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Navy Nurse

Trace pulled off her surgical cap and shook out her hair. “The chief nurse wants me? I wonder what for?”

“There is one sure way to find out,” the older nurse said dryly. “Better wear a sweater. The wind was straight off the bay when I came in.”

Tracy nodded and went swiftly down the hall to the nurses’ room. She felt both tired and exhilerated, still keyed up by the drama she had just witnessed in surgery, a race against time to save the life of an elderly patient who had gone into surgical shock. Dr. Catton had been operating, and it was always a learning experience to be on his team.

She was fortunate, she thought, to have O.R. duty in the big naval hospital across the bay from San Francisco for her first permanent assignment as a Navy nurse.

Before the mirror, she dug her comb into her pale red hair. When she was tense like this her freckles stood out sharply, a spatter of pigment high on her cheekbones and across her nose.

“All redheads are hybrids, you know,” Dick Simpson had told her, and ever since she had thought of herself as one of those blotchy camellias that could not decide whether to be pink or white.

Dick and his genetics! Dating the University of California graduate student who had majored in life science and was now doing some sort of study on waterfowl had been another kind of learning experience this past year!