Chapter Twenty-six

"DOCTOR, I CAN'T . . . I won't have a child."

It was four o'clock in the afternoon, the hour of my "best" consultations, and the woman who spoke so vehemently was tall, distinguished, and handsome, fashionably dressed in a dark grey costume, with an expensive diamond clip in her smart black hat.

I had just examined her, and now, having dried my hands methodically, I put away the towel and turned toward her. "It's a little late to make that decision now. You should have thought of it two months ago. You are exactly nine weeks pregnant. Your baby will be born toward the middle of July."

"I won't have it. . . . You've got to help me, Doctor. You simply must."

How often had I heard these words before. I had heard them from frightened little shopgirls in trouble; from a shamed spinster, aged thirty-five, who told me in a trembling voice, exactly like the heroine of old-time melodrama, that she had been "betrayed"; from a famous film actress defiantly resolved that her career should not be ruined; above all had I heard them from selfish and neurotic wives, afraid of the pangs of childbirth, afraid of losing their figure, their health, their life, afraid -- most specious pretext of all -- of "losing their husband's love."

This case was somewhat different. I knew my patient, Beatrice Glendenning, socially; knew also her husband, Henry, and her two grown-up sons. They were wealthy people, with a town house in

-230-

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Adventures in Two Worlds
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Part One 1
  • Chapter One 3
  • Chapter Two 13
  • Chapter Three 22
  • Chapter Four 28
  • Chapter Five 40
  • Chapter Six 50
  • Chapter Seven 59
  • Chapter Eight 68
  • Chapter Nine 75
  • Chapter Ten 82
  • Chapter Eleven 92
  • Chapter Twelve 102
  • Chapter Thirteen 112
  • Chapter Fourteen 123
  • Part Two 133
  • Chapter Fifteen 135
  • Chapter Sixteen 143
  • Chapter Seventeen 151
  • Chapter Eighteen 159
  • Chapter Nineteen 171
  • Part Three 181
  • Chapter Twenty 183
  • Chapter Twenty-One 189
  • Chapter Twenty-Two 200
  • Chapter Twenty-Three 208
  • Chapter Twenty-Four 214
  • Chapter Twenty-Five 222
  • Chapter Twenty-Six 230
  • Chapter Twenty-Seven 236
  • Chapter Twenty-Eight 244
  • Chapter Twenty-Nine 252
  • Part Four 257
  • Chapter Thirty 259
  • Chapter Thirty-One 266
  • Chapter Thirty-Two 275
  • Chapter Thirty-Three 279
  • Chapter Thirty-Four 287
  • Chapter Thirty-Five 292
  • Chapter Thirty-Six 297
  • Chapter Thirty-Seven 301
  • Chapter Thirty-Eight 309
  • Chapter Thirty-Nine 314
  • Chapter Forty 321
  • Chapter Forty-One 328
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