Page:Female Prose Writers of America.djvu/394

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352
ANN E. PORTER.

“We’ve killed it—poisoned it with that vile tobacco!” I exclaimed; and, in despair, I pressed it to my bosom and wept like a child.

“Let me take the baby,” said a kind voice, and looking up I recognised Dr. Perkins.

I held it still more closely, while I begged him to tell me if there was any hope. He took the little hand in his own, and placed his ear so that he could distinguish the breathing.

“I think that we can save your babe, Helen; but,” he added, in a tone of mild authority, “you are killing yourself; go and lie down, and I will see to the child.”

He was our family physician; one to whom, from childhood, I had been accustomed to look up with reverence. I yielded my precious burthen, and reluctantly obeyed. My husband came in at that moment and enforced the doctor’s direction, assuring me that everything in their power should be done for the child.

But what a night of anguish and suspense we passed! Morning found the doctor still there; for it was not until then that he was able to rouse the infant from that dreadful stupor, and then, for days, it hovered on the very verge of death. It was a sad lesson to a young mother.