. because of Cathy. the lift doors closing behind them. Some of the hospital staff organised a celebration party for David and Marta. He felt a momentary surge of pity for her when he considered what it must have cost her to convince David that she didn't mind. like a sore tooth. too. "Alison knows I won't forget Cathy. we met her the other day-the children told her. and she doesn't mind any more. it was just concern. unable to leave it alone. "Mind? No. he had to admit." He doesn't know." Jake said evenly. ' "So Alison doesn't mind?" Jake asked. But no-he knew that he couldn't forget what she had done. couldn't wait to start telling folk. trying to come between David and Marta. but I thought that Alison must have. he asked. "I know you thought she was interfering when she said I should take my time. carefully. I had to be sure. "Just like my own sister would have wanted me to be sure. And. "I think perhaps at first she-maybe resented Marta. But really." "Yes. he found his thoughts going back and back again." "How does Alison feel about it?" Jake said. but it's going to be a good life. That hurt. In a way. "We'll have another party when you get married." David replied. "She's happy for us." David said quietly. Jake. You know about Cathy?" For a moment his hazel eyes were shadowed. that life has to go on. I'm sure of that. the determined brightness of her clear grey eyes as she made it clear to David that she was happy about him marrying Marta. I'm delighted. she hadn't succeeded. and Alison knows that. together. And the thing that was hardest to forget was that she'd done it after the wonder and magic of that day on the beach. All right.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. They were outside the ward now." he said. Jake thought.com/abctxt. "But she knows. probing the hurt.
if you like. was still in the air. On the way to the bar. a little qvhile before. "I'm going to get a drink. It was warm and still. arriving alone.html hadn't set a date it certainly wouldn't be long before they got married." "I'll take you home-bring you back in the he asked. There was loud music. "Coming?" She started to shake her head. that this girl. a little longer.com/abctxt. http://www. She was wearing a silky blue dress with shoestring straps. but he took her hand and drew her with him towards the noisy group a little further along. had golden glints from the sun. "Having problems?" She nodded. he thought." Jake said. had come back to Windhoek and deliberately set out to break things up between David and Marta. because he couldn't just walk past her. There was dancing. that she was always part of a group. still a smooth and shining cap. looking at the lights of the city spread below. and the freshness of the last rains. all the time. and some of the German staff were already singing exuberant German drinking songs at one end of the long stoep. knowing he sounded brusque. a few days ago. irresolute. taken over for the evening.processtext. He left earlier than he usually left parties. parked his Land Rover and walked up the steps to the Alte Fest. at the clinic. would have been more than he felt like coping with-Alison in his arms." she said. She was standing alone. having seen. he knew. and a little late because he had had an emergency appendectomy. And knowing ." "Then leave it. but he stood . without success. trying. this girl he had held in his arms that day on the beach. He had noticed. to start it. that Alison was dancing with one of the young German doctors. She turned round then and saw him. "The mechanic said he thought I might need a new condenser-it did the same thing a week ago. the warm golden shoulders with these rldiculous little straps. and her slim shoulders were golden brown now. "Sometimes if I leave it for a bit it decides not to be temperamental.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. . and people were dancing." Jake said. the remembered softness of her hair against his cheek. Jake. he saw Alison. But when he reached the road she was in her car. Jake found Marta and David. This can't be easy for her. And through the evening he made sure that she wasn't left alone. and went to find himself a drink. That. kissed Marta I46 THE DIS'fURBING DR SHELDON and shook David's hand. that her hair. morning. but he didn't dance with her.
"Thank you for-for what you did tonight. nothing but this tide of angry passion. He didn't pretend to misunderstand her. and all the confused and disturbed feelings of the evening were swept away in a sudden and all consuming anger that she could look like that because she had lost David Reid." she said quietly." he said abruptly. it seemed ridiculous to comment on the reason for tonight's party. Abruptly." she But he had seen the shadow in her eyes. She didn't say anything. because of the way everything had changed between them? He wouldn't have believed her if she had told him that she'd been standing there. she. and then.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. the tears came. He heard her swiftly indrawn breath and saw her eyes widen. Jake. she thought with desolation . but her nearness. and neither did she. He could see that she was as reluctant to accept his offer as he had been to make it. no warmth in the kiss." Alison replied politely. or I can ring the garage. with bitterness. He watched as she walked across to the door leading to her flat. her arm brushing against his. the sadness of her face. he let her go. "Don't be ridiculous. knowing his lips were bruising hers.html "Thank you. Slow." "I'll run you home. "Never mind.she began uncertainly. minutes. he thought. so he didn't." he said. it was because of him. and the anger he felt He took her in his arms. just for a few moments I made her forget him! Alison held her head high as she climbed the stairs to her flat. that it wasn't because of David and Marta that the evening had been hard for her. but I can walk back. and he leaned across her to open the door. and there was that determined tilt to her chin.com/abctxt. But when he stopped in the street outside her flat she turned to him. looking at the lights of the city. knowing there was no tenderness. She heard Jake's Land Rover roar off as she unlocked her door. "Jake. Perhaps. silent and despairing tears. After the things he had said to her.processtext." he said. http://www. He had no intention of doing anything more than that. Once inside. "Goodnight. carefully locked it behind her. thinking . said. but somehow it seemed a very long five minutes. How could she have told him. and for some reason that he preferred not to dwell on this annoyed him. She didn't turn round. it's only five It was. She hesitated. crushing her slim body against his. "It can't have been easy for you. and when she had gone he drove away. and then she stopped. her voice low. She turned away from him and got out of the Land Rover. as she leaned against the closed door. a tendril of her hair-all that.
But that wouldn't make any difference to the way Jake saw her. http://www. All that mattered to him. that he had to be certain. it's Sister Cameron we both have to be grateful to. The thought that she was responsible for this young nurse's attitude to her patients was a sobering one. or a person who doesn't want to admit that he is anxious and worried about how he will manage when he is out of hospital. or a colostomy. "While I was in my final year. Other times.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version.. slowly.. was that she had done it. even knowing how he felt about her. You know the classic question." Heidi said suddenly." "From me?" Alison repeated. Heidi and Alison were in the duty room. "when I qualified I thought that that was all the learning I needed.com/abctxt. tried to come between David and Marta. He is a person. The young German nurse flushed. surprised. She had. a person who might be embarrassed about having other people always around him. All right. there had been that immediate response of her body to his. But two things made her change her mind. But I have learned so much from you. and there was a faint buzz of conversation from the two four-bed wards and from the small private rooms. suggested to him that he should take his time. And the way he had kissed her. really. Her folks would be pleased. of . No. she thought as the tears dried on her cheeks. Warm-tender. or a fractured femur. For once. Alison. The other thing was a conversation she had one day with young Heidi Muller. her staff nurse. It was visiting time. that perhaps the best thing for her would be to go back home. "I have seen that there is much more than just book learning and exams to being a nurse. he was so angry at the way his body had betrayed him that he just wanted to get away from her. and she knew she could go back to her old hospital. She had sent in her application weeks ago and. had been so different. in his eyes. She began to think." Alison didn't know what to say. Just as he wouldn't believe. "I had a senior sister who opened my eyes to what it really means to be a nurse. just now. And perhaps it wouldn't make any difference even if he did know. glad to sit down for a bit and have a cup of coffee. she hadn't succeeded. in fact ironically she had probably helped David to reach his decision to make a commitment. had almost forgotten about it. in the next few days. that it had been before they'd gone to L de ritz that she had talked to David. she knew." she said at last. "I see that for you a patient is not just an appendectomy. As if." she said. If you feel you've learned anything from me. a response she hadn't even had to fight because he had released her so abruptly. Her temporary work permit was renewed for another three months. at least for the moment. he wouldn't have believed her. And yet even without any warmth. any tenderness.html about him. or a person who desperately wants some privacy with his family.processtext. the ward was quiet. because of all that had happened. "You know. other kisses.
