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Chapter 19 - Brother Bones
Rose accepted her uncle's offer, as Aunt Myra discovered two or three days later. Coming in for an early call, and hearing voices in the study, she opened the door, gave a cry and shut it quickly, looking a good deal startled. The Doctor appeared in a moment, and begged to know what the matter was.
"How can you ask when that long box looks so like a coffin I thought it was one, and that dreadful thing stared me in the face as I opened the door," answered Mrs. Myra, pointing to the skeleton that hung from the chandelier cheerfully grinning at all beholders.
"This is a medical college where women are freely admitted, so walk in, madam, and join the class if you'll do me the honour," said the Doctor, waving her forward with his politest bow.
"Do, auntie, it's perfectly splendid," cried Rose's voice, and Rose's blooming face was seen behind the ribs of the skeleton, smiling and nodding in the gayest possible manner.
"What are you doing, child?" demanded Aunt Myra, dropping into a chair and staring about her.
"Oh, I'm learning bones to-day, and I like it so much. There are twelve ribs, you know, and the two lower ones are called floating ribs, because they are not fastened to the breastbone. That's why they go in so easily if you lace tight and squeeze the lungs and heart in the let me see, what was that big word oh, I know thoracic cavity," and Rose beamed with pride as she aired her little bit of knowledge.
"Do you think that is a good sort of thing for her to be poking over? She is a nervous child, and I'm afraid it will be bad for her," said Aunt Myra, watching Rose as she counted vertebr‘, and waggled a hip-joint in its socket with an inquiring expression.
"An excellent study, for she enjoys it, and I mean to teach her how to manage her nerves so that they won't be a curse to her, as many a woman's become through ignorance or want of thought. To make a mystery or terror of these things is a mistake, and I mean Rose shall understand and respect her body so well that she won't dare to trifle with it as most women do."
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