A Visit to Mrs. Murray
Di Blythe knocked softly at the library door.
Di poked her head in with an apologetic smile. "Hi, Dad. I guess you heard the phone."
Dr. Blythe was already standing at the massive mahogany desk by the windows, tucking his stethoscope into his black traveling bag.
"Who was it?" he asked.
"Angus Murray. His mother is asking for you."
Dr. Blythe grimaced, but went on with his packing.
Di stepped into the room and stood in front of the bookcase where the ledgers stood in orderly ranks. The top shelf held the older volumes — case notes and files from old Dr. Dave, and a few that predated even those. At Di's eye level, half a dozen tan-and-maroon registers held the medical histories of nearly everyone in Glen St. Mary and the Upper Glen and the fishing village down at the Harbour Head. They were sacred — confidential — and completely off-limits to anyone but Dad.
"Is there anything you can do for her?" Di asked.
Dr. Blythe did not look up. "For Martha Murray? Not a thing except listen. She's 93 and declining as gently as anyone could ever wish." He clicked his bag shut. "Sweetheart, will you go tell Susan that I won't be home for supper? I have to check in on Mattie Crawford in the Upper Glen as well, and Martha Murray will keep me at least an hour just narrating her various complaints."
Di clenched her hand around a fold of her apron. This was her chance. She took a single deep breath. "Dad? Bring me with you."
He looked up, surprised. "You want to go on a call?"
"I could help!" Di said, words tumbling out. "Like you said, Mrs. Murray isn't really sick; she just wants a visitor. As long as you stop in for five minutes, she'll be satisfied that she saw you, and then you can leave me and go on to Mattie Crawford. I'll listen to all Mrs. Murray's ailments and be as sympathetic as can be. And then you can stop by for me on your way home from the Crawfords' and you won't have to miss supper!"
Di was somewhat breathless by the end of this speech, but she felt that she had presented her case as convincingly as she could. It had been more than a year since she had first hatched the idea of asking Dad to take her along on a call, but had never found the right moment. Especially now that she and Nan were away at Queen's, Di felt that she must seize the day, even if the fluttering in her stomach was awfully uncomfortable.
Dr. Blythe gave her an appraising look. "That might work," he said slowly. "Are you sure you want to come along?"
"Yes," Di said, almost too quickly.
"And you won't mind sitting with Mrs. Murray, even when she tells you about her bunions?"
"I'm looking forward to it," said Di, unable to suppress a grin.
"If you say so,"Dr. Blythe shrugged. "Go tell Susan to expect us back at suppertime. I'll meet you out front with the buggy."
Di turned and flew toward the kitchen, feet barely touching the ground. She did not pause long enough seeDr. Blythe shaking his head, watching her go with an expression of curiosity on his own smiling face.