The Tin Soldier
Jean went on with her knitting, Hilda did not knit. When she was not helping in the office or in the house, her hands lay idle in her lap.
Jean's mind, as she worked, was on those long white hands of Hilda's. Her own hands had short fingers like her father's. Her mother's hands had been slender and transparent. Hilda's hands were not slender, they had breadth as well as length, and the skin was thick. Even the whiteness was like the flesh of a fish, pale and flabby. No, there was no beauty at all in Hilda's hands.
Once Jean had criticised them to her father. "I think they are ugly."
"They are useful hands, and they have often helped me."
"I like Emily's hands much better."
"Oh, you and your Emily," he had teased.
Yet Jean's words came back to the Doctor the next night, as he sat in the Toy Shop waiting to escort his daughter home.
Miss Emily was serving a customer, a small boy in a red coat and baggy trousers. A nurse stood behind the