Cherry Ames, Island Nurse

Cherry stopped in front of the Hilton Hospital and glanced at her wrist watch. She was not due to be on duty for twenty minutes. She stood for a moment, enjoying the sunshine and the fresh, sweet air of spring. What a glorious morning!

In the sky overhead a small plane was circling about. Shading her eyes with her hand, Cherry watched it it descend slowing in widening spirals and bank to come in for a landing at the new private airport outside Hilton.

“I wouldn’t mind being up in a place myself this morning,” Cherry thought dreamily.

“Nurse Ames, you have a very bad case of spring fever,” she heard a voice boom.

Startled, she turned her head and saw Dr. Watson, a wide grin on his face, beside her. “Check that fever at the door,” he told her, laughing. “It’s highly contagious.”

“Good morning, Doctor. You sneaked up or I would have heard you, “she accused him as he started up the walk. Her eyes followed his clumsy, bearlike figure to the entrance. She had a warm spot in her heart for Dr. Ray Watson who was in charge of Men’s Orthopedic Ward. He had been patient, understanding, and always cheerful when she was a nurse on his ward.

Cherry was now one of the Emergency nurses and was often the nurse on one of his cases. Dr. Watson handled accident cases involving orthopedics, such as fractures and other conditions which caused interference with the use of bones and joints.

Cherry forgot the sunny sky and the plane and walked through the door into the antiseptic small of the hospital. The quick change from the air outside made her nose prickle as always, but the odor quickly became familiar and she felt completely at home.

“Good morning, Miss Ames.”

“Good morning, Mrs. Peters,” Cherry returned the greeting from the head nurse on Orthopedic Ward.

“Whenever you’ve had enough of Emergency,” Mrs. Peters said with a smile, “remember, I can always use an extra nurse.”

“I’ll say we can,” declared Nurse Ruth Dale, as she came in the door and fell in step with Cherry. “We’re always short of nurses, you know that.”

“Hospitals are always short of nurses,” agreed Cherry. They went on down the corridor toward the section where the nurses had their lockers. “It’s a complaint as common as the common cold, or haven’t you heard?” Cherry asked airily.

Ruth made a face at her, taking the teasing in good nature. She and Cherry had been on duty in the same ward and had been good friends for a long time. Ruth was frank to say that Cherry was shining proof that beauty and brains went together. Cherry’s dark-brown, almost black eyes, black curly hair, and red cheeks, which had won her the name of Cherry, always called forth admiring remarks. Her patients appreciated her cheerful presence.