"I've no liking for foreign tours. And take note: if there is
an early stage of tuberculous process, of which we cannot be
certain, a foreign tour will be of no use. What is wanted is
means of improving nutrition, and not for lowering it." And the
celebrated doctor expounded his plan of treatment with Soden
waters, a remedy obviously prescribed primarily on the ground
that they could do no harm.
The family doctor listened attentively and respectfully.
"But in favor of foreign travel I would urge the change of
habits, the removal from conditions calling up reminiscences.
And then the mother wishes it," he added.
"Ah! Well, in that case, to be sure, let them go. Only, those
German quacks are mischievous.... They ought to be persuaded....
Well, let them go then."
He glanced once more at his watch.
"Oh! time's up already," And he went to the door. The celebrated
doctor announced to the princess (a feeling of what was due from
him dictated his doing so) that he ought to see the patient once
"What! another examination!" cried the mother, with horror.
"Oh, no, only a few details, princess."
"Come this way."
And the mother, accompanied by the doctor, went into the drawing
room to Kitty. Wasted and flushed, with a peculiar glitter in
her eyes, left there by the agony of shame she had been put
through, Kitty stood in the middle of the room. When the doctor
came in she flushed crimson, and her eyes filled with tears. All
her illness and treatment struck her as a thing so stupid,
ludicrous even! Doctoring her seemed to her as absurd as
putting together the pieces of a broken vase. Her heart was
broken. Why would they try to cure her with pills and powders?
But she could not grieve her mother, especially as her mother
considered herself to blame.
"May I trouble you to sit down, princess?" the celebrated doctor
said to her.