The Rough Rider

The Rough Rider by Gilbert Morris Read Free Book Online

Book: The Rough Rider by Gilbert Morris Read Free Book Online
Authors: Gilbert Morris
thought about Awful and the work at the mission. He was convinced that such dedication and selfless giving was what the city of New York needed to help heal the lives of those beset with such dismal poverty and hopelessness. The derelicts who roamed the streets of the Lower East Side could be saved no other way. But Gail—what was to be done about her? He turned and clapped his hands together in an impulsive gesture. “Something’s got to be done!” he said, shaking his head. “She can’t roam the streets. You know what could happen to her.”
    “Oh, don’t you worry, Doctor, we’ll keep her here. We have a young woman who lives here full time and helps with the cooking. Gail can stay here for a time, anyway.”
    Burns felt relieved at Gardner’s offer and said, “Well, that’s good. I hate to think of her being out on the streets all alone.”
    “Yes, but I’m worried about the boy, too—and so is Gail. She doesn’t sleep well for worrying about what’s to become of the lad. Nothing we can do about that, though. We can’t take in everybody that’s having problems, although I wish we could.”
    The two men talked for a time, wrestling with the problem, and finally, a glimmer of an idea came to Burns. He stroked his trim mustache, letting the idea filter through his mind. He was a man who could move quickly, but there was a thoroughness in him, too, that made him analyze every side of a proposition before taking any action. Finally, he lifted hishead and said slowly, “You know, Awful, I think there might be one way out of this, but it might be a bit difficult.”
    Awful glanced at his friend quickly. “What is it, Doctor?”
    “I’ve been watching Gail at her job now for quite some time. At first I wasn’t sure that it would work out since she was only seventeen. But she’s done amazingly well. Why, even Nurse Smith—who doesn’t toss around compliments, I can tell you—says Gail’s the best worker in the whole hospital.” He stroked his jaw slowly and thoughtfully and said, “I’ve been thinking lately what a marvelous nurse or assistant she might make.”
    “But don’t that take a lot of education?”
    “Well, yes—it does take some special training. Especially to become a regular nurse. But the hospital’s started a new program where we take in young women and train them for nine months. It’s not the full training of a nurse, but they can do most of the things that a regular nurse can.”
    “And you’re thinking,” Awful said, “that this might work out for Gail? You think she could do it?”
    “Oh, she could do it all right, but it’s a little expensive, I’m afraid!”
    Awful made a face and said, “This is one of those times that I wish I had money. How much would it cost?”
    Burns explained the program, mentioning the cost, and said ruefully, “I don’t have it myself, or I would be glad to pay for it. It was expensive paying for medical school and leaving Scotland. And I’m just getting established here.”
    “Well, dear boy,” Awful said quickly, “we’ll just pray and see if something can’t be done! The good Lord is just as concerned for Gail as we are.”
    “Perhaps it’s better not to say anything to Gail. If it doesn’t work out, then she won’t be disappointed.”
    “Right you are, dear boy.” Awful rose and bid the doctor goodbye.
    For the rest of the morning, Awful walked around visiting the widows in the neighborhood and doing what he couldfor them, but he couldn’t stop thinking about Gail Summers’ plight.
    Finally, he returned and helped one of the workers prepare the lunch for the men who had come to stay at the mission. The young lady he worked with had become a favorite of his.
    “Well, this is a good lunch you fixed, Deborah. I don’t see how you can do it on the scant funds we allow.”
    Deborah Laurent had never mentioned her age, but Awful thought she must not be more than eighteen or nineteen. She had appeared out of nowhere one

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