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THE CONSTRICTION

21

"Use it … a little. … Perhaps not much. And he's got his right hand, that's all right."

"Will it be very obvious?" asked the Grand Duke, and scanned Dr. Sammet's face earnestly. "Very noticeable? Will it detract much from his general appearance, think you?"

"Many people," answered Dr. Sammet evasively, "live and work under greater disadvantages. Yes."

The Grand Duke turned away, and walked once up and down the room. Dr. Sammet deferentially made way for him, and withdrew towards the door. At last the Grand Duke resumed his position at the writing-table and said: "I have now heard what I wanted to know, doctor; I thank you for your report. You understand your business, no doubt about that. Why do you live in Grimmburg? Why do you not practise in the capital?"

"I am still young, Royal Highness, and before I devote myself to practising as a specialist in the capital I should like a few years of really varied practice, of general experience and research. A country town like Grimmburg affords the best opportunity of that. Yes."

"Very sound, very admirable of you. In what do you propose to specialise later on?"

"In the diseases of children, Royal Highness. I intend to be a children's doctor, yes."

"You are a Jew?" asked the Grand Duke, throwing back his head and screwing up his eyes.

"Yes, Royal Highness." "Ah—will you answer me one more question? Have you ever found your origin to stand in your way, a drawback in your professional career? I ask as a ruler, who is especially concerned that the principle of 'equal chances for all' shall hold good unconditionally and privately, not only officially."

"Everybody in the Grand Duchy," answered Dr.