Read CHAPTER II of The White Linen Nurse, free online book, by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott, on ReadCentral.com.

It was the other room-mate this time.  The only real aristocrat in the whole graduating class, high-browed, high-cheekboned, eyes like some far-sighted young prophet, mouth even yet faintly arrogant with the ineradicable consciousness of caste, a plain, eager, stripped-for-a-long-journey type of face, this was Helene Churchill.  There was certainly no innocuous bloom of country hills and pastures in this girl’s face, nor any seething small-town passion pounding indiscriminately at all the doors of experience.  The men and women who had bred Helene Churchill had been the breeders also of brick and granite cities since the world was new.

Like one infinitely more accustomed to treading on Persian carpets than on painted floors she came forward into the room.

“Hello, children!” she said casually, and began at once without further parleying to take down the motto that graced her own bureau-top.

It was the era when almost everybody in the world had a motto over his bureau.  Helene Churchill’s motto was:  Inasmuch As Ye Have Done It Unto One Of The Least Of These Ye Have Done It Unto Me.  On a scroll of almost priceless parchment the text was illuminated with inimitable Florentine skill and color.  A little carelessly, after the manner of people quite accustomed to priceless things, she proceeded now to roll the parchment into its smallest possible circumference, humming exclusively to herself all the while an intricate little air from an Italian opera.

So the three faces foiled each other, sober city girl, pert town girl, bucolic country girl, a hundred fundamental differences rampant between them, yet each fervid, adolescent young mouth tamed to the same monotonous, drolly exaggerated expression of complacency that characterizes the faces of all people who, in a distinctive uniform, for a reasonably satisfactory living wage, make an actual profession of righteous deeds.

Indeed among all the thirty or more varieties of noble expression which an indomitable Superintendent had finally succeeded in inculcating into her graduating class, no other physiognomies had responded more plastically perhaps than these three to the merciless imprint of the great hospital machine which, in pursuance of its one repetitive design, discipline, had coaxed Zillah Forsyth into the semblance of a lady, snubbed Helene Churchill into the substance of plain womanhood, and, still uncertain just what to do with Rae Malgregor’s rollicking rural immaturity, had frozen her face temporarily into the smugly dimpled likeness of a fancy French doll rigged out as a nurse for some gilt-edged hospital fair.

With characteristic desire to keep up in every way with her more mature, better educated classmates, to do everything, in fact, so fast, so well, that no one should possibly guess that she hadn’t yet figured out just why she was doing it at all, Rae Malgregor now with quickly readjusted cap and collar began to hurl herself into the task of her own packing.  From her open bureau drawer, with a sudden impish impulse towards worldly wisdom, she extracted first of all the photograph of the young brakeman.

“See, Helene!  My new beau!” she giggled experimentally.

In mild-eyed surprise Helene Churchill glanced up from her work. “Your beau?” she corrected.  “Why, that’s Zillah’s picture.”

“Well, it’s mine now!” snapped Rae Malgregor with unexpected edginess.  “It’s mine now all right.  Zillah said I could have him!  Zillah said I could write to him if I wanted to!” she finished a bit breathlessly.

Wider and wider Helene Churchill’s eyes dilated.  “Write to a man whom you don’t know?” she gasped.  “Why, Rae!  Why, it isn’t even very nice to have a picture of a man you don’t know!”

Mockingly to the edge of her strong white teeth Rae Malgregor’s tongue crept out in pink derision.  “Bah!” she taunted.  “What’s ‘nice’?  That’s the whole matter with you, Helene Churchill!  You never stop to consider whether anything’s fun or not; all you care is whether it’s ’nice’!” Excitedly she turned to meet the cheap little wink from Zillah’s sainted eyes.  “Bah!  What’s ’nice’?” she persisted a little lamely.  Then suddenly all the pertness within her crumbled into nothingness.  “That’s the whole trouble with you, Zillah Forsyth!” she stammered.  “You never give a hang whether anything’s nice or not; all you care is whether it’s fun!” Quite helplessly she began to wring her hands.  “Oh, how do I know which one of you girls to follow?” she demanded wildly.  “How do I know anything?  How does anybody know anything?”

