Laverick's Partner Flees
The doctor, a grave, incurious person, arrived within a few minutes to find Morrison
already conscious but absolutely exhausted. He felt his patient's pulse, prescribed a
draught, and followed Laverick. down into the sitting room.
"An ordinary case of nervous exhaustion," he pronounced. "The patient appears to have
had a very severe shock lately. He will be all right with proper diet and treatment, and a
complete rest. I will call again to-morrow."
He accepted the fee which Laverick slipped into his hand, and took his departure. Once
more Laverick was alone with the girl, who had followed them downstairs.
"There is nothing to be alarmed at, you see," he remarked.
"It is not his health which frightens me. I am sure - I am quite sure that he has something
upon his mind. Did he tell you nothing?"
"Nothing at all," Laverick answered, with an inward sense of thankfulness. "To tell you
the truth, though, I am afraid you are right and that he did get into some sort of trouble
last night. He was just about to tell me something when he fainted."
Upstairs they could hear him moaning. The girl listened with pitiful face.
"What am I to do?" she asked. "I cannot leave him like this, and if I am not at the theatre
in twenty minutes, I shall be fined."
"The theatre?" Laverick repeated.
"I am on the stage," she said, - "only a chorus girl at the Universal, worse luck. Still, they
don't allow us to stay away, and I can't afford to lose my place."
"Do you mean to say that you have been keeping yourself here, then?" Laverick asked
"Of course," she answered. "I do not like to be a burden on any one, and after all, you see,
Arthur and I are really not related at all. He has always told me, too, that times have been
so bad lately."
Laverick was on the point of telling her that bad though they had been Arthur Morrison
had never drawn less than fifteen hundred a year, but he checked himself. It was not his
business to interfere.
"I think," he said, "that your brother ought to have provided for you. He could have done
so with very little effort."