Жанр книги: Научная Фантастика
Robert A Heinlein To Sail Beyond The Sunset

‘It says that you are on duty until I relieve you, but that overtime rate starts at five. '

‘There were no patients here and I was changing into my festival costume. Wait till you ser it, Boss! It'd make a priest blush. '

‘I doubt it. We do have a patient and I need your help. '

‘Okay, okay! I'll get back into my Florence Nightingale duds. '

‘Don't bother; it would just waste time. Mrs Long! Come in, please, and take off your clothes. '

‘Yes, sir. ' I came in at once, while peeling off that scrounged caftan. I could see what he was doing: a prudent male doctor has a chaperone when examining a female patient; that's a universal. A multi-universal. If the circumstances happen to supply a chaperone in her skin, so much the better; there need be no time wasted on "angel robes" and other such nonsense. Having helped my father and having stood years of watches in the rejuvenation clinic at Boondock and in the associated hospital, I understood the protocol invoked; a nurse in Boondock wears clothes only when the job requires it. Seldom, that is, as the patient is usually not clothed. ‘But it's not "Mrs Long", Doctor. I am usually called "Maureen". '

‘"Maureen" it is. This is Dagmar. Roast, meet Alice; Alice, meet Roast. And Pixel, too, Dagmar. He's the one with the short legs. '

‘Howdy, Maureen. Hi, Pixel. '

‘Mee-ow. '

‘Hi, Dagmar. Sorry to keep you late. '

‘De nada, ducks. '

‘Dagmar, either I am out of my skull, or Maureen is. Which is it? '

‘Couldn't it be both? I've had my doubts about you for a long time, Boss. '

‘Understandable. But she really does seem to have lost a chunk of her memory. At least. Plus possible hallucinations. You've studied materia medica much more recently than I have; if someone wanted to cause a few hours temporary amnesia, what drug