By now, the slides mostly completed, Tony and Felipe were working at two different microscopes, double-teaming to get the answer sooner.
Dooley slid the Petri dish under the photographic equipment, but he wasn't intending to take a picture. He tipped it back and forth. "What sort of God made a world in which you have to drill bone marrow out of little children? Or leave thousands of babies wasting away without parents or love?"
He stuck the slide into the dark pocket under the fluorescing microscope, then drew it back out. Fidgeting, he ran it under again, then took it out and set it on the lab bench.
He was so absorbed that he didn't hear Tony at first.
He jumped, nearly upsetting the dish and the camera setup nearby.
Dooley, cold and too fearful to speak, just looked at Tony. And he saw the smile on his face.
Felipe was smiling, too. "Mononucleosis," he said.
"Oh, god, oh, god, really?"
"Are you sure?"
Tony said, "You can take him home. Just don't let him bump his spleen for a few weeks."
Dooley threw his arms around Felipe, then Alison, then Tony. "We have to tell Claudia!"
Tony gestured to his resident to fill out the paperwork and clean up. He said "Store the slides," to the assistant. Tony, Felipe, Dooley, and Alison bolted out the door.
But in the elevator, even while happy tears ran down his cheeks, Dooley asked himself why that small fragment of bone had fluoresced yellow-green. Fluorescence was characteristic of bone in patients who had been treated with the antibiotic tetracycline. Teddy had never been treated with tetracycline in his whole life in the United States. And there were no such medicines available to Russian orphans.
Copyright 2002 by Barbara D'Amato. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book, or portions thereof, in any form.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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