Under the Big Dipper

than a question of self. Doctor, how long do you give me?”

The doctor flushed and looked pained. “Count, you must believe what I have said. I will not hide from you that you are in a serious condition but—once you get on land and out of this floating inferno, you’ll be as well as ever, I think. Don’t attempt to do too much now and don’t worry.”

“Thank you most sincerely, doctor. Well, I suppose even a diplomat can live plainly and give up wine and tobacco.”

He bade the doctor a pleasant “au revoir” and sauntered toward the ship’s side. In deep thought he leaned against the railing, gazing into the now fiery sienna of the horizon. The smile on his lips faded, his assumed indifference had left him. Deep lines of care contracted his brow and the eyes looked troubled and sad.

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