but Steve-he's an engineer-will not be able to walk for any distance now. "The most important thing in any hospital. I want to help him." she said. "I thought. "His experience will be invaluable-he's not going to be out of a job. "Thanks for keeping quiet. . I'll talk to Dr. you know. Sister." she said. he has. "Oxygen? Mechanical ventilators for resuscitation? A well-stocked pharmacy?" Each time. But he just lies there. Sheldon's new patient. "Loss of life-loss of part of your body. looking out at the busy street. professional. Heidi." he said." Heidi assured her earnestly. I'll see that that is put under way.com/abctxt. Now he will have to sit at a desk. because of the things Heidi had said. we weren't looking further tban that." Alison said. Staff. He smiled at Heidi. but I think you've put your finger on it. Sheldon-we can get in touch with whoever is in charge of personnel at the mine." she said. We were all so pleased that we'd managed to save the leg. how much depends on it. No.html course-what is the most important thing in any hospital?" "Asepsis?" Heidi asked. Never forget that." "I know that. she was remembering Sister Cameron: "There are different kinds of loss." Heidi replied. a good working relationship. These are more easily understood issues. but I don't really know why he is like that. His role in life will change completely." "An excellent idea. "I didn't want to interrupt you. Sister-thanks. "It might help if someone from the mine was to help him see how important his new job will be. But this man is losing what has been his way of life. he hasn't been making the progress he should. ' She thought for a moment. so silent. That's a loss too. Now. he would be so glad of that that nothing else would matter.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version." "I won't. Alison found herself thinking as he turned and walked along to the ward. where the trouble was. a tide of colour in her cheeks. straightening her uniform. so-remote. I've been worried about Steve Brown too. and sorted it out. so he can't work directly in the mine again. the people all hurrying about their business." Alison stood up too and went over to the window. he will have to tell other people what to do.processtext. She also was concerned about the engineer and had been thinking about him. ' "They're giving him a job in administration. He's always been an active man. "the man from the uranium mine who was in an accident with mine machinery. Dr. Heidi." Jake said. because he hadn't lost his leg. http://www. Alison turned round. "is the patient. Sheldon has managed to save his leg. a man who got right to where the work was." Polite. from the door of the duty room. "Dr. She put her mug down and stood up. Physically. Alison shook her head. Sister Cameron used to say to us.
Sisters. watching unobtrusively." he said. but she found quite a difference today. "A big change in Steve Brown. about problems they were having. but he didn't turn to go as she expected him to." "He certainly co-operated in his phsyiotherapy today. "I'm grateful to you for your input on that-I'd become a bit blinkered. waited.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version." Alison told him. "You and me. you know. I can make some excuse. let her stay a bit longer. Tom.processtext. and she wondered why he still wasn't going. Garden's wife away she can only get a lift here in the afternoon. "You can leave those papers. saw her patient answer reluctantly at first. I'll see if I can come up with something-plenty of time here. the personnel manager from the mine came to visit the engineer. but the smile didn't reach his eyes.. and as his visitor left Steve Brown called after him. coming on top of the cool detachment she had just seen in Jake." "Certainly. "The bell for the end of visiting time is just about to ring. he says he thinks some shopping will be good for her. http://www. "Time for us to get back to work. without much show of interest." Alison said. that although he diq what she told him to he wasn't really motivated. The next day. "Marta had been feeling. but all at once it was more than Alison could take. Sister." Jake said levelly. Don't hurry Mr. obviously she feels much better now that it's over." Jake. "Ted says he and Betty would like us to have dinner with them one night." the young staff nurse said. but by the time the visit ended he was much more animated.com/abctxt. She "I had a phone call from Ted Barton last night. "If you would find that-not a good idea. "Alison. He smiled. There was sympathy and concern on her face." Jake said abruptly. ' Alison didn't know what he wanted her to say-or what she herself wanted to say. "How do you feel about it?" she asked him carefully. I'm afraid-so sure that since we'd saved his leg our problems were over. accepting this return to formality. Alison. He's bringing her to Windhoek next week." Heidi said uncertainly.. leaving the next day after checking his patient. too. ' Jake nodded. " "Us?" Alison couldn't help repeating the word.html Not knowing she was doing it." "I'm glad to hear that. met Alison at the door of the ward and followed her to the duty room. . "They've just got back from Cape Town Betty 's finished her course of chemotherapy. "I can have an emergency here or you can have one of those twenty-four-hour viruses." she said brightly. Staff. and he brought with him a sheaf of questions about procedure. uncomfortable. she sighed." he said tben.
You'll let me know any arrangements. after all. watching her. ." she asked. I have to finish these charts.html He shrugged. no one with the possibility of any real emergency. Alison at last managed to speak. Sister Maynard. but When she hesitated. Sheldon?" It was the young staff nurse who put her hand on Alison's arm then. I'll let you know. "It's Dr.processtext. abruptly. Sister. "It certainly wouldn't bother me. and Heidi Muller and the two nursing aides were with her.com/abctxt. As you say. ready to take over from Sister Biwa. "If it wouldn't bother you. Dr. not quite steadily. and Alison saw then that Heidi and the nursing aides were obviously upset about something. but of course unexpected thmgs could happen. Sheldon. An accident? Jake? She wanted to ask the questions. Perhaps it wasn't such a good idea. For a long time. http://www. something wrong?" "Is Her mind whirled through her patients. There was no one desperately ill. the night sister. "Oh. Sheldon.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. She wondered . Slow anger began to rise inside Alison. "They're operating now. "Sorry. Sister Biwa was standing in the duty room. Barton. "Dr." Heidi said. and his voice was as cool as hers." the night sister said." he said. but somehow she couldn't find her voice. will you? Now. An evening with the Bartons-Jake pleasant but remote memories of how different things had been between them when they were in Luderitz because of Mrs. Two days later. "It wouldn't bother me. Alison put her pen down. are we not?" "We're civilized people. he a turned away. "There's been an accident. "Yes. Sister. perhaps she shouldn't have let her anger make her say it 'f wouldn't bother her." she said. When he had gone. q-:: now. if you don't mind. And then. how she would get through an evening like that. she came into work a little later than usual and hurried up to her ward." She bent her head over the charts and picked up her pen. taken aback. "What is it. it seemed." she said coolly." Alison said breathlessly. Because it would." Sister Biwa said. we're civilized people. more sharply than she had meant to." he said. "A car went through a red light and hit him straight on. Jake stood there. Alison repeated.
