would help him into the clinic by supporting him under each arm. Upon seeing me he would shout with glee, “Dr. Fournier!” His uncle, who spoke only Spanish, would signal to me that he was crazy, by circling a finger next to his ear. While I saw him, he would alternate between laughing and crying. He had an unusual kind of tuberculosis throughout his body, and he was not responding to treatment. At one point he disappeared for several months and I thought for sure he had died. Then he returned to the clinic, looking worse but still surviving.
He was admitted to the hospital for the final time while I was away on a trip. After I returned, Margaret told me she had admitted him but had decided not to continue any of his treatments and to just make him comfortable. I told her I felt this was the right decision and that I would stop by to see him. She said she thought that he would appreciate that. He turned his face from the window as he heard me enter his room. The nurses had shaved him and washed his hair. This restored something of his former appearance. He greeted me with a look of pleasant surprise.
“Dr. Fournier, I didn’t know if you would come.”
“I was away when you were admitted. Otherwise I would have had you on my own service.”
“I think it’s time to call the priest and the florist.” He managed a faint laugh.
“I’m afraid this time you could be right.”
“I’m sorry, Dr. Fournier.”
“It’s not your fault.”
“Yes, it is.” With this he turned his face back toward the window.
“Do you want me to say anything to your mother?”
“No, I don’t want her to know anything about this.”
“Don’t you think she may have guessed?”
“I don’t care whether she guesses or not; I just don’t want her to be told.”
We were both quiet for several minutes. I was beginning to feel