Wednesday, 18 March 2015


Downstairs, the doctor left three different medicines in different coloured capsules with instructions for giving them. One was to bring down the fever, another a purgative, the third to overcome an acid condition. The germs of influenza can only exist in an acid condition, he explained.

 He seemed to know ass about influenza and said there was nothing to worry about if the fever did not go above one hundred and four degrees. This was a light epidemic of flu and there was no danger if you avoided pneumonia.

Back in the room I wrote the boy’s temperature down and made a note of the time to give the various capsules. ‘Do you want me to read to you?’

‘All right. If you want to,’ said the boy. His face was very white and there were dark areas under his eyes. He lay still in the bed and seemed very detached from what was going on.

I read aloud from Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates; but I could see he was not following what I was reading.

‘How do you feel, Schatz?’ I asked him.

‘ Just the same, so far,’ he said.

I sat at the foot of the bed and read to myself while I waited for it to be time to give another capsule. It would have been natural for him to go to sleep, but when I looked up he was looking at the foot of the bed, looking very strangely.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015


Ernest Miller Hemingway (1899-1961) was a famous American journalist, novelist and short story writer. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954. His characters represent a degree of authenticity that attract the critical attention of the readers. He acted as a reporter on the Spanish Civil War, and wrote his famous novel For Whom the Bell Tolls. In his later life, Hemingway committed suicide. ‘A Day’s Wait’ is about a boy, who is down with fever and he is having strange visionary experiences. He is thinking of his own impending death. However, his Papa helps him come out of this situation.

He came into the room to shut the windows while we were still in and I saw he looked ill. He was shivering, his face was white and he walked slowly as though it ached to move. ‘What’s the matter, Schatz?’  -   ‘I’ve got a headache.’  - ‘You better go back to bed.’  –  ‘No . I’m all right.’ -  ‘You go to bed. I’ll see you when I’m dressed.’ But when I came downstairs he was dressed, sitting by the fire, looking a very sick and miserable boy of nine years. When I put my hand on his forehead I knew he had a fever. ‘You go up to bed,’ I said, ‘you’re sick.’ -  ‘I’m all right,’ he said. When the doctor came he took the boy’s temperature. ‘What is it?’ I asked him. ‘One  hundred and two.’