A grown-up fairy tale of today in which May Eve and primroses bring the fairies, who transform a ward for incurable children in a hospital, make even the most Disagreeable Trustee see things, and bring to "Miss Peggie" and the house surgeon unexpected happiness and success.
"And don't you see," she had urged, at least a score of times, "if we could only teach all the cripples to let their minds run--free-limbed--over hilltops and pleasant places, their natures would never need to warp and wither after the fashion of their poor bodies. And the time to begin is in childhood, when the mind is learning to walk alone."
Usually the House Surgeon was easily convinced to the Margaret MacLean side of any argument; but this time, for reasons of his own, he turned an unsympathetic and stubborn ear. He was coming to believe very strongly that all this fanciful optimism was so much laughing-gas, with only a passing power, and when the effect wore off there would be the Dickens to pay. He did not want to see Margaret MacLean turn into a bitter-minded woman of the world--stripped of her trust and her dreams. He--all of them--had need of her as she was. Her belief in the ultimate good of things and persons, however, was beyond power of human achievement; and the surest cure