Like a smoldering fuse the rambling query crept back into the inner recesses of her brain and fired once more the one great question that lay dormant there.  Impetuously she ran forward and stared into Helene Churchill’s face.  “How do you know you were meant to be a Trained Nurse, Helene Churchill?” she began all over again.  “How does anybody know she was really meant to be one?  How can anybody, I mean, be perfectly sure?” Like a drowning man clutching out at the proverbial straw, she clutched at the parchment in Helene Churchill’s hand.  “I mean where did you get your motto, Helene Churchill?” she persisted with increasing irritability.  “If you don’t tell me I’ll tear the whole thing to pieces!”

With a startled frown Helene Churchill jerked back out of reach.  “What’s the matter with you, Rae?” she quizzed sharply, and then turning round quite casually to her book-case began to draw from the shelves one by one her beloved Marcus Aurelius, Wordsworth, Robert Browning.  “Oh, I did so want to go to China,” she confided irrelevantly.  “But my family have just written me that they won’t stand for it.  So I suppose I’ll have to go into tenement work here in the city instead.”  With a visible effort she jerked her mind back again to the feverish question in Rae Malgregor’s eyes.  “Oh, you want to know where I got my motto?” she asked.  A flash of intuition brightened suddenly across her absent-mindedness.  “Oh!” she smiled, “you mean you want to know just what the incident was that first made me decide to devote my life to to humanity?”

“Yes!” snapped Rae Malgregor.

A little shyly Helene Churchill picked up her copy of Marcus Aurelius and cuddled her cheek against its tender Morocco cover.  “Really?” she questioned with palpable hesitation.  “Really you want to know?  Why, why it’s rather a sacred little story to me.  I wouldn’t exactly want to have anybody laugh about it.”

“I’ll laugh if I want to!” attested Zillah Forsyth forcibly from the other side of the room.

Like a pugnacious boy, Rae Malgregor’s fluent fingers doubled up into two firm fists.

“I’ll punch her if she even looks as though she wanted to!” she signaled surreptitiously to Helene.

Shrewdly for an instant the city girl’s narrowing eyes challenged and appraised the country girl’s desperate sincerity.  Then quite abruptly she began her little story.

“Why, it was on an Easter Sunday Oh, ages and ages ago,” she faltered.  “Why, I couldn’t have been more than nine years old at the time.”  A trifle self-consciously she turned her face away from Zillah Forsyth’s supercilious smile.  “And I was coming home from a Sunday school festival in my best white muslin dress with a big pot of purple pansies in my hand,” she hastened somewhat nervously to explain.  “And just at the edge of the gutter there was a dreadful drunken man lying in the mud with a great crowd of cruel people teasing and tormenting him.  And, because because I couldn’t think of anything else to do about it, I I walked right up to the poor old creature, scared as I could be and and I presented him with my pot of purple pansies.  And everybody of course began to laugh, to scream, I mean, and shout with amusement.  And I, of course, began to cry.  And the old drunken man straightened up very oddly for an instant, with his battered hat in one hand and the pot of pansies in the other, and he raised the pot of pansies very high, as though it had been a glass of rarest wine and bowed to me as reverently as though he had been toasting me at my father’s table at some very grand dinner.  And ‘Inasmuch!’ he said.  Just that, ’Inasmuch!’ So that’s how I happened to go into nursing!” she finished as abruptly as she had begun.  Like some wonderful phosphorescent manifestation her whole shining soul seemed to flare forth suddenly through her plain face.

With honest perplexity Zillah Forsyth looked up from her work.

“So that’s how you happened to go into nursing?” she quizzed impatiently.  Her long, straight nose was all puckered tight with interrogation.  Her dove-like eyes were fairly dilated with slow-dawning astonishment.  “You don’t mean?” she gasped.  “You don’t mean that just for that ?” Incredulously she jumped to her feet and stood staring blankly into the city girl’s strangely illuminated features.

“Well, if I were a swell like you!” she scoffed, “it would take a heap sight more than a drunken man munching pansies and rum and Bible-texts to to jolt me out of my limousines and steam yachts and Adirondack bungalows!”

Quite against all intention Helene Churchill laughed.  She did not often laugh.  Just for an instant her eyes and Zillah Forsyth’s clashed together in the irremediable antagonism of caste, the Plebeian’s scornful impatience with the Aristocrat, equaled only by the Aristocrat’s condescending patience with the Plebeian.