"Someone came through a red light?" "Epidural haematoma. for Jake to die. "Went right into him. breaking down." she said. she told herself fiercely. She saw now that there were tears in Heidi's brown eyes. and controlling the bleeding point.processtext. http://www. they don't know if he'll make it!" CHAPTER FOURTEEN IT wns unthinkable.html "How bad is it?" she asked very carefully. she put the thoughts and the memories of Cathy behind her. Alison. And whether any neurologic damage had been done before that. the driver's side is shattered . "Pretty bad. "What are-Dr. during her theatre training. and she hoped that she said. Once. "A car accident?" Sister Biwa nodded. Alison asked . And then. "His right arm may be broken-they're X-raying that-but it's the skull injury that is the real trouble. removing the clot. Immediate surgical intervention consists of making openings through the skull (burr holes). But she knew very well that it wasn't always successful. since marked neurologic deficit or even cessation of breathing may occur within minutes. But then it had been unthinkable and impossible for Cathy to die.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version." the night sister told her. she said. And in the meantime there was nothing anyone could do-except the . Sheldon's injuries?" her voice was steady. Successfully. "Oh. I will not think that way. she had seen the operation done. And so much depended on how quickly the clot could be removed. impossible. With an effort that hurt. she cried. "No!" She hadn't meant to say the word aloud.com/abctxt. Epidural haematoma is considered an extreme emergency ." The words from her textbook of nursing management were before Alison's eyes as clearly as if the book were in her hand.
you're late. glad to be kept occupied. some reason." as she went off. so why not go to First Floor instead? After all. http://www." she ointed out. I will just have to wait.processtext. like everyone else." The compassion on the older woman's face was almost Alison's undoing. Alison thought. usually bustling with activity at this time. Dr. on her way out. Sister. ' q y "Thank you. turned back. Dr. all the patients had heard about Jake's accident and wanted to know how he was. "Did they manage to get Dr. but he used the clinic for operating. and he was called in for any neurological surgery that was too specialised for the clinic doctors." Alison said then. "Keep yourself busy too. Alison sent the nursing aides off to do a bedpan round. seemed to . Everyone is concerned. Sister Biwa. Reid is assisting him. it helped to think that he was in theatre too. Sheldon. sister." the young staff nurse said hastily. " Please start on the temps. with Jake. For "Sister Biwa. you must get off.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. someone has to find out. to see if there was any news. Schmidt is operating." Alison looked at her. Schmidt?" she asked. "Yes. "Because you're a sister. I will go into my church on my way home and I will pray for our Dr. " p " We can cope here. Staff. She didn't even have any right to go the two floors down to where the theatres were. and Dr.com/abctxt." David had certainly had some neurological experience in Edinburgh. Sister Maynard. And I have no special claim. with an effort. for all of us. First Floor." Heidi Muller had recovered enough to say "Yes. Sister Biwa. But when the patients were having breakfast Heidi suggested that she should go. In the strange way that such things often happened in hospitals. and ri ht after breakfast we'll do any dressings that need to be changed. She turned to her staff nurse. colouring. everyone is worried. and pray.html theatre team-but wait. "There is nothing we can do but wait. I know you usually have a coffee-break right here. not uite stead il Determlnedly she set about making a start to the day. Sister Biwa said. glad to have demands from different patients. and you're the one who should do that. Wait. she said. Schmidt was in private practice." she said gently.
" the theatre sister replied." He didn't say any more. and looked at her curiously. For even without spinal injuries the neurologic damage and the inter cranial pressure could have caused nerve damage. Sister Maynard. "There's no news yet." she said quietly. I can t stay long." " p " . http://www. relief that the operation had been successful making her voice a little unsteady. So often she had seen relatives sitting as she was now. We'll keep him there for a couple of days-Hans wants a complete neurologic observation record kept. waiting for news. waiting for news of Jake.html Alison to be unnaturally quiet. He didn't seem to be surprised. and my staff nurse is in charge. But Cathy had died before they could operate. she and her mother and father and David. knowing that she knew as well as he did that Jake wasn't by any means out of the woods yet. But when she had gone Alison thought. harsh and bleak. One or two of the nurses. Sister Shaw. It doesn't matter that I have no more right. she asked. Neither would Jake. no more claim. Then an older one. than anyone else.processtext. they wouldn't know for some time. And Cathy wouldn't have wanted to live like that. Even if the surgeon managed to remove the clot. He looked weary. that's why I came down. stopped. and he came over to her. I'll let you know as soon as there is some news. "He's there now-Hans didn't even want him kept in the recovery room. "They're still busy in Theatre. Thank you.com/abctxt. and if she had lived she would have been a paraplegic." "Of course.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. but we're on breakfast now. The thought was there. he removed the clot and eased the pressure." "Can I see him a little later?" Alison asked. And as she was there the memories of Cathy's accident came flooding back. up. in his green theatre gown. I'm staying here until I hear how he is." Alison're lied. I don't care whether everyone in the world sees me here. They had waited. She stood "He's come through. passed." he said quietly. a woman she knew slightly. in their green theatre gowns. "Hans Schmidt did a superb job. "Intensive Care?" He nodded. . "Alison?" It was David. The surgeon had told them that there had been severe spinal injuries. We-we all wanted to know.
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"I'll tell them in ICU that you'll be up. though; he's pretty deeply under."
Give it a couple of hours,
Alison went back to her ward to report to the other nurses and the patients. And to try to keep herself from thinking of Jake in the intensive care unit, to try to keep away any negative thoughts of possible complications that might arise after surgery of this sort. It was Heidi who voiced the same concerns when she came back from an early lunch. "It's like a big black cloud hanging over the diningroom , over the whole clinic," she said quietly. "Everyone is talking about Dr. Sheldon; everyone is is wondering how things will go." Her anxious dark eyes met Alison's. "I heard Matron talking to Sister Venter from Women's Surgical. She was talking about pneumonia , epilepsy, cerebral swelling, infection, vascular complications. And-and even if he gets through that she said there could be emotional instability, posttraumatic neuroses "Stop it, Nurse Muller," Alison said sharply. "You should never have been listening to what Matron was saying. ' And I could wring Matron's neck, she thought, for saying any of those things in a public place, with girls like Heidi around! But they were all very real possibilities; she knew that. The ward was busy, and she was glad of that. Just as she was wondering when she could spare ten minutes to go a floor up, to the intensive care unit, David Reid came hurrying in. "Sister, can I have a word with you?" he said.
Alison could feel all the colour drain from her face. Forgetting all formality, then, David put his hand on her arm. "I'm sorry, Alison. Jake is no worse; in fact he's beginning to come out of the anaesthetic. But he's very restless, very agitated. I wondered if you could manage to get through to him, get him to calm down a bit. I had a word with Matron-she'll send a staff nurse from Women's Surgical to give Nurse Muller a hand." Alison told Heidi Muller where she was going, and then, suddenly wordless, she followed David up the stairs. But at the double door leading to the intensive care unit she stopped. "David," she said, troubled, "I-I want to see Jake, but I don't know if it will do him any good. Seeing me, I mean." David looked down at her. "Because you've quarrelled?" he asked gently.
Alison nodded, not even wondering how he knew that. "Alison, my dear, I saw how things were between Jake and you at Etosha," he said. "You may have quarrelled since then, but both Marta and I could see that you had something pretty special going for you. I'm counting on that to get through to Jake now."
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You and Marta saw more than I did way back then, Alison thought. She took a deep breath. "I hope you're right," she said doubtfully. She had worked in Intensive Care at her Edinburgh hospital and knew what to expect. But that didn't lessen the shock of seeing the still figure on the bed, the drip set up, the tubes, the shaved and bandaged head, the big brown hands lying so passively. And then Jake moved, muttering restlessly. The nurse beside him kept him still, for although he obviously couldn't move much he was disturbing the tubes. Her eyes went to the monitor at the side of the bed and Jake's disturbance was echoed there. Alison sat on the chair and took one of his hands in hers. "Jake, it's Alison," she said quietly. to be fine." "Lie still-everything 's going
She thought that he tried to say her name, but his eyes were still closed. Once again he murmured something , and this time she thought she knew what he was trying to say. She leaned closer to him. "Shandy?" she said. "You're worried about Shandy? Don't worry, Jake-I'll look after
It's all right, I'll see to him. him."
