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0105_001E Dawn O'Hara Edna Ferber

Mostly Eggs

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"Feel like eating a great big dinner to-day, Kidlet? "Norah would ask in the morning as she stood at my bedside (with a glass of egg-something in her hand, of course).

"Eat!"--horror and disgust shuddering through my voice--"Eat! Ugh! Don't s-s-speak of it to me. And for pity's sake tell Frieda to shut the kitchen door when you go down, will you? I can smell something like ugh!--like pot roast, with gravy!" And I would turn my face to the wall.

Three hours later I would hear Sis coming softly up the stairs, accompanied by a tinkling of china and glass. I would face her, all protest.

"Didn't I tell you, Sis, that I couldn't eat a mouthful? Not a mouthf--um-m-m-m! How perfectly scrumptious that looks! What's that affair in the lettuce leaf? Oh, can't I begin on that divine-looking pinky stuff in the tall glass? H'm? Oh, please!"

"I thought--" Norah would begin; and then she would snigger softly.

"Oh, well, that was hours ago," I would explain, loftily. "Perhaps I could manage a bite or two now."

Whereupon I would demolish everything except the china and doilies.

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It was at this point on the road to recovery, just halfway between illness and health, that Norah and Max brought the great and unsmiling Von Gerhard on the scene. It appeared that even New York was respectfully aware of Von Gerhard, the nerve specialist, in spite of the fact that he lived in Milwaukee. The idea of bringing him up to look at me occurred to Max quite suddenly. I think it was on the evening that I burst into tears when Max entered the room wearing a squeaky shoe. The Weeping Walrus was a self-contained and tranquil creature compared to me at that time. The sight of a fly on the wall was enough to make me burst into a passion of sobs.

"I know the boy to steady those shaky nerves of yours, Dawn," said Max, after I had made a shamefaced apology for my hysterical weeping, "I'm going to have Von Gerhard up here to look at you. He can run up Sunday, eh, Norah?"

"Who's Von Gerhard?" I inquired, out of the depths of my ignorance. "Anyway, I won't have him. I'll bet he wears a Vandyke and spectacles."

"Von Gerhard!" exclaimed Norah, indignantly. "You ought to be thankful to have him look at you, even if he wears goggles and a flowing beard. Why, even that red-haired New York doctor of yours cringed and looked impressed when I told him that Von Gerhard was a friend of my husband's, and that they had been comrades at Heidelberg. I must have mentioned him dozens of times in my letters."


"Queer," commented Max, "he runs up here every now and then to spend a quiet Sunday with Norah and me and the Spalpeens. Says it rests him. The kids swarm all over him, and tear him limb from limb. It doesn't look restful, but he says it's great. I think he came here from Berlin just after you left for New York, Dawn. Milwaukee fits him as if it had been made for him."

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Dawn O'Hara
Edna Ferber

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