It was no more than right that the Aristocrat should recover her self-possession first.  “Never mind about your understanding.  Zillah dear,” she said softly.  “Your hair is the most beautiful thing I ever saw in my life!”

Along Zillah Forsyth’s ivory cheek an incongruous little flush of red began to show.  With much more nonchalance than was really necessary she pointed towards her half-packed trunk.

“It wasn’t Sunday school I was coming home from when I got my motto!” she remarked dryly, with a wink at no one in particular.  “And, so far as I know,” she proceeded with increasing sarcasm, “the man who inspired my noble life was not in any way particularly addicted to the use of alcoholic beverages!” As though her collar was suddenly too tight she rammed her finger down between her stiff white neck-band and her soft white throat.  “He was a New York doctor!” she hastened somewhat airily to explain.  “Gee!  But he was a swell!  And he was spending his summer holiday up in the same Maine town where I was tending soda fountain.  And he used to drop into the drug-store, nights, after cigars and things.  And he used to tell me stories about the drugs and things, sitting up there on the counter swinging his legs and pointing out this and that, quinine, ipecac, opium, hasheesh, all the silly patent medicines, every sloppy soothing syrup!  Lordy!  He knew ’em as though they were people!  Where they come from!  Where they’re going to!  Yarns about the tropics that would kink the hair along the nape of your neck!  Jokes about your own town’s soup-kettle pharmacology that would make you yell for joy!  Gee!  But the things that man had seen and known!  Gee!  But the things that man could make you see and know!  And he had an automobile,” she confided proudly.  “It was one of those billion dollar French cars.  And I lived just round the corner from the drug-store.  But we used to ride home by way of New Hampshire!”

Almost imperceptibly her breath began to quicken.  “Gee!  Those nights!” she muttered.  “Rain or shine, moon or thunder, tearing down those country roads at forty miles an hour, singing, hollering, whispering!  It was him that taught me to do my hair like this instead of all the cheap rats and pompadours every other kid in town was wearing,” she asserted, quite irrelevantly; then stopped with a quick, furtive glance of suspicion towards both her listeners and mouthed her way delicately back to the beginning of her sentence again.  “It was he that taught me to do my hair like this,” she repeated with the faintest possible suggestion of hauteur.

For one reason or another along the exquisitely chaste curve of her cheek a narrow streak of red began to show again.

“And he went away very sudden at the last,” she finished hurriedly.  “It seems he was married all the time.”  Blandly she turned her wonderful face to the caressing light.  “And I hope he goes to Hell!” she added perfectly simply.

With a little gasp of astonishment, shock, suspicion, distaste, Helene Churchill reached out an immediate conscientious hand to her.

“Oh, Zillah!” she began.  “Oh, poor Zillah dear!  I’m so sorry!  I’m so ”

Absolutely serenely, through a mask of insolence and ice, Zillah Forsyth ignored the proffered hand.

“I don’t know what particular call you’ve got to be sorry for me, Helene Churchill,” she drawled languidly.  “I’ve got my character, same as you’ve got yours.  And just about nine times as many good looks.  And when it comes to nursing ” Like an alto song pierced suddenly by one shrill treble note, the girl’s immobile face sharpened transiently with a single jagged flash of emotion.  “And when it comes to nursing?  Ha!  Helene Churchill!  You can lead your class all you want to with your silk-lined manners and your fuddy-duddy book-talk!  But when genteel people like you are moping round all ready to fold your patients’ hands on their breasts and murmur ’Thy will be done,’ why, that’s the time that little ‘yours truly’ is just beginning to roll up her sleeves and get to work!”

With real passion her slender fingers went clutching again at her harsh linen collar.  “It isn’t you, Helene Churchill,” she taunted, “that’s ever been to the Superintendent on your bended knees and begged for the rabies cases and the small-pox!  Gee!  You like nursing because you think it’s pious to like it!  But I like it because I like it!" From brow to chin as though fairly stricken with sincerity her whole bland face furrowed startlingly with crude expressiveness.  “The smell of ether!” she stammered.  “It’s like wine to me!  The clang of the ambulance gong?  I’d rather hear it than fire-engines!  I’d crawl on my hands and knees a hundred miles to watch a major operation!  I wish there was a war!  I’d give my life to see a cholera epidemic!”

Abruptly as it came the passion faded from her face, leaving every feature tranquil again, demure, exaggeratedly innocent.  With saccharine sweetness she turned to Rae Malgregor.

