Copyright 20114 by Stephen W. Hines
“Come, come nurse Samuels. Surely you can use a better word than that. I hope we will not continue to hear such sentimental simpering from one of our own! We are professionals here. Our highest duty is to give every patient the kick in the rear he needs to get him our of here. Don’t talk to me of love. The little brats grow up, don’t they? No doubt we’ll whip you into shape in no time. They all come out of school muttering like you at first, but we set them straight! Now wipe those tears off your face and stop trembling. You’ll get used to me after a while and find me gruff, but kindly, with a heart of gold. Now beat it, the both of you.”
But before Sarah could leave St. Luther’s for the day, go home, and throw herself on her bed in anguish, she still had to visit the surgery. Darla and Sarah soon arrived at a green baize door marked “Surgery–Off Limits” and went in.
“This is surgery, Sarah,” Darla began. “Over there, sharpening a scalpel, is Dr. Lance Buboes, and there are Drs. Smithe and Wayne (pointing), and nurse Murphy and nurse Simpson. Am I going too fast for you?”
As Sarah dried her eyes and tried to clear her head, she began to pay attention to what Darla was saying, and she noticed one of the surgeons had his back to them. “Who is that standing over in the corner with his back to us?”
“Oh, I’m glad you noticed him. That’s Dr. Chutney. Maybe you’ve heard of him–Dr. Ransom Chutney. He’s the strong, silent type. He often uses his eyebrows to browbeat the nurses. A real terror. Some of us think he suffers from a Secret Sorrow. We often find him tearing up over Good Housekeeping in the waiting room. Let me introduce you. You’ll find him fascinating–if you can get him to talk.”
“Dr. Chutney, could you speak with us for a minute? I would like to introduce you to our new nurse,” Darla asked.
Dr. Chutney, who had not seen them approach, started as though shot, but regained his composure quickly and turned around.
“Dr. Chutney, this is Sarah Samuels, who will be in pediatrics. Sarah, this is Dr. Chutney, our Chief of Surgery.”
As Sarah gazed upon Dr. Chutney’s full visage, bells went off. She was utterly stunned by his dark, handsome masculinity. He had chest hair growing out his ears. He was the spitting image of Hugh Jackman, Brad Pitt, and Miley Cyrus, depending on which mood he chose to be in. His mood changed several times while he stood before them. It was as though he were Mt. Rushmore being swept by the seasons.
“Why, how do you do, nurse Samuels? I hope you will like it here at St. Luther’s.”
Sarah regained her voice. “Yippee! I think I’ll like this place just . . . that is, I hope . . . I’m sure I will have a satisfactory adjustment here, Dr. Chutney. Nurse Dunn has been showing me the ropes. I’m so excited that I shall at last be able to put the noble ideals I learned at school to work for the betterment of humankind.”
She noticed a sudden change sweep over the noble young doctor (for so she sensed him to be). He darkened visibly. “Yes, noble ideals, noble ideals . . .,” he murmured for several minutes, looking like a troubled eagle.
Then, suddenly, he came to himself. “Yes, nurse Samuels, noble ideals. Never forget them. Always live by them. I’m sure they will serve you in good stead.” He spoke with an odd intensity, as if his own ideals not only guided but also hound him.
It was all such a mystery.
They bid each other goodbye, but as Sarah left, words could not express the strange, almost wonderful, emotions that coursed through her veins. Who was this man who had suddenly made her heart go pitty-pat in a drum solo? What did she know about him? What had he murmured about ideals? Why did he give the impression of being a driven, almost desperate man? Was there more to medicine than money perhaps? She couldn’t say.
And so the mystery of Ransom Chutney, M.D., became ever more of a preoccupation as the months flew by. She simply could not fathom his behavior. At times he seemed almost suicidal. Once she caught him actually holding a scalpel to his throat, but he’d gotten out of that situation by saying he was shaving. Another time she found him floating face down in the therapy pool. When she revived him, he said he had “slipped” and fallen in.
So it went until the day Sarah found a note in her mailbox. It read: Dear Sarah, I can’t stand it anymore. If you will come to a little informal gathering I’m having this evening, I will tell you all. I need your help. Desperately yours, Ransom Chutney, M.D.
As she pondered the message of this personal note, her eyes bulged. So at last she was to know. She felt like flying or at least like leaping tall buildings with a single bound. He was going to take her into his confidence! Sarah literally floated through the rest of her day. And now she lay on her bed, reflecting, reflecting. . . . What would she find tonight? Would it be love? Or only more mystery?
[To be continued.]