There was no doubt then that she was right. relaxed.
Jake gave a small sigh and
Gently, Alison put his hand back on the white cover. "Good girl," David murmured. "I didn't think of the dog. '
On the way back down to her own ward he said, carefully, that he thought it was a good sign that Jake had been worried about Shandy. "I thought so too," Alison replied. too much on that, can we?" "No, we can't," David agreed. manage to see to Shandy?" "But-but of course we can't build
"But it's still a good sign.
"The neighbours usually look after him if Jake is away," Alison said. "I'll go up as soon as I'm off duty and-tell them what's happened." "You'd better have Jake's keys," David suggested. pocket-I'll have them sent up to you. ' "They were in his
The town house next to Jake's wa sing darkness when Alison arrived that evening. So was Jake's own house, but she could hear Shandy barking as soon as she parked outside. She let herself in, bracing herself for the big dog's welcome.
ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version, http://www.processtext.com/abctxt.html "It's all right, boy, it's all right," she said, knowing all too well that it was anything but all right. "Let's give you some food first." Fortunately, she had been here once or twice when Jake had fed Shandy, so she knew where to find his food. When the dog was out in the back yard with his bowl, Alison saw a key and a note on the kitchen counter. "Key to Number Six-water plants on stoep and in lounge. So the people next door were away. She took Shandy for a short walk around the block while she thought about this. But there was only one thing to do. She went back to her own flat, collected fresh uniforms, any other clothes she might need in the next few days, whatever food was in her fridge, and then she went back to Jake's house. "You and I," she told Shandy firmly, "are going to keep each other company for-for a bit. Until your master is better." There was a small spare bedroom, but there were all sorts of things occupying the room as well as the bed-an ironing table, an exercise bike, a small computer -and it seemed a better idea to take her things into Jake's room. It was when she was getting into bed that she saw the photograph lying face down on the bedside table. She picked it up. It was one he had taken of her, one day when they had met to take Shandy for a walk. Her hair, short as it was, was blowing in the wind, and she had one hand raised up to it. She was laughing-at him, at the camera. He had kept it, but he had put it face down. Slowly, she put it back the way it had been. Then, she just sat there, on the side of Jake's bed, and for the first time in that endless day the tears came. Tears for the man she loved. She knew that now, with complete certainty. How could she have been so blind for so long? And now now , when she knew that she loved him, he was lying there in the clinic, in Intensive Care. And even if he recovered-and he had to recover, she thought passionately, fiercely; he had to-there was still the bitter distance between them, as was evident in lying the photograph face down beside his bed. But even that didn't matter, she thought, the tears still falling slowly, silently. All that really mattered was that he should get through this. She got up earlier than usual the next morning and took Shandy out for a short walk. Then she sat in Jake's kitchen and had cereal and toast and coffee. ; The big golden dog seemed to sense that this was no time for his usual exuberance, and while she was sitting there he came and sat beside her, his big head on her knee, his topaz eyes fixed on her face. '
electrolyte abnormalities. By the end of the second day Dr. then he gave up. be observing possI ible early signs of complications-gastrointestinal disturbances. Schmidt was saying cautlously that the prognosis was better than he had expected. as she had done the previous night." she murmured. so I phoned the vet and said I'd be along tomorrow. "I did tell you yesterday. Alison knew. real concern. but he's getting used to it. They would also. telling him things that had happened on the ward. not as Sister Maynard. boy. both of his hands held in hers." she told him. "He does give me a funny look each time I go back. and other bodily disfunctions. She sat beside his bed and talked to him. in what she had been taught to call anticipatory nursing. The X-ray had established that his arm wasn't broken. because Jake hadn't opened his eyes yet.processtext. And the possible complications that could arise during the recovery time.html That was almost too much for Alison. his inter cranial state. "Remember the place where he once almost caught a meerkat? He had a good sniff around it again tonight. "but you were pretty dozy. I might take him up to the water-tower. but he would be happier if there was some sign of awareness. took Shandy out. inert hands. but with your neighbours away I've moved in with Shandy. would have been straightforward to deal with. "It's all right. so we'll have a good long walk. "I'll stay with him just as long as necessary. fed him." she said then. Whenever ' she could spare ten minutes Alison went to the intensive care unit. she sat quietly. She had changed into a cotton dress-she knew it was foolish.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. but that. hoping you're just coming. Tomorrow is my day off. about how good his small garden looked after that." . "Shandy and I had a good walk. I'm sure he looks past me. http://www. then. "We'll get him back home to you. was the extent of the neurologic damage done before the clot had been removed. the ." For a while. Oh. But talking to him just might help-they all thought that-so she went on. his responsiveness and orientation. but he had been surrounded by people in uniform since the accident and she wanted to make it clear-to herself . so don't worry about that. about the thunderstorm the night before. It seemed the best thing to do-I couldn't really take him to my flat. She bent and put her face against him. each time hoping there would be even a slight change-a flicker of the closed eyelids or a movement in the big. to him if there was any responsiveness now-that she was there as herself. and then came back to the hospital. and your calendar said he had to have his shots today. of response. and he's used to being left at home with the door to the yard open." There was little change in Jake's condition that day or the next. from Jake. The real danger. so you may not remember. Jake. She knew that in Intensive Care the team of nurses and doctors was continually monitoring his respiratory functions.com/abctxt. She went back to Jake's house after that second long day.
' It was as she was placing his hands back on the white bed-cover that it happened." he murmured. listening to his breathing. so tired that the uncomfortable position couldn't keep her awake any longer. "I won't go. but it didn't matter. Surely it was deeper. Her breath caught in her throat. but she had been determined not to. of course. His lips moved. She woke. and she." she said softly. Alison sat beside him.processtext. and she lifted her head. where there was always a highly trained sister keeping a check. more natural breathing. which was rough because he hadn't been shaved. but she knew she hadn't imagined that his hand tried to tighten on hers." Alison told him. He was coming out of the comatose state he had been in since the accident and the operation. . He knew she was there. more than a little aggressively. checking on her patient.html It had been difficult not to keep checking on the monitor at the side of his bed. Jake. Jake's eyes were open. conscious of the night sister coming in. But this was Jake. and felt fairly confident of any judgement she made." CHAPTER FIFTEEN JAxE hadn't opened his eyes. his responses. holding his hands in hers." she promised unsteadily. "I'll stay just as long as you "You asked me to stay. the monitor was linked to another screen in the duty room. Then she leaned forward and kissed Jake's cheek. Some time towards dawn she fell asleep more heavily. as a shaft of early morning sunlight shone on her face.com/abctxt. she thought-and as she thought it she realised that she could keep no professional detachment with Jake. A fractional movement. But any time she tried to ease her hands from his his fingers tightened on hers. want me to. and all her professional detachment was suspended. her head down on her arms. And. bringing Alison a welcome cup of coffee. reassuring glance at the screen. "I'm going now. and he was looking at her. "Don't go. "I'll be back tomorrow. and he didn't want her to go away. But it was late now. Through the night she half dozed as she sat there beside him. allowed herself a swift. for she believed firmly that you could never gauge the level of consciousness of any patient.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. If it had been any other patient she could have assessed his breathing pattern. suddenly. and she dldn't want Jake to see how worried she was. http://www. "What are you doing here?" he said.
