Cherry walked slowly through the residential section of her little Illinois home town. It was a hot June morning and she hoped that her stiffly starched white uniform wouldn’t wilt before she reached the clinic. In two more days it would be July and then Charlie would be home, too.
Cherry’s twin brother, who was as blond as she was dark, was a student at State Engineering College. He planned to spend the summer working as counselor at Bluewater Boys’ Camp, thirty miles from Hilton. In Cherry’s handbag was a letter from Charlie saying:
“I’m glad you invested your life savings in that jalopy you call Bouncing Bess, Sis. We’ll need it all during July and August. I’m counting on you to pick me up at camp every Saturday afternoon, and to drive me back every Sunday evening. Can you believe it? Week ends at home together! I’ll probably have college on Friday, the first, but may get away sooner. Depends on final exams. My love to the folks, always including, of course, Dr. Joe and his zany daughter, Midge.”
Bouncing Bess was a battered little red convertible which Cherry had bought recently just so she and Charlie could have fun that summer. their father, who was in the real-estate business, used the family car all day long on summer week ends, driving prospective clients around the countryside.
Cherry pushed her black curls away from her damp forehead and almost wished that she had decided to drive to work instead of walking. But the new Group Medical Practice Clinic was only a few blocks from the Ameses’ little gray house. And Cherry, who had been away from home almost constantly ever since she had left it to enter Spencer Hospital’s Nursing School, was still thrilled by all the familiar sights and sounds and smells.