The big silver-gray bus stopped at the junction just long enough for Cherry to jump off and reach up for the bags which the driver handed down to her. Then with a derisive blast of its horn it sped away as though it wished to shake off the dust of this desolate countryside.
“Weatherly,” Cherry though, “must be the tiniest village in the while U.S. A. And yet it’s only four hours from New York City, and once was a prosperous mining town.”
The only buildings still standing was the abandoned railroad station which consisted of a baggage platform precariously attached to an unpainted shack that looked as though it were going to collapse any minute from sheer boredom. A dirt road stretched away from the junction to lose itself in far-off scrubby hills. Cherry knew that on one of those hills was a hospital. Somebody on the staff should be driving down the road now to meet the new night supervisor.
Night supervisor! Cherry could hardly believe that this evening she would actually be on duty in that coveted role. The opportunity had been offered to her by Dr. Van Laughton, Chief of the Pediatric Service of Spencer Hospital where Cherry had trained. Last fall she had gone back for duty in the new Children’s Wing. At Dr. Laughton’s suggestion she had continued her postgraduate training, working as assistant to the Superintendent of Nurses in order to fit herself for a supervisory position at Weatherly Hospital.
“It’s one of the oldest institutions in the country,” Dr. Laughton had told Cherry. “The main section, which is in an old frame building, was built way back when surgery was in its infancy and asepsis was unheard of. But don’t let that worry you. The new wings are as modern as anything here at Spencer, and what is more important, they’ve got Bates Darby on staff. How they wangled it, I’ll never know. But he’s there, and since most babies are born at night or in the early morning, you’ll be working closely with one of the leading obstetricians in North America. At the end of this assignment, which will probably amount to a post-graduate course in midwifery, you can classify yourself as an obstetrical nurse.”
It was Dr. Joe Fortune who had give Cherry a more complete picture of what her new job would be like. Dr. Joe, who lived near Cherry’s home in Hilton, Illinois, had brought her and her twin brother, Charlie, into the world. He had inspired her to take up nursing and she had never regretted her decision. Through her work she had made many warm friends who had shared exciting adventures with her and had helped her solve some really baffling mysteries.
Cherry Ames, Night Supervisor
by Julie Tatham (1950)