." he said. him.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version." Jake murmured. as if he had changed his mind." she told the big golden dog as she sat on the kitchen doorstep. You'd better go now-get some real sleep. her voice steady.processtext. and she thought he had fallen asleep. "You look as if you could do with it. He closed his eyes. wait." Alison told him truthfully. but then. And thanks for looking after Shandy. I remember I didn't want you to go. But he had opened his eyes again now. Thanks for staying.html "Oh. as if to smooth her hair. he's going to be all The tears she had been holding back all last night could be held back . hugging him. "Your hair's all tousled. "Yes. "I'll come back." "You He tried to lift one hand. Then she went home to Shandy. "Alison. http://www. She could feel colour rising in her cheeks. head slightly. right. The dark blue eyes opened wider. look pretty awful. Shandy. Then she hesitated While he had been unconscious she had kissed his cheek each time she left him." he said. Jake. She went into the duty room on her way out to report the improvement in Jake's condition to the sister in charge. without opening his eyes.. noting that the rough. and his eyes were troubled." and kissed Then he shook his "Whatever it is it can "Yes. he said." she said. "Don't worry." "Oh." Alison said gently. "He's going to be all right." he said. and he was looking at her." Was that a smile on his lips? Alison's heart lifted. her lips brushing the roughness of his face. "You don't look too good yourself. taken aback. "Then we must be quite a pair. She stood up. dark stubble on his face and the bandage on his head gave him a slightly rakish look. her hands free now. but he didn't manage to." he added. Alison." "You'll come back?" he asked her.com/abctxt. but she bent.
Do they know about this? It won't do my mother's heart problem any good. drying her tears. and she had said it could wait. somehow. "Was there some doubt about that?" David shrugged. have you?" Jake looked at him. David Reid was standing beside the bed. of course. She knew all too well that there could still be problems. David. and he knew that she would. she thought. She knew that. "So you've decided to rejoin us. But she had said she would come back.processtext." he said. I know that.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. as the tension of the past few days eased. she was certain that the worst was over. no hostility in his eyes. I think I remember Hans Schmidt being around-did he operate?" David nodded." he admitted. Something troubled him. "After that-just snatches. Then he thought of something. "Well. tears of relief. He wasn't sure now what he had wanted to say just before she had left. He frowned. "What did he do?" Jake asked with interest. When he woke. in his voice. so he gave in to it. that Alison wasn't there. post-operative complications. He felt himself drifting off to sleep. that he was on the way to becoming the old Jake again. and I knew.com/abctxt. Jake put his hand up to his bandaged head. "Perhaps a little. But she When Jake woke up again he knew." Jake said. he had no choice but to clear the epidural swelling. about Alison and himself. but the effort of working out what it was made his head ache. "I remember the white car coming through the lights like a bat out of hell." David told him. was that for the first time in so long there had been no coolness. when she remembered the way he had smiled-somehow. even before he opened his eyes. that she was looking after Shandy. And the best thing. ' Cautiously. "Burrholes. but when she thought of Jake telling her she looked awful. "Still feels like one hell of a hangover. "What do you remember.html no longer. held the warm comfort of it close to her. That could change. "My folks. and it seemed a good idea. Jake?" He sat down on the edge of the bed." "Hans Schmidt phoned your sister-apparently she's friendly with his . Alison has been here. he said. for now. to remove the clot. as he recovered. http://www. he asked. and then we had to wait for the swelling to reduce.
or when she had changed the dressing on his head. questioning. Sheldon. We could have sent out a police message. for the truth was that he actually felt decidedly uncomfortable at the thought of being nursed by Alison. made him." Jake protested. ' The young staff nurse looked at Alison for guidance. Not the physical part-I'd be a pretty funny kind of doctor if I let that bother me. Dr." she said serenely. he knew. He seemed to think your sister-Jill? Yes. Jake was moved to Alison's ward." Jake replied. Remembering this. he would find her clear grey eyes resting on him. ill at ease with Alison. they managed to ease him from the trolley into bed. "This is ridiculous. I thought so-would let your folks know now." His bleeper went then and he stood up." he said.processtext. but Alison merely adjusted the sheet over him and tucked it in. She was in his room when the young staff nurse from ICU pushed the trolley in and between them. heading for the Wild Coast. and so he would speak quickly of something-anything. Questions that he didn't know the answers to.html daughter-and your folks had gone off with their caravan. Sister? instability or irritability?. thanks. "I could get up and climb into bed instead of two lightweights like you heaving me around. she had come here hour after hour to sit with him. and yet there was still the knowledge that she had come back from that unforgettable day on the beach at Luderitz with no thought for anything but to do what she could to come between David and Marta. "You'll be glad to know you're being moved out of Intensive Care. "No vascular complications or cerebral swelling. untruthfully and rather more shortly than he had meant to. and they'd probably come up.com/abctxt. when we could report an improvement. The things he had said to her-the things he had thought about her-and yet she had unquestioningly gone to live in his house and look after Shandy. but at the door he turned back. thinking of it. There-are you comfortable ?" "But you're not "Yes. There was all that. going to. when she had finished doing the evaluation chart that Hans Schmidt still wanted. Sometimes.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. No emotional . but in fact the immediate danger was over before your sister even heard. And he still felt that the fact that she hadn't succeeded was less relevant than the fact that she had tried. Hans sent a fax to your brother-in-law's office this morning. http://www. "I'm sure you could. That afternoon. Jake told himself-but because earlier that day his memory had finally returned and he knew now why he had felt troubled about her being with him.
com/abctxt. He touched his head. Jake. and then asked. a week later. staying on at his house. because anything else would have been absurd." Alison would reply. on one of his visits to check on Jake. Since his accident he had come to know the quiet Scots doctor much better. It only took me a few days to be just that." Jake said.processtext. he added. Smiling. It was David Reid who unwittingly changed that. Jake said. http://www. "I don't know how long it would have taken me to get myself sorted out if Alison hadn't spoken to me." Perhaps it doesn't matter to you. but Marta and I would like you to be our best man. startled. Which . but the fact remained that it did. "I hope you're going to be out in time for our wedding -we're thinking of just after Christmas. Dr. Wait a minute. but by then you two were in Luderitz. if it was difficult for her. and " ." she told him. if Alison would be coming to the wedding. Sheldon. "You think my hair will have grown again by then?" "It's growing already. And yet and yet Jake knew all too well that the lack of formality didn't bridge the distance that he knew was between them again. "Not that it matters when she said it. awkwardly. "You mean with luck I'll have a crew cut where most of the crew have baled out?" Jake suggested. He hesitated. there was no getting away from that.html "None that I can see. when Alison had spent all those hours at his bedside. "Shandy could go into kennels until either I'm home or the neighbours get back. And somehow he was going to have to let Alison know that. it's no trouble." David replied. and when the bandages come off in a couple of days you shouldn't be quite as much of a Kojak. It's going to be a quiet wedding." "I'd like that. when she was staying in his house." David said. yes. After a few days he asked her. Because it did make a difference. easually. They were formal only when other hospital staff were around. the important thing is that she did. Jake thought when he was alone." David replied. he asked. told me I needed to be very sure. carefully." "Really. "Of course. "Shandy would hate that. and he appreciated being asked to do this. "You mean it was before we went to L de ritz that Alison said that to you?" "Oh. And then. David. Perhaps it was foolish to feel that it mattered. but it certainly does to me." Alison's eyes widened.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. meaning it.
ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version, http://www.processtext.com/abctxt.html wouldn't be easy. The next morning Alison came into his room soon after she came on duty. "Sleep well, Dr. Sheldon?" she asked him, her chart in her hand.
"I would have slept better," he told her, "if Sister Biwa hadn't felt she had to keep checking on me to make sure I was sleeping! She kept coming in with her torch, doing her modern-day Lady with the Lamp." He looked up at Alison. "My pulse rate normal?" he asked her. "It is? I'm surprised."
She coloured. "Quite normal," she told him firmly. "And your temperature too." She smiled, and because he knew her so well he could see that she sensed the change in him. "Sister Biwa is just doing her job." "I know," Jake agreed. "I must tell her the story about Florence Nightingale and the wounded soldier. He got so fed up with her nightly visits that he said to her, "For heaven's sake, Flo, put that darned lamp away and let us all get some sleep!" ' Alison laughed. "Yes, it's a story that's a favourite with most nurses , but maybe Sister Biwa hasn't heard it. Anyway, Dr. Sheldon, don't you dare criticise the nursing staff; remember you're at our mercy!" "Sister Maynard, I wouldn't dream of it," Jake assured her. His heart lifted. Maybe now was as good a time as any. "Alison..." he began, not sure quite what he was going to say. But before he could say anything at all the telephone in the duty room rang, and a moment later the young staff nurse came in. "Sister Maynard, Matron wants to speak to you," she said. Alison followed her from the room. "Damn!" Jake said, loudly and forcibly.
Alison didn't know how it had happened, but somehow the awkward feeling between Jake and her had gone. She had told herself, sensibly, that she couldn't expect the closeness there had been in the first days after the operation to go on the days when she had sat with him, when she had known, although he was barely conscious, that he wanted her to be there. But in spite of that it had been distressing to find a return to-no, not the cool hostility, certainly not that, but-a distance. And now that distance had... not quite gone, but almost. Jake was once again almost the old Jake, teasing her, amused when he managed to make her blush-and he was good at that, she had to admit and undoubtedly pleased to see her when she came on duty each day.
ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version, http://www.processtext.com/abctxt.html Nevertheless Alison knew that things wouldn't be right between them until they had talked, and cleared the air. She was surprised, a few nights later, to get a phone call at Jake's house from her mother. "How did you know where to find me, Mum?" she asked. "I got his number from Are you house-sitting or
"Phoned David," her mother told her briskly. his folks, and he told me where to find you. something, Alison?" "Something like that," Alison said.
"Mum, is anything wrong?"
They had agreed, she and her mother, after the first phone call Alison made, that they would stick to letters , for they both found the cut-off after a phone call too distressing, making them all too conscious of the vast distance between them. "Nothing wrong at this end," her mother assured her. "But we were getting a bit worried. You've always written so regularly, and it's been a few weeks now since we've had a letter." "Oh, Mum, I'm sorry," Alison said, contrite. hectic; I hadn't realised it was so long." "Things have been a bit
"As long as you're all right, lass," her mother said. Then, carefully, she said, "Mary Reid told me that David is getting married to this Marta." "Yes, they're getting married quite soon," Alison replied. "Oh, Alison, you went all that way, and now-I thought it was a mistake, but you would go." Her mother's voice was unsteady now, and Alison felt dreadful that she had let her folks worry about her. "It's all right, Mum, it really is," she said. "It wasn't that at all that kept me from writing. I've been so worried about Jake-I'm staying in his house, looking after his dog." "Jake-Dr. him?" Sheldon?" her mother said. "Why were you worried about
Alison told her about the accident, and Jake's time in the ICU, and how he was doing now. "I'm glad of that," her mother said. "You did mention him quite a lot for a bit, but not in the last few letters. Anyway, I'm glad to know he's recovering." They said goodbye soon after that, both of them, Alison knew, all too conscious of the cost of this very long-distance call, and Alison promised that she would write regularly. When she put the phone down the sudden cutting off and the consciousness of the distance brought unexpected tears to her eyes, and as she brushed them away Shandy put his big golden head on her knee and looked at her anxiously.
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"Don't worry, boy, it's all right," she told him a little shakily. "We'll go for our walk now." A few days after that the neurosurgeon said cautiously that he thought Jake could go home any time now, for he had been allowed to get out of bed and move around, and there had been no regression in his progress. "Good," Jake said briskly. "It's about time I was back in my proper place in this clinic. Not that Sister Maynard and her girls haven't looked after me, but enough is enough." "I didn't say anything about getting back to work," the older man said. "We'll talk about that later. You still need to take things easy for a bit-these head injuries are no joke." "I know that," Jake agreed. Alison walked to the lift with Dr. to the duty room Jake's bell rang. He smiled engagingly. Schmidt and as she was going back She went to the door of his room.
"I'll send in Staff Nurse Muller if you need anything," Alison told him. "I don't want Staff Nurse Muller. Alison." I want you," he said. "Sit down,
"I'm on duty," Alison protested, but she knew very well that Jake was aware how quiet the surgical floor was. "Please," Jake said, and now he wasn't smiling. you, Alison." "I need to talk to
She sat down, very conscious that she felt consider ably unprofessional, with Jake's dark blue eyes holding her own. "Alison, this isn't easy, but I have to say it," Jake said then awkwardly. "The things I said to you-about you coming back from Luderitz and setting out to come between David and Marta-I know now that that isn't the way it was." "I-tried to tell you, once," Alison murmured. "I know," Jake replied. "And I wouldn't listen."
Alison took a deep breath. "But so many of the things you said were still right , she said, with difficulty. Jake didn't deny that. "I "I so so once told you you were too quick to judge people , he reminded her. was the same, with this. And then that night of the party you were sad, and it was just more than I could take. Which is why I behaved badly."
Colour rose in Alison's cheeks at the thought of the way he had kissed
she freed herself. all the distance. and then urgent. demanding." he murmured." she reminded him. CHAPTER SIXTEEN TH ExE was nothing and no one in the whole world for Alison but Jake. which was unaccountably twisted and more than a little crushed. http://www. his lips very close to hers." he said "I can't kiss you properly like this!" Purposefully' he got out of bed. warmly. and she stood up and backed towards the door. "And I'm still on duty. Sheldon. love?" Her heart turned over. he said. and she was in his arms. reluctantly. slowly. Dr." "Not as much as this patient right here needs you. He kissed her. "All right. "We've been foolish. all the doubts had gone. no tenderness. "how would you rate my recovery?" "Pretty much complete. Slowly. He had never called her that before. we have" she agreed unsteadily. "I don't think you should-' Alison protested." she told him truthfully'I was sad because of the way things had changed between you and me. At last." he agreed. haven't we. and took her in his arms. "I wasn't sad because of David. gently. could do nothing but cling to him.com/abctxt.html her-a kiss with no warmth. ' He looked at her as she straightened her uniform. "This is a check on how complete my recovery is. "Probably not." he murmured. her whole body responding to his." He took both of her hands in his. I have patients out there who might be needing me." Jake told her with assurance. "So you are. "I have to go. then "Damn it. I'll let you go-for now. his lips still gentle at first." Alison managed to reply before And . his arms imprisoning her.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. at long last." Jake agreed cheerfully." she said breathlessly. his lips met hers again. "Jake. he released her. "Yes. Sister Maynard. He closed the door.processtext. and the wonderful certainty that at last. "Well. Alison. He drew her towards him and his lips touched hers. her heart thudding unevenly.
