The Strand Magazine: volume Vii, Issue 37. January, 1894.

Cover of book The Strand Magazine: volume Vii, Issue 37. January, 1894.
Categories: Fiction » Historical Fiction

I was in my consulting-room one morning, and had just said good-bye tothe last of my patients, when my servant came in and told me that a ladyhad called who pressed very earnestly for an interview wit


h me."I told her that you were just going out, sir," said the man, "and shesaw the carriage at the door; but she begged to see you, if only for twominutes. This is her card."I read the words, "Lady Studley.""Show her in," I said, hastily, and the next moment a tall,slightly-made, fair-haired girl entered the room.She looked very young, scarcely more than twenty, and I could hardlybelieve that she was, what her card indicated, a married woman.The colour rushed into her cheeks as she held out her hand to me. Imotioned her to a chair, and then asked her what I could do for her."Oh, you can help me," she said, clasping her hands and speaking in aslightly theatrical manner. "My husband, Sir Henry Studley, is veryunwell, and I want you to come to see him--can you?--will you?""With pleasure," I replied. "Where do you live?""At Studley Grange, in Wiltshire. Don't you know our place?""I daresay I ought to know it," I replied, "although at the presentmoment I can't recall the name. You want me to come to see your husband.I presume you wish me to have a consultation with his medicalattendant?""No, no, not at all. The fact is, Sir Henry has not got a medicalattendant. He dislikes doctors, and won't see one. I want you to comeand stay with us for a week or so. I have heard of you through mutualfriends--the Onslows. I know you can effect remarkable cures, and youhave a great deal of tact. But you can't possibly do anything for myhusband unless you are willing to stay in the house and to notice hissymptoms."[Illustration: "LADY STUDLEY SPOKE WITH GREAT EMPHASIS."]Lady Studley spoke with great emphasis and earnestness. Her long,slender hands were clasped tightly together. She had drawn off hergloves and was bending forward in her chair. Her big, childish, andsomewhat restless blue eyes were fixed imploringly on my face."I love my husband," she said, tears suddenly filling them--"and it isdreadful, dreadful, to see him suffer as he does. He will die unlesssomeone comes to his aid. Oh, I know I am asking an immense thing, whenI beg of you to leave all your patients and come to the country. But wecan pay. Money is no object whatever to us. We can, we will, gladly payyou for your services.""I must think the matter over," I said. "You flatter me by wishing forme, and by believing that I can render you assistance, but I cannot takea step of this kind in a hurry. I will write to you by to-night's postif you will give me your address. In the meantime, kindly tell me someof the symptoms of Sir Henry's malady."

The Strand Magazine: volume Vii, Issue 37. January, 1894.
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