He did not say anything. He waited for her to explain why she wanted to see him. The look of the room told him clearly enough that she had gone back to the life from which he had taken her. He wondered what had happened to the baby; there was a photograph of it on the chimney-piece, but no sign in the room that a child was ever there. Mildred was holding her handkerchief. She made it into a little ball, and passed it from hand to hand. He saw that she was very nervous. She was staring at the fire, and he could look at her without meeting her eyes. She was much thinner than when she had left him; and the skin, yellow and dryish, was drawn more tightly over her cheekbones. She had dyed her hair and it was now flaxen: it altered her a good deal, and made her look more vulgar.
"I was relieved to get your letter, I can tell you," she said at last. "I thought p'raps you weren't at the 'ospital any more."
Philip did not speak.
"I suppose you're qualified by now, aren't you?"
"I'm no longer at the hospital. I had to give it up eighteen months ago."
"You are changeable. You don't seem as if you could stick to anything."
Philip was silent for another moment, and when he went on it was with coldness.
"I lost the little money I had in an unlucky speculation and I couldn't afford to go on with the medical. I had to earn my living as best I could."
"What are you doing then?"
"I'm in a shop."
She gave him a quick glance and turned her eyes away at once. He thought that she reddened. She dabbed her palms nervously with the handkerchief.
"You've not forgotten all your doctoring, have you?" She jerked the words out quite oddly.
"Because that's why I wanted to see you." Her voice sank to a hoarse whisper. "I don't know what's the matter with me."
"Why don't you go to a hospital?"
"I don't like to do that, and have all the stoodents staring at me, and I'm afraid they'd want to keep me."
"What are you complaining of?" asked Philip coldly, with the stereotyped phrase used in the out-patients' room.
"Well, I've come out in a rash, and I can't get rid of it."
Philip felt a twinge of horror in his heart. Sweat broke out on his forehead.
"Let me look at your throat?"
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