" Three pairs of eyes opened wide-Alison's. "I always knew you just had to meet your match. "Can't say the same for yours. "You might have warned me you were going to do that. http://www. "I wanted everyone to know. but-well. Doctor. and there was laughter in his dark blue eyes. I knew that you and Sister Maynard were-quite close. Schmidt to Jake's room. ' When she and the neurosurgeon had gone." Jake said. "I hear your folks are coming up for a few days around then-in the meantime . Jake. he was obviously enjoying the small sensation he had caused. it just needs a little more time !" She had just opened the door when he called her back. "Sister Maynard. so is And suddenly he was uncertain.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. and Alison was relieved to see the real warmth in her smile." he said. "What's your Scottish song? "The Campbells are Coming"? my hair." Matron said. "Yes-oh. are you going to manage?" "Hans. "I want to see you in my rooms in a week." he said. Jake. perhaps the widest of all." she said. Alison turned to Jake. "Your fiancee?" Jake nodded. accompanied Alison and Dr." the neurosurgeon told him. and she wasn't sure whether he sounded proud or just smug-whichever. Ruefully. until at last she managed to murmur. she'll keep me in order. he ran his hand over his head." Two days after that Jake was discharged from the clinic: Matron. . She went back to him. yes. "Only one thing." Alison returned. Sister. congratulations to you both.processtext. recovering.com/abctxt. wordless for an endless time. "Anyway. not quite steadily. "I want the whole world to Matron said. who happened to have just finished a round on Alison's ward. vulnerable." Jake said impatiently. the laughter gone from his eyes as they searched her face. "You are going to marry me?" he said. "Naturally.html "Your hair is rather mussed. I'm delighted. you know yourself that I'm fine. Well. Alison-should we have the ring with agates instead of diamonds?" "The ring?" she asked weakly. she thought later. especially after your accident. I'll be all right-my fiancee will be staying with me.
. "You needed that defence. There was so much to be said. http://www." "And I certainly wasn't about to let you think I wanted anything long-term from you. weren't we?" his arms. "I think I began to realise it quite soon after I got here.html know!" The whole world. I had loved him for so long. she said." Alison said. the slow. the girl who had hurt him so badly." she said slowly. so many things they hadn't been able to say until now. Jake told her about the girl he had loved long ago. the diamond ring on Alison's left hand. he said. And anyone who might have missed out would have seen. .com/abctxt. And-Alison. from then on very. as it turned out. his girl-of-the-month attitude. and it wasn't a question. Which I wasn't. "it was something of a defence against you." Jake said. Then he wanted to know when Alison had known that her feelings for David had changed. at first. remembering how she had fought against what she'd seen as Jake's arrogant confidence. "But I didn't want to admit it to myself. "We were a couple of fools. Jake smiled. very determined not to risk being bitten again. a few days later. Jake waited. his eyes on her face.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. anyway. once bitten." Jake agreed soberly when she said this. Or I thought I had. And then She hesitated. did know within a few hours. I never let any girl think I was into anything long-term. and he took her in ' Alison stayed on at Jake's house until his mother and father arrived. "I haven't really much excuse for that. Certainly the world of the clinic. for buying that had been one of the first things Jake had insisted on doing when he was out of hospital. "And then. Alison smiled. you see. except-well. warm smile that could make her heart turn over.processtext. "I know. until I met you.
anyway. and it wasn't Alzheimer's. laughing. "Best Wiener schnitzels in Windhoek. Ted Barton and his wife came to Windhoek and took the Sheldons. Mum." she replied. "I'll believe it." Ted Barton said. and agreed.html "Just to look after you. "I certainly am. I was beginning to give up on my son." "Give up on the prospect of more grandchildren? Not you. "As soon as you phoned to tell us. your being Scottish just made everything perfect-Jake will have told you that my grandmother was a Cameron from Lochearn. "To tell the truth." Alison was laughing too.com/abctxt. that Jake could go back to work in another week. with some reluctance. But I've been away from the . "No. and Jake and Alison. And." "I've seen him with Marta's little The day before Jim and Meg Sheldon left. Jake. "but not too long." Alison said to her at the end of the evening. "Maybe next year. "If I could have gone out and chosen a girl for Jake it would have been you. After the trauma of these first few days." Jake protested. I liked the sound of you from the first time Jake mentioned you. to one of the old German hotels for dinner. and he accepted and welcomed Alison immediately. His father was an older version of Jake. you should see him with Jill's two. but undoubtedly recovering." he replied." Meg Sheldon said to Alison.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. "I'll give you time. By the time she moved back to her own flat she did feel that she could relax about him. his recovery had been swift and without any of the complications that could have arisen. with Meg Sheldon trying again to persuade Jake to bring Alison to them in Cape Town for Christmas." Jake's parents left the next day. But I knew I could get through it. "You must be glad to have finished the chemotherapy . she and his mother got on well right from the start. but. of course. I was just so relieved there was a definite cause." Jake said. She was glad to see Betty Barton-a little thinner." "Give us time." she told him firmly. Hans Schmidt expressed himself satisfied when Jake kept his appointment at his rooms. she was wondering whether the first one would be a girl or a boy. as Jake had once said to her would be the case." the older woman said. and Alison thought he was probably right. Alison. http://www." her husband said. we're not even married yet. he's actually very good with chlldren.processtext. and still a little pale after her chemotherapy. You know. Mum." his mother agreed serenely. "I felt pretty awful at times after treatment. "Of course. girls. Alison was more than a little anxious about meeting his parents.
He did manage to meet Alison in the staff dining room. ruffled now!" "And there's enough of your hair to be "And . "Does that feel more comfortable now?" Mr." his mother pointed out. "And sisters. " "We few. we band of brothers " . in spite of the heat. a little reluctantly. Mum. "Perfect fit. and he insisted on trying it on.com/abctxt. Bauer. Jake said. "Not that I mind that I have had to change my way of eating." Alison pointed out. Bauer nodded." he agreed. but Jake had an emergency appendectomy. so he had his day fully accounted for." "But you'll be on your own. out on Jake's stoep. checking the adjustment of the suction tube. "But I can't even say I will make up for this when I get out.html clinic too long. commiserated with him. http://www. with Christmas decorations. my wife says she likes i much better this new slimmer husband!" Jake looked in once or twice. She had got her mother to send a cashmere sweater for Jake. His bleeper went and he rose to go. with further surgical drainage necessary. I don't want to take any more time off. and one of his gastric resection patients had to be readmitted." he said. Mr. to the obvious delight of the kitchen staff." she said.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. She had agreed to work on Christmas Day because there were nurses with families and Jake said he would be on call too." Jake agreed." Alison told him. the two of you.processtext. waving to Sister Mtota from Women's Medical. Jake's eyes met Alison's. dry December days wore on. that cold Black Forest ham with salad was a better idea on this hot December evening than a traditional Christmas turkey. For a moment. we happy few. "Not a pleasant way to spend Christmas Day. looking around at the almost empty dining room. ' It would be a rather strange Christmas. There was no elective surgery in the few days before Christmas. although there were as few of the clinic staff as possible there. in the same dark blue as his eyes. This patient was still having naso gastric suction on Christmas Day. and after taking Shandy for a walk they had a cold Christmas dinner. but he was covering for David. "We'll be on our own. They were both off duty at seven. and Alison. and for two of the other doctors as well. although Jake would still be on call. Alison found herself thinking as the hot. Alison having agreed. where there was a festive atmosphere. "That's right. sisters. at lunchtime. giving Alison a quick kiss.
