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|Anne's House of Dreams||Lucy Maud Montgomery|
Gilbert And Anne Disagree
|Page 3 of 4||
"Knew what a woman feels about it," she concluded lamely.
"I think I do know. I've looked at the matter from every point of view--and I've been driven to the conclusion that it is my duty to tell Leslie that I believe it is possible that Dick can be restored to himself; there my responsibility ends. It will be for her to decide what she will do."
"I don't think you've any right to put such a responsibility on her. She has enough to bear. She is poor--how could she afford such an operation?"
"That is for her to decide," persisted Gilbert stubbornly.
"You say you think that Dick can be cured. But are you SURE of it?"
"Certainly not. Nobody could be sure of such a thing. There may have been lesions of the brain itself, the effect of which can never be removed. But if, as I believe, his loss of memory and other faculties is due merely to the pressure on the brain centers of certain depressed areas of bone, then he can be cured."
"But it's only a possibility!" insisted Anne. "Now, suppose you tell Leslie and she decides to have the operation. It will cost a great deal. She will have to borrow the money, or sell her little property. And suppose the operation is a failure and Dick remains the same.
How will she be able to pay back the money she borrows, or make a living for herself and that big helpless creature if she sells the farm?"
"Oh, I know--I know. But it is my duty to tell her. I can't get away from that conviction."
"Oh, I know the Blythe stubbornness," groaned Anne. "But don't do this solely on your own responsibility. Consult Doctor Dave."
"I HAVE done so," said Gilbert reluctantly.
"And what did he say?"
"In brief--as you say--leave well enough alone. Apart from his prejudice against new-fangled surgery, I'm afraid he looks at the case from your point of view--don't do it, for Leslie's sake."
"There now," cried Anne triumphantly. "I do think, Gilbert, that you ought to abide by the judgment of a man nearly eighty, who has seen a great deal and saved scores of lives himself--surely his opinion ought to weigh more than a mere boy's."
"Don't laugh. It's too serious."
"That's just my point. It IS serious. Here is a man who is a helpless burden. He may be restored to reason and usefulness--"
"He was so very useful before," interjected Anne witheringly.
"He may be given a chance to make good and redeem the past. His wife doesn't know this. I do. It is therefore my duty to tell her that there is such a possibility. That, boiled down, is my decision."
"Don't say `decision' yet, Gilbert. Consult somebody else. Ask Captain Jim what he thinks about it."
"Very well. But I'll not promise to abide by his opinion, Anne.
This is something a man must decide for himself. My conscience would never be easy if I kept silent on the subject."
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|Anne's House of Dreams
Lucy Maud Montgomery
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