Jane, Stewardess of the Air Lines
Ruthe Wheeler

1 2 3 4 5 ... 8 >>
Jane, Stewardess of the Air Lines
Ruthe Wheeler

Ruthe S. Wheeler

Jane, Stewardess of the Air Lines

Chapter One

Graduation Night

Jane Cameron looked breathlessly around the room where seventeen senior nurses of the Good Samaritan hospital at University City sat primly awaiting their diplomas. It was graduation night and Jane was among the seventeen who had completed all of the requirements for a certificate in nurses’ training.

Delayed half an hour by an emergency case on third floor surgery, Jane had just slipped into the room and taken the remaining chair on the end of the line.

Dr. Albert Anthony, trim, energetic young head of the staff, was speaking. Beside him was the little white stack of diplomas, all of them rolled and tied with blue and white ribbon. Doctor Anthony’s sharp voice was informing the student nurses that they were about to embark on careers of their own. Jane smiled a bit grimly.

She wondered just what career was ahead of her. The girl next in line turned and a fleeting suggestion of a smile hovered about her lips. She was Sue Hawley, friend and companion of Jane through the long, arduous months of training.

“Here’s hoping he’ll tell us where we can get jobs,” whispered Sue, the words so close-clipped that it was almost impossible to detect her lips moving.

Jane nodded. That was the one big problem facing most of the girls who were graduating from nurses’ training at Good Samaritan. As for herself, she had no idea what she would be doing after the following noon when she stepped through the doors of the great hospital.

Doctor Anthony finished his speech and the nurses applauded politely. He picked up the diplomas and called the roll of graduates. As her name was called, each girl stepped forward, her stiffly starched skirts swishing, and received the tube of paper.

Queer shivers chased themselves up and down Jane’s back. For three years she had been working toward this moment and now that it was at hand she suddenly felt cheated. Perhaps it was because she was grasping so desperately for something to do after she left the hospital.

Sue’s name was called and she stepped forward and received her diploma. Jane was the last and she walked slowly toward the rostrum. A mist clouded her eyes and her hand shook as she accepted the diploma. It meant cutting loose from the old routine, leaving the firmly established and venturing out alone.

Jane wouldn’t have admitted, even to Sue, that she was scared, for she was far too proud.

Then the program was over. Parents hastened up to congratulate their daughters and Jane and Sue drifted away from the others. Their homes were in a neighboring state and it had been too far for their own fathers and mothers to make the trip.

Sue looked down at her diploma. She was slender, blond, with sparkling blue eyes and peach-bloom complexion.

“Wonder if I’ll ever have this framed?” she sighed. “Right now I’ve just exactly $2 and I’m not going to send an SOS home for money unless I get down to my last penny.”

“I’ve a little more,” confessed Jane, tucking a wisp of wavy, brown hair back under her prim little cap. “To be exact, there’s $4.23 in my purse and I don’t want to ask the folks at home for anything if I can help it.”

Jane was a bit taller than Sue and her brown eyes matched the color of her hair. They had stuck by each other through all of the tribulations of nurses’ training; now, though both hesitated to mention it, each feared that graduation would terminate their close companionship.

Miss Hardy, the supervisor of nurses, broke away from another group and joined them.

“Drop in at my office before you go to the dorm for the night,” she said. Before she could explain what she wanted, an interne stepped into the room and called her away on an emergency case.

Rules had been lifted for graduation night and a kindly theater manager, realizing how little spending money most of the girls had, sent up passes for his show.

Jane and Sue slipped out of the assembly room, diplomas in hand. Hurrying to the dormitory on fourth floor back, they changed from their uniforms into street clothes and a few minutes later were on their way down town, the towering bulk of Good Samaritan with its scores of shaded lights behind them.

The show proved entertaining and they passed a pleasant two hours at the theater. On their way home, Sue slackened her pace in front of a drug store and looked longingly at the gleaming soda fountain inside.

“Feel the urge of a chocolate soda?” asked Jane, who knew her friend’s weakness.

“It’s practically irresistible,” confessed Sue.

“Then let’s celebrate. The treat’s on me for I’m at least two dollars richer than you.”

The sodas were delicious and the newly graduated nurses sipped them in luxurious leisure.

“My, but it’s going to seem good not to have to jump every time a bell clangs,” said Sue.

“I don’t know about that. I’m so used to bells I’m afraid I’ll miss them just a little bit,” Jane said.

“What do you suppose Miss Hardy wants?”

“Maybe it’s about a job.”

“Don’t worry. If there was anything like that in sight, she’d give it to one of her pets. We’d never have a chance,” said Sue bitterly.

Jane and Sue had steadfastly refused to court the favor of the supervisor of nurses and as a result many unnecessary little tasks had been heaped on their shoulders. It had been just enough to arouse their determination, and they had finished near the top of the class despite the apparent prejudice of the supervisor.

It was nearly midnight when Jane and Sue pushed open the double doors of Good Samaritan. Only the night lights illumined the halls and the strained quiet which pervades a hospital at night had settled down over the building.

The elevator boy had left his post half an hour before and they walked the four flights of stairs to fourth floor back where the nurses lived. Most of the girls were in the dormitory and the hall was almost deserted as they neared the office of the supervisor. The door was closed and they knocked discreetly. An irritated, tired voice bade them enter. Jane opened the door.

Miss Hardy’s cold, blue eyes held little welcome for her visitors as she peered up at them through steel-rimmed spectacles.

“You asked us to stop here before we went to bed,” Sue reminded her.

“Oh, yes. So I did. It’s a pity you couldn’t have come in a little earlier.”

“It isn’t often that we have a night off and passes to see a show,” replied Jane tartly.

Miss Hardy made no comment, but shuffled through a pile of papers at one corner of her desk. She selected a letter and scanned it rapidly.

“Either one of you girls decided what you’ll do when you leave tomorrow?” she asked.

“I haven’t been able to learn of a single job,” said Jane, “and Sue has been no more successful.”

“Then here is something that might interest you.”

Miss Hardy tossed the letter across the desk. Jane looked at the letterhead and her eyes blurred. It bore the name of the personnel manager of the Federated Airways.

Chapter Two

Opportunity Knocks

The pulses of the young nurses quickened as they read the letter and they hardly heard Miss Hardy saying, “Of course, I haven’t had time to fully investigate this company and it seems a little foolhardy for any young woman of common sense to seek such work.”

That was typical of Miss Hardy. She was so conservative that anything new seemed foolish.
1 2 3 4 5 ... 8 >>