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Chapter Three

"The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends."
~ Proverbs 14:20 ~

I credit my success to hard work and advice my father gave me. 'Son, the difference between a hero and a fool, is success. A fool takes a chance, and fails. While the hero takes a chance, and succeeds.'" Mr. Hanley leaned back in his chair, and lit a cigar. "Excuse me, would you like one? They're Cuban," he said temptingly. The reporter shook her head politely. "Well," Mr. Hanley shrugged, "you never know, these days."

Hannah quietly shut the door while Mr. Hanley finished his interview. It had been three days since Hannah had last seen the streetlight panhandler. Even though her job demanded so much attention, Hannah found herself wondering how he was doing.

"Why don't you visit him in the hospital?" urged Jenny.

"I would feel awkward," Hannah protested. "I don't know him. I'm not his friend or his family."

"I'll go with you," Jenny offered. The offer was tempting.

"Do you really think it would be all right?"

"You saved his life. It's natural for you to want to know how he's doing," reasoned Jenny.

When lunch break finally arrived, Hannah and Jenny made their way to the hospital.

"I would like to visit the man who was brought here three days ago, with a stab wound," explained Hannah to the nurse at the front desk.

"What's his name?" she asked, mechanically. Hannah looked at Jenny, and Jenny looked at Hannah.

"I don't know," replied Hannah feebly.

"The ambulance picked him up on the corner of Jefferson and Madison," intervened Jenny. The nurse typed something into her computer, and shook her head.

"He was discharged yesterday."

"After two days in the hospital!" cried Hannah.

"It is not this hospital's policy to take in patients who are not covered by life insurance, or no visible means of compensation," replied the nurse. "I'm sorry, but that's the way it is."

"Thank you," said Jenny, tugging on Hannah's arm. "Come on. Let's get out of here," she whispered. Hannah slowly walked through the entrance of the hospital, stunned by what she had just heard. "The hospitals are crowded to overflowing," said Jenny, seating Hannah on a bench. "It was in the newspaper. Hospitals cannot afford it anymore."

"Why couldn't they have transferred him somewhere that could?" asked Hannah.

"I don't know."

continued on next page...
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