IF I FOUND in the convent a pleasant oasis of virtue, the world without seemed at times, by contrast, a veritable desert of depravity. In a city such as London the busy doctor is constantly confronted with life's more sordid aspects, with painful examples of the weakness and folly, the selfishness and shabby self-indulgence of human nature. Behind closed doors, in the privacy of my consulting room, I saw men without their masks, and often the sight was not a pretty one. To what sad ends were brought those who "with unbashful forehead, wooed the means of weakness and debility"!
At this particular period, through prejudice, lack of educational and public effort, the incidence of social disorders was appallingly heavy in the city. Statistics compiled by one of the great insurance companies showed that in the year 1925 the death rate from syphilis, locomotor ataxia, and general paralysis of the insane attained an all-time high. It was not my purpose to engage in moral dialectic, or harrow the feelings of my readers with the sorrowful history of these patients who found their way in shame and suffering to my consulting room. Yet there is one tragic case which I venture to record, since it was so different, in its beginning and in its end, from all the others.
On a warm June afternoon, when the practice was in a quiet phase and I sat debating whether I might steal an hour from duty to visit the tennis championships at Wimbledon, the doorbell rang and presently a young man and woman were shown to my consulting room. A pleasant sight they made together, as they entered, sustaining each other with a sidelong glance, half-humorous and inti