Cherry Ames, Department Store Nurse

“This,” said Cherry, “is pretty wonderful!” She beamed at the others around the festive table with its autumn fruits and flowers. Her family beamed back at her. “For once all four Ameses are together, and isn’t it nice?”

“I feel a little selfish, not asking some of the relatives for Thanksgiving dinner,” Mrs. Ames remarked.

“Just us is fine,” said Charlie. “Besides, that leaves us more turkey.”

Mr. Ames, who could carve only when standing up, muttered that it was about times Charlie took over this chore. But when Charlie obligingly stood up to help, their father said, “Never mind, thanks. No chores for either of you kids when you’re only home for the holiday.”

“I won’t make any speeches about what it’s worth to me to be here today,” Cherry said. “Even for a few days’ leave.”

She had flown to Hilton, Illinois, from New York and this evening she would have to fly back again. If her old friend Ann Evans hadn’t had family matters to tend to, she might be able to stay at home longer. On the other hand, if Ann Evans Powell hadn’t needed someone in a hurry to substitute for her, Cherry would never have secured the nursing job in a New York department store, two weeks ago. And it was a fascinating job.