|Newspaper Title||Western Star and Roma Advertiser (Toowoomba, Qld. : 1875 - 1948)|
|Trove Title||Jerry: A Sketch in Sepia|
There was a little red head pressing the pillow of a cot that had been empty for a week. Two brown eyes with the twinkle etill in them were searching ronnd the ward.
"Miss, I saj, MíbsI" called Jerry in a very small voice.
A sweet girl face bent over the cot, two tears that professional decorum could not keep back sprang into two soft, sorrowful eyes. Jerry's eyeB snapped and sparkled.
" Gie's a tram ticket to my Christmas box—d'ye remember Míbb . I do ; you guv me two."
" Lie still, Jerry, you musn't talk, you're
T)ie girl patted down the pillow, and*
stroked one little restless hand that was on the white coverlid—only one.
" Where ?" said Jerrr, " cos I don't feel ill."
" You're ill all over, Jerry, and you must lie very still." The nurse smoothed the pillow again.
" Humph/' said Jerry. " My legs is gone, and on£ of my arms, I know. There ain't much of me to be ill."
The girl started. She had not thought; the little lad had found out his los« ret.
Jerry wondered a little, and blinked his eyes at the ceiling.
" They were dirty, I spect," he said, regretfully. " I wos goin' to wash 'em to morrow, I wos. "I allays does Sundays and Christmus. Did they stand up, Miss, when they wos cut off f How did they look?" 4
The girl thought of the horrible board in the operáting-room and the small severed limbs she had seen lying apart. She was new to her duties yet, and the horror of the thing was yet upon her. She caught her breath, shuddered convulsively,
and burst into tears.
An old nurse rebuked her for her weak
ness and hurried her from the ward. Jerry's èyès followed her" all the way,'arid then looked thoughtfully at the ceiling a long
An hour later the girl came into the room again.
" Miss, Miss, gie's a tram - ticket to my Ohristmas box," called Jerry, quite gay again.
: Miss came up tohim, th« red lips closed in a straight firm line this time. " Jerry, there is some one to see you," she eaid.
The old light leapt up into the brown eyes. " Is it Tim, is it old Tim ?" he cried eagerly.
" It is a very little boy with whitish
iiair." The nurse smoothed the pillow
and patted the one email hand again. There was so little else she could do.
The light died away. " Only him," he said disappointedly, V I 'spose you'll: have to bring Mm up though." Down the ward on the tips of his 6mall bare toes, with frightened eyes almost starting out of his head, and trembling hands tightly clutched, and teeth biting hard into quivering lips, .came the faithful companion.
" Húllo, kid, why didn't Tim coine ?" said Jerry as hé gained the bedside.
The small boy gasped a little. " I thought as 'dw you wos ill," he said, startled to see so ordinary a Jerry.
" Where's Tim ?" demanded Jerry.
" Please, Jerry, in gaol," said the faith ful companion, imploringly.
" Hum," said Jerry, and there was a
" How long ?" he added.
" Only six months this time," said the faithful companion, encouragingly.
" Pull the clothes off and see how little
I'm growed; quick, there's no one looking," whispered Jerry excitedly.
Tremblingly, fearfully, the faithful companion drew back the clothes. Ohl such a little Jerry. Such a pitiful little etymp of a body, all bandaged, and just
one arm and the head.
A stifled sob, a howl of despair broke from the faithful companion, and the nurge hurried up, scolded the little lads softly, and tenderly replaced the merciful
Soon it was time for beef tea and jelly, and the faithful companion had to go.
" Come again," called Jerry, as the little thin face with its shock of white hair looked back from the doorway.
Two more days he came and Jerry chirped and made jokes and teased the nurses; and even laughed at the doctors. The third time the faithful companion was
A coffin—euch a tiny one—had been j carried from the ward that morning, and ; the cot was being smoothed ready for its