IT IS A CLICHÉ to say that time flies when one is fully occupied, yet clichés have a way of being true. We had now been five years in Bayswater, our two boys were attending kindergarten, our lives moved so regularly and smoothly that my dear wife had the delusion we were permanently settled, that nothing would now arise to ruffle the even course of her life.
Only an inverted modesty, the worst kind of affectation, could make me pretend that we had not succeeded, amazingly, in our assault upon London, which had once intimidated us and seemed so difficult to conquer. The nucleus which I had taken over from Dr. Tanner had grown tenfold, and the practice now extended in scope and character far beyond its original limits. I had come to know many of the leading physicians and surgeons of the day, and called in consultation men like Lord Horder, Sir Arbuthnot Lane, and Sir Morley Fletcher. Recently I had been appointed medical officer to that great department store, Whitely's Limited.
Yet I was not satisfied: for some time past I had been specializing more and more in eye work, attending several ophthalmic clinics and hospitals. Already I had begun to establish myself in that field, and it was my intention to move, presently, to Harley Street.
One morning, however, my ambition was shaken by an unusually severe attack of indigestion, a condition which I had endured periodically since my student days and which, since doctors are constitutionally indifferent to their own complaints, I had merely staved off with increasing doses of bicarbonate of soda. On this occasion,