They were new patients to me, all I had was the name, Olson. Please come down as soon as you can, my daughter is very sick.
When I arrived I was met by the mother, a big startled looking woman, very clean and apologetic who merely said, Is this the doctor? and let me in. In the back, she added. You must excuse us, doctor,we have her in the kitchen where it is warm. It is very damp here sometimes.
 The child was fully dressed and sitting on her father’s lap near the kitchen table. He tried to get up, but I motioned for him not to bother, took off my overcoat and started to look things over. I could see that they were all very nervous,eyeing me up and down distrustfully. As often, in such cases, they weren’t telling me more than they had to, it was up to me to tell them; that’s why they were spending three dollars on me.
 那孩子穿得结结实实，坐在父亲膝上，挨着餐桌。父亲想站起来，但我暗示他不必起身，然后脱去外套，开端查看。看得出，他们都很严重，不信任似地上下打量我。在这种情况下，他们一般都是能不说话就不说话，应该由我来给他们说 ，这是他们向我付出3美元的理由。
 The child was fairly eating me up1 with her cold, steady eyes, and no expression to her face whatever. She did not move and seemed, inwardly, quiet; an unusually attractive little thing, and as strong asa heifer in appearance. But her face was flushed, she was breathing rapidly,and I realized that she had a high fever. She had magnificent blonde hair, in profusion2. One of those picturechildren often reproduced in advertising leaflets and the photogravure3 sections of the Sundaypapers.
 She’s had a fever for three days, began the father and we don’t know what it comes from. My wife has given her things, you know, like people do, but it don’t do no good.And there’s been a lot of sickness around. So we tho’t you’d better look her over and tell us what is the matter.
 As doctors often do I took a trial shot at it as a point of departure. Has she had a sore throat?
Both parents answered me together, No . . .No, she says her throat don’t hurt her.
Does your throat hurt you? added the mother to the child. But the little girl’s expression didn’t change nor did she move her eyes from my face.
Have you looked?
I tried to, said the mother, but I couldn’t see.
 As it happens we had been having a number of cases of diphtheria 4 in the school to which this child went during that month and we were all, quite apparently, thinking of that, though no one had as yet spoken of the thing.
 Well, I said,suppose we take a look at the throat first. I smiled in my best professional manner and asking for the child’s first name I said, come on, Mathilda, open your mouth and let’s take a look at your throat.
Aw, come on, I coaxed, just open your mouth wide and let me take a look. Look, I said opening both hands wide, I haven’t anything in my hands. Just open up and let me see.
 Such a nice man, put in the mother. Look how kind he is to you. Come on, do what he tells you to. He won’t hurt you.
At that I ground my teeth 5 in disgust. If only they wouldn’t use the word “hurt”I might be able to get somewhere. But I did not allow myself to be hurried or disturbed but speaking quietly and slowly I approached the child again.
 As I moved my chair a little nearer suddenly with one catlike movement both her hands clawed instinctively for my eyes and she almost reached them too. In fact she knocked my glasses flying and they fell, though unbroken, several feet away from me on the kitchen floor.
Both the mother and father almost turned themselves inside out 6 in embarrassment and apology. You bad girl, said the mother, taking her and shaking her by one arm. Look what you’ve done. The nice man . . .
For heaven’s sake, I broke in. Don’t call me a nice man to her. I’m here to look at her throat on the chance that 7 she might have diphtheria and possibly die of it. But that’s nothing to her. Look here, I said to the child, we’re going to look at your throat. You’re old enough to understand what I’m saying. Will you open it now by yourself or shall we have to open it for you?