The operation was a very serious one and Bart Neely was willing to put himself into Dr. Morton's hands. But if things turned out badly, Bart was going to teach them a lesson. He was going to refuse to die.
voice was becoming weaker. "In my field I've seen a lot of crazy reactions to loss of basic ability. Personality reversals brought about by loss of hearing, impotency, or even the inability to bear a child." He stroked the back of her hand with his finger. "Bart Neely without a voice-box might be a stranger. I'm not sure you'd like him. I don't think I'd even like him."
An intern backed into the room followed by a gurney. Bart shot a look at Vi. "This is plan A."
Vi's eyebrows arched in a question.
"Exploration and ..." he paused; the nurse tucked a dark gray blanket all around him. He raised his thin white hand and crossed two fingers ... "and we hope, a negative biopsy."
* * * * *
There was no pain. Whatever the anesthetist had worked out was doing nicely. The overhead light, however, was giving him a headache and the operating room was damned cold. Jonas and Holsclaw weren't talking much, and what they did say wasn't loud enough for Bart to get. He studied their faces. "I'll know by their faces," he assured himself, "and if it's widespread malignancy I'll proceed with plan B."