“Now, Little One,” she mocked, “tell us the story of your lovely life.  Having heard me coyly confess that I went into nursing because I had such a crush on this world, and Helene here brazenly affirm that she went into nursing because she had such a crush on the world to come, it’s up to you now to confide to us just how you happened to take up so noble an endeavor!  Had you seen some of the young house doctors’ beautiful, smiling faces depicted in the hospital catalogue?  Or was it for the sake of the Senior Surgeon’s grim, gray mug that you jilted your poor plow-boy lover way up in the Annapolis Valley?”

“Why, Zillah!” gasped the country girl.  “Why, I think you ’re perfectly awful!  Why, Zillah Forsyth!  Don’t you ever say a thing like that again!  You can joke all you want to about the flirty young Internes.  They’re nothing but fellows.  But it isn’t it isn’t respectful for you to talk like that about the Senior Surgeon.  He’s too too terrifying!” she finished in an utter panic of consternation.

“Oh, now I know it was the Senior Surgeon that made you jilt your country beau!” taunted Zillah Forsyth with soft alto sarcasm.

“I didn’t, either, jilt Joe Hazeltine!” stormed Rae Malgregor explosively.  Backed up against her bureau, eyes flaming, breast heaving, little candy-box cap all tossed askew over her left ear, she stood defying her tormentor.  “I didn’t, either, jilt Joe Hazeltine!” she reasserted passionately.  “It was Joe Hazeltine that jilted me!  And we ’d been going together since we were kids!  And now he’s married the dominie’s daughter and they’ve got a kid of their own most as old as he and I were when we first began courting each other.  And it’s all because I insisted on being a trained nurse,” she finished shrilly.

With an expression of real shock Helene Churchill peered up from her lowly seat on the floor.

“You mean?” she asked a bit breathlessly.  “You mean that he didn’t want you to be a trained nurse?  You mean that he wasn’t big enough, wasn’t fine enough to appreciate the nobility of the profession?”

“Nobility nothing!” snapped Rae Malgregor.  “It was me scrubbing strange men with alcohol that he couldn’t stand for!  And I don’t know as I exactly blame him,” she added huskily.  “It certainly is a good deal of a liberty when you stop to think about it.”

Quite incongruously her big, childish, blue eyes narrowed suddenly into two dark, calculating slits.  “It’s comic,” she mused, “how there isn’t a man in the world who would stand letting his wife or daughter or sister have a male nurse.  But look at the jobs we girls get sent out on!  It’s very confusing!”

With sincere appeal she turned to Zillah Forsyth.  “And yet and yet,” she stammered.  “And yet when everything scary that’s in you has once been scared out of you, why, there’s nothing left in you to be scared with any more, is there?”

“What?  What?” pleaded Helene Churchill.  “Say it again!  What?”

“That’s what Joe and I quarreled about my first vacation home!” persisted Rae Malgregor.  “It was a traveling salesman’s thigh.  It was broken bad.  Somebody had to take care of it.  So I did!  Joe thought it wasn’t modest to be so willing.”  With a perplexed sort of defiance she raised her square little chin.  “But you see I was willing!” she said.  “I was perfectly willing.  Just one single solitary year of hospital training had made me perfectly willing.  And you can’t un-willing a willing even to please your beau, no matter how hard you try!” With a droll admixture of shyness and disdain she tossed her curly blonde head a trifle higher.  “Shucks!” she attested.  “What’s a traveling salesman’s thigh?”

“Shucks yourself!” scoffed Zillah Forsyth.  “What’s a silly beau or two up in Nova Scotia to a girl with looks like you?  You could have married that typhoid case a dozen times last winter if you’d crooked your little finger!  Why, the fellow was crazy about you.  And he was richer than Croesus.  What queered it?” she demanded bluntly.  “Did his mother hate you?”

Like one fairly cramped with astonishment Rae Malgregor doubled up very suddenly at the waist-line, and thrusting her neck oddly forward after the manner of a startled crane, stood peering sharply round the corner of the rocking-chair at Zillah Forsyth.

