Andrew Manson had recently come out of medical school and started his medical practice as an assistant to Dr. Edward Page in a small mining town. One night he was called to attend a woman who was expecting her first child. After examining the patient Andrew knew that there would be a period of waiting. He was tired but he decided to stay there until everything was over. He knew that he would not be able to enjoy even an hour’s sleep if he went home.
As Andrew sat by the kitchen fire, his thoughts were rather muddled up. He had rather a disappointing evening with his girlfriend, Christine, that day. Then, he was still obsessed by the episode he had seen at Cardiff station. He thought of Bramwell who was foolishly devoted to a woman who deceived him meanly. Then he thought of Edward Page who was married to an ill-natured woman and was now living unhappily, apart from his wife. He reached the conclusion that all marriages were dismal failures. Suddenly, the image of Christine, with her eyes towards him, flashed across his mind. Now, he wished to consider marriage as a pleasant state. He sat thus brooding, thinking of Christine.