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Cherry Ames, Chief Nurse

Cherry Ames stood under a palm tree somewhere in the Pacific, the day after Christmas. The officer who had just helped her off the plane said, “Stay here in the shade. Now if you will please excuse me for a minute — ” and walked away. Cherry watched him go and squinted through the heat haze at the parked Army bomber which had brought her here this afternoon. “Of all places for me to be spending Christmas!” she thought. “I’ve crossed the international date line and lost a day, so I’ll count today Christmas. But of all the un-Christmas-y places! I’ve read about romantic tropic isles, but I never thought I’d get to one this way!”

She pulled down the trim jacket of her nurse’s olive drab uniform, and set the jaunty cap more firmly on her black curls. Cherry’s eyes were black too, large and sparkling, thoughtful but full of fun — brilliant red cheeks and lips and a warmhearted smile lived up to the lively promise of those eyes. She knew perfectly well, of course, that a nurse, and especially an Army nurse, can, in the course of duty, nonchalantly pop up in any corner of the world. “But I wish,” she thought, “that someone would kindly tell me what I’m here for!”