“Did his mother hate me?” she gasped.  “Did his mother hate me?  Well, what do you think?  With me who never even saw plumbing till I came down here, setting out to explain to her with twenty tiled bathrooms how to be hygienic though rich?  Did his mother hate me?  Well, what do you think?  With her who bore him, her who bore him, mind you, kept waiting down stairs in the hospital ante-room half an hour every day on the raw edge of a rattan chair waiting worrying all old and gray and scared while little young, perky, pink and white me is upstairs brushing her own son’s hair and washing her own son’s face and altogether getting her own son ready to see his own mother!  And then me obliged to turn her out again in ten minutes, flip as you please, for fear she’d stayed too long, while I stay on the rest of the night? Did his mother hate me!"

Stealthily as an assassin she crept around the corner of the rocking-chair and grabbed Zillah Forsyth by her astonished linen shoulder.

“Did his mother hate me?” she persisted mockingly.  “Did his mother hate me?  Well rather!  Is there any woman from here to Kamchatka who doesn’t hate us?  Is there any woman from here to Kamchatka who doesn’t look upon a trained nurse as her natural born enemy?  I don’t blame ’em!” she added chokingly.  “Look at the impudent jobs we get sent out on!  Quarantined upstairs for weeks at a time with their inflammable, diphtheritic bridegrooms while they sit down stairs brooding over their wedding teaspoons!  Hiked off indefinitely to Atlantic City with their gouty bachelor uncles!  Hearing their own innocent little sisters’ blood-curdling deathbed deliriums!  Snatching their own new-born babies away from their breasts and showing them, virgin-handed, how to nurse them better!  The impudence of it, I say!  The disgusting, confounded impudence!  Doing things perfectly flippantly right for twenty-five dollars a week and washing that all the achin’ love in the world don’t know how to do right just for love!”

Furiously she began to jerk her victim’s shoulder.  “I tell you it’s awful, Zillah Forsyth!” she insisted.  “I tell you I just won’t stand it!”

With muscles like steel wire Zillah Forsyth scrambled to her feet, and pushed Rae Malgregor back against the bureau.

“For Heaven’s sake, Rae, shut up!” she said.  “What in Creation’s the matter with you to-day?  I never saw you act so before!” With real concern she stared into the girl’s turbid eyes.  “If you feel like that about it, what in thunder did you go into nursing for?” she demanded not unkindly.

Very slowly Helene Churchill rose from her lowly seat by her precious book-case and came round and looked at Rae Malgregor rather oddly.  “Yes,” faltered Helene Churchill.  “What did you go into nursing for?” The faintest possible taint of asperity was in her voice.

Quite dumbly for an instant Rae Malgregor’s natural timidity stood battling the almost fanatic professional fervor in Helene Churchill’s frankly open face, the raw, scientific passion, of very different caliber, but no less intensity, hidden so craftily behind Zillah Forsyth’s plastic features.  Then suddenly her own hands went clutching back at the bureau for support, and all the flaming, raging red went ebbing out of her cheeks, leaving her lips with hardly blood enough left to work them.

“I went into nursing,” she mumbled, “and it’s God’s own truth, I went into nursing because because I thought the uniforms were so cute.”

Furiously, the instant the words were gone from her mouth, she turned and snarled at Zillah’s hooting laughter.

“Well, I had to do something!” she attested.  The defense was like a flat blade slapping the air.

Desperately she turned to Helene Churchill’s goading, faintly supercilious smile, and her voice edged suddenly like a twisted sword.  “Well, the uniforms are cute!” she parried.  “They are!  They are!  I bet you there’s more than one girl standing high in the graduating class to-day who never would have stuck out her first year’s bossin’ and slops and worry and death if she’d had to stick it out in the unimportant looking clothes she came from home in!  Even you, Helene Churchill, with all your pious talk, the day they put your coachman’s son in as new Interne and you got called down from the office for failing to stand when Mr. Young Coachman came into the room, you bawled all night, you did, and swore you’d chuck your whole job and go home the next day if it wasn’t that you’d just had a life-size photo taken in full nursing costume to send to your brother’s chum at Yale!  So there!”

With a gasp of ineffable satisfaction she turned from Helene Churchill.