Brigitte glancing around to make sure she didn't miss anything. enjoying the anticipation.html She smoothed the thick dark hair and he caught her hand in his. mind. "He can't swear that the agates come from our beach ." he said softly. "Close your eyes. and the guests lined up to wish them well. Trudy aware of the solemnity of the occasion. but David didn't seem to mind." He clasped the necklace around her neck. at this time of year. their small faces pink with excitement. when Jake managed to reach her. the fair-haired Scots doctor and the girl with the short.processtext. and although it was a quiet wedding Jake was glad to see that quite a few of the couple's friends were there. they looked at each other steadily. he said to her. turning it so that he could kiss the palm. Behind her. For a moment her eyes met his. and he put a small parcel into her hands. and then she smiled and hugged him. Alison's clear grey eyes looked into David's hazel eyes. The threatening clouds that built up day after day. Then it was time for David and Marta to leave. Jake observed. She opened it.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. For a moment." she said unsteadily. waiting. When the ceremony was over. http://www. They were married in the German church just beside the Alte Fest. and the toasts were drunk. There was champagne. Jake saw her wave to Alison. He stood beside David. "Happy Christmas. . "One of the German jewellers made it. saw David pause for a moment beside Alison. walked Trudy and Brigitte. Marta wore a simple short dress of cream silk. A little later. disappeared completely on David and Marta's wedding day. it's beautiful. and he knew that they were sharing the thought that soon it would be them getting married. Jake. and she carried cream and gold rosebuds. my love. she thought as she opened the long box. and when Marta came down the aisle on her father's arm they both turned round. his hands lingering on her shoulders. talking to Marta's mother. Over his shoulders she saw Jake watching and her smile was for him too. "Are you all right?" Jewellery. but I like to think they do." he told her. "Oh. Jake. It was a necklace. gleaming cap of hair. the wedding party and the guests walked across the road to the wide stoep of the Alte Fest for a wedding breakfast. the speeches made-more in German than in English." he told her.com/abctxt. of heavy silver. with agates set into the silver. and the sky was clear and blue. and Alison smile back.
and there was no doubt. There was no need then. "I've sometimes thought that Cathy would have liked Marta. "You girls are going off with your grandparents to the farm for a few days. "But she just wanted to cry. to say any more. had the sudden and heart-stopping thought that in a few years it could be their own children holding Alison's hands. for Alison had to bend down to comfort a tearful Brigitte." "I know. "What's wrong with her?" Jake asked Trudy as the smaller girl's sobs began tu die down. "It would be a mighty strange thing if David didn't spare a thought for her today. http://www." Trudy said. we "You were thinking about Cathy. Marta wouldn't mind that. I can see that. Now. isn't it?" "It is. watching them. She hesitated.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. Brigitte allowing herself to be quietened in Alison's arms. and then they powder their noses." There was a final theatrical sigh from Brigitte as Alison took the hanky Jake handed her and dried her small face. he found it was a thought he rather ." Jake said. . He had always been amused at his mother thinking of her future grandchildren. Alison straightened up. Jake could see. "They go off to the powder room and they splash cold water on their faces." "Yes." Jake agreed.processtext. "I did tell Brigitte that. just like that. ' Two fair heads nodded.com/abctxt. "She wanted to go on the honeymoon with Mummy and David." Trudy explained. Alison agreed. "We all told her people don't go on honeymoons with other people-she's known that all the time-but she thought they would change their minds. and it wasn't a question. all at once." Alison replied. love. that now that the tears were over Brigitte seemed to be quite cheerful. Want to come with me to do that?" "Real powder?" Brigitte asked." Alison assured her. aren't you?" Jake said. and no time. She held out a hand to each of the children and the three of them went off. who was crying with such force that it was impossible to make sense of the sobbed words. I'm all right. "I know you like it there. "Do you know what ladies do when they've been crying?" she said to the two little girls. Jake. David and I-just for a moment. and-that's a good thought.html "Yes. "From your handbag?" "Real powder.
" He stopped the car.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. A few unwary visitors had their cars swept against the side of the road and had to abandon them. "And I promise you. also lying down. He turned his head to look at her." Jake returned. and Iay down in the shade that was already welcome. Jake took Alison's hand and swung it lightly in his. used to soft and steady Scottish rain. "Can you believe that next week we'll be married?" wonderingly. "We'd better have our breakfast picnic now. Alison couldn't believe at first. "And what are we doing talking about the weather. Alison said he said. it's green now. No. The Big Rains came in earnest at the end of 3anuary. and the dips people normally drove through became raging torrents. Shandy bounding ahead of them. and poured coffee. Alison knew. and putting his arm qround Alison to draw her down beside him. "Sure you don't want to change your mind about the arrangements? We could fly to Edinburgh. "Jake. when they drove out into the Khomas Hochland for a breakfast picnic-it had to be a breakfast one. and have a honeymoon in Scotland. Scotland in February isn't the most ideal place to have a honeymoon." he murmured after a long and satisfactory time. could hardly believe it when the thunder and lightning would be followed by the heavens opening. "You bet I can. darling. hard-boiled eggs and cold sausage. you and I?" laughter in his blue eyes. then we'll go to . "I would never have believed I would think rain was a good thing." she said to Jake one day. Shandy had his biscuits . that the next day would dawn clear and bright and very hot. and Alison. Once Alison and Jake. and although they ran for the car they were all soaked. because the rest of the day would be too hot. and they got out. as the rain fell in a torrent. He took her in his arms and kissed her.com/abctxt. http://www. get married there.processtext.html liked. and we have months of completely dry weather. his lips warm on hers. we'll get married quietly here. out with Shandy. once again close to the Ghost House. The dry riverbeds filled. when it's winter. and even welcomed the rain when it came." Alison laughed. you'll be glad again that we had such good rains. But gradually she got used to it." "And the dams are almost full." Jake said. And I'm not referring to the weather!" Alison unpacked the Brotchen. "before things get too hot. "But look at the veld. and we'll have our week in Swakopmund in Ted Barton's holiday flat. A thought he very much looked forward to sharing with Alison. misjudged the approaching clouds.
My mother is having great fun planning a wedding party for then-remember. and She broke off and looked at him. Going back to Edinburgh-will it difficult for you to come back here?" " . "whether we're in Windhoek or in Timbuktu. and cousins. is so different from Scotland. when we have a sporting chance of good weather." She took his face between her hands and kissed him. It showed. But they've promised to come g out here on holiday.processtext. she said honestly. But she knew now that a great deal of his confidence and his certainty was rooted in her. "And I'll one elbow "Windhoek that make enjoy every bit of it. in their love for each other. and His lips on hers stopped her. "Alison.com/abctxt. and she knew that their kiss held the promise of all the tomorrows they would share. many times. You'll meet uncles and aunts. Jake." he said." he assured her." she said steadily. that's my home. Most of the time he was confident and sure of himself. "And I do miss my folks. serious now.ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version. wherever we are together. http://www. It was something Alison had thought about. and we'll o back. in a moment of uncertainty like this. Then he leaned on and looked down at her.html Scotland in June. "And most of all. this man who was all the world to her. sure of his place in the world. I'll always miss Scotland. and second cousins. . just occasionally. I have warned you about the number of relatives I have.
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