Page:Twilight.djvu/67

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
59
TWILIGHT

illness is almost unbearable to a thinking person of decent and reticent physical habits. The feeding cup and gurgling water bed, the lack of privacy, are hourly humiliations. All one's modesties are outraged. I improved, although as I heard afterwards it had not been expected that I would live. The consultants gave me up, and the nurses. Only Dr. Kennedy and Ella refused to admit the condition hopeless. When I continued to improve Ella was boastful and Benham contradictory. The one dressed me up, making pretty lace and ribbon caps, sending to London for wonderful dressing-jackets and nightgowns, pretending I was out of danger and on the road to convalescence, long before I even had a normal temperature. Benham fought against all the indulgences that Ella and I ordered and Dr. Kennedy never opposed. Seeing visitors, sitting up in bed, reading the newspapers, abandoning invalid diet in favour of caviare and foie gras, strange rich dishes. Benham despised Dr. Kennedy and said we could always get round him, make him say whatever we wished. More than once she threatened to throw up the case. I did not want her to go. I knew, if I did not admit it, that my convalescence was not established. I had no real confidence in myself, was much weaker than anybody but myself knew, with disquieting symptoms. It exhausted me to fight with her continually, one day I told her so, and that she was retarding my