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Jack and Jill

3. Ward No. I
For some days, nothing was seen and little was heard of the "dear sufferers," as the old
ladies called them. But they were not forgotten; the first words uttered when any of the
young people met were: "How is Jack?" "Seen Jill yet?" and all waited with impatience
for the moment when they could be admitted to their favorite mates, more than ever
objects of interest now.
Meantime, the captives spent the first few days in sleep, pain, and trying to accept the
hard fact that school and play were done with for months perhaps. But young spirits are
wonderfully elastic and soon cheer up, and healthy young bodies heal fast, or easily
adapt themselves to new conditions. So our invalids began to mend on the fourth day,
and to drive their nurses distracted with efforts to amuse them, before the first week was
over.
The most successful attempt originated in Ward No. I, as Mrs. Minot called Jack's
apartment, and we will give our sympathizing readers some idea of this place, which
became the stage whereon were enacted many varied and remarkable scenes.
Each of the Minot boys had his own room, and there collected his own treasures and
trophies, arranged to suit his convenience and taste. Frank's was full of books, maps,
machinery, chemical messes, and geometrical drawings, which adorned the walls like
intricate cobwebs. A big chair, where he read and studied with his heels higher than his
head, a basket of apples for refreshment at all hours of the day or night, and an
immense inkstand, in which several pens were always apparently bathing their feet,
were the principal ornaments of his scholastic retreat.
Jack's hobby was athletic sports, for he was bent on having a strong and active body for
his happy little soul to live and enjoy itself in. So a severe simplicity reigned in his
apartment; in summer, especially, for then his floor was bare, his windows were
uncurtained, and the chairs uncushioned, the bed being as narrow and hard as
Napoleon's. The only ornaments were dumbbells, whips, bats, rods, skates, boxing-
gloves, a big bath-pan and a small library, consisting chiefly of books on games, horses,
health, hunting, and travels. In winter his mother made things more comfortable by
introducing rugs, curtains, and a fire. Jack, also, relented slightly in the severity of his
training, occasionally indulging in the national buckwheat cake, instead of the
prescribed oatmeal porridge, for breakfast, omitting his cold bath when the thermometer
was below zero, and dancing at night, instead of running a given distance by day.
Now, however, he was a helpless captive, given over to all sorts of coddling, laziness,
and luxury, and there was a droll mixture of mirth and melancholy in his face, as he lay
trussed up in bed, watching the comforts which had suddenly robbed his room of its
Spartan simplicity. A delicious couch was there, with Frank reposing in its depths, half
 
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