Nurse Jess

Nurse Jess by Joyce Dingwell Page A

Book: Nurse Jess by Joyce Dingwell Read Free Book Online
Authors: Joyce Dingwell
Tags: Harlequin Romance 1959
trainees. ”
    “ This is the jetty. It ’ s taken from the beach. There ’ s Ba again. ”
    “ Margaret! ”
    Margaret looked up. “ Darling, when you consider it calmly an exam is only reasonable. Why are you worrying? I have heard it ’ s not a formal examination, and even if it is you know your work. ”
    “ Matron Martha has instructed me to con my notes, ” said Jessa miserably, “ and I haven ’ t taken any—or really very few. ”
    “ This is Benjamin at the wheel of the wagon, Ba beside him, ” said Margaret. “ This is the picnic party under the umbrella tree, Ba drinking out of the pop bottle. ” She regarded the scene happily. Then she appeased Jessa, though a little disinterestedly, with, “ You can borrow my notes, of course. ”
    That evening Jessa saw Professor Gink again. It was the first time for a fortnight. She saw his shadow before she saw him, but she knew at once whose shadow it was. No one else had those long, long legs.
    And then she noticed there was another shadow with his. Much shorter, though taller than her own would have ... about up to his top button Jessa ’ s came only to his third.
    She wondered if he had been to visit the Perfesser. Young. Master X ’ s nursery was along this corridor.
    She would have retreated her own steps in sheer nervousness, but the two shadows had half turned as though they had heard her approach, and it would have made retreat seem foolish, so she went on.
    When she rounded the corner she saw that the second shadow was Margaret ’ s. She was talking animatedly to the Professor. She held in her hand the Crescent Island snaps.
    This really was excellent. This was just what she had planned so long. Possibly Margaret was discussing native infant welfare with him. Two such dedicated people like they were would have a lot of pertinent things to discuss.
    It was the beginning of the betterment of that good cause, and Jessa knew she should feel very satisfied about it. And she was, too, only... well, only... Oh, it was simply the impending surprise examination that made her feel oddly down in spirits like this.
    When your spirits are down your head should go up, she remembered her father once telling her. Her red head came up now. Proudly.
    “ Good evening, Nurse Margaret, ” she said politely. “ Good evening—sir. ”
    And Professor Gink said, “ Good evening. ” Not even Nurse. Certainly not Nurse Jess.
    Still with her red head up Jessa went past them down the long corridor.
    That night, and whenever she could snatch a moment the next few days and nights, Jessa borrowed Margaret ’ s notes and conned.
    Matron Martha had not said when they would be examined, but knowing Matron Martha, Jessa knew it would be quite in keeping with her to spring it on them without warning.
    And Matron Martha did.
    Jessa was feeding Brains Trust one morning when Matron Martha appeared by her side, no handle-turning, no steps, no approach, but suddenly, quietly there.
    Brains Trust took some feeding. Already he was displaying all the privileged whims of the genius scholar. Food simply did not exist for him. He ignored it blandly. Or he would have if Jessa had not gritted her teeth and forced her will on this small sample of future high I.Q.
    Calypso Pete had dined already. No trouble with Calypso; he would never ignore food.
    Deb. Number One was still to come. She was pernickety, but not supremely above common appetite as Brains Trust was.
    Matron Martha watched her a moment, then said, “ As soon as you ’ ve finished there you will proceed to the office. ”
    “ I ’ ve Deb. Number One—I mean the Peters baby to do. ”
    “ Nurse Elaine can attend the Peters baby—and Nurse Jess, I am not asking what is your next task, I am telling you what to do. ”
    “ Yes, Matron Martha. ”
    “ You will proceed to the office to undergo your progress examination. ”
    “ My pro — Yes, yes, thank you, Matron Martha. ”
    Matron lingered a while, inspecting here, probing

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