“Sure the uniforms are cute!” she slashed back at Zillah Forsyth.  “That’s the whole trouble with ’em.  They’re so awfully masqueradishly cute!  Sure, I could have got engaged to the Typhoid Boy.  It would have been as easy as robbing a babe!  But lots of girls, I notice, get engaged in their uniforms, feeding a patient perfectly scientifically out of his own silver spoon, who don’t seem to stay engaged so especially long in their own street clothes, bungling just plain naturally with their own knives and forks!  Even you, Zillah Forsyth,” she hacked, “even you who trot round like the Lord’s Anointed in your pure white togs, you’re just as Dutchy looking as anybody else, come to put you in a red hat and a tan coat and a blue skirt!”

Mechanically she raised her hands to her head as though with some silly thought of keeping the horrid pain in her temples from slipping to her throat, her breast, her feet.

“Sure the uniforms are cute,” she persisted a bit thickly.  “Sure the Typhoid Boy was crazy about me!  He called me his ‘Holy Chorus Girl,’ I heard him raving in his sleep.  Lord save us!  What are we to any man but just that?” she questioned hotly with renewed venom.  “Parson, actor, young sinner, old saint I ask you frankly, girls, on your word of honor, was there ever more than one man in ten went through your hands who didn’t turn out soft somewhere before you were through with him?  Mawking about your ‘sweet eyes’ while you’re wrecking your optic nerves trying to decipher the dose on a poison bottle!  Mooning over your wonderful likeness to the lovely young sister they never had!  Trying to kiss your finger tips when you’re struggling to brush their teeth!  Teasin’ you to smoke cigarettes with ’em when they know it would cost you your job!”

Impishly, without any warning, she crooked her knee and pointed at one homely square-toed shoe in a mincy dancing step.  Hoydenishly she threw out her arms and tried to gather Helene and Zillah both into their compass.

“Oh, you Holy Chorus Girls!” she chuckled with maniacal delight.  “Everybody, all together, now!  Kick your little kicks!  Smile your little smiles!  Tinkle your little thermometers!  Steady, there!  One two three One two three!”

Laughingly Zillah Forsyth slipped from the grasp.  “Don’t you dare ‘holy’ me!” she threatened.

In real irritation Helene released herself.  “I’m no chorus girl,” she said coldly.

With a little shrill scream of pain Rae Malgregor’s hands went flying back to her temples.  Like a person giving orders in a great panic she turned authoritatively to her two room-mates, her fingers all the while boring frenziedly into her temples.

“Now, girls,” she warned, “stand well back!  If my head bursts, you know, it’s going to burst all to slivers and splinters like a boiler!”

“Rae, you’re crazy!” hooted Zillah.

“Just plain vulgar looney,” faltered Helene.

Both girls reached out simultaneously to push her aside.

Somewhere in the dusty, indifferent street a bird’s note rang out in one wild, delirious ecstasy of untrammeled springtime.  To all intents and purposes the sound might have been the one final signal that Rae Malgregor’s jangled nerves were waiting for.

“Oh, I am crazy, am I?” she cried with a new, fierce joy.  “Oh, I am crazy, am I?  Well, I’ll go ask the Superintendent and see if I am!  Oh, surely they wouldn’t try and make me graduate if I really was crazy!”

Madly she bolted for her bureau, and snatching her own motto down, crumpled its face securely against her skirt and started for the door.  Just what the motto was no one but herself knew.  Sprawling in paint-brush hieroglyphics on a great flapping sheet of brown wrapping-paper, the sentiment, whatever it was, had been nailed face down to the wall for three tantalizing years.

“No you don’t!” cried Zillah now, as she saw the mystery threatening so meanly to escape her.

“No you don’t!” cried Helene.  “You’ve seen our mottoes and now we’re going to see yours!”

Almost crazed with new terror Rae Malgregor went dodging to the right, to the left, to the right again, cleared the rocking-chair, a scuffle with padded hands, climbed the trunk, a race with padded feet, reached the door-handle at last, yanked the door open, and with lungs and temper fairly bursting with momentum, shot down the hall, down some stairs, down some more hall, down some more stairs, to the Superintendent’s office where, with her precious motto still clutched securely in one hand, she broke upon that dignitary’s startled, near-sighted vision like a young whirl-wind of linen and starch and flapping brown paper.  Breathlessly, without prelude or preamble, she hurled her grievance into the older woman’s grievance-dulled ears.

“Give me back my own face!” she demanded peremptorily.  “Give me back my own face, I say!  And my own hands!  I tell you I want my own hands!  Helene and Zillah say I’m insane!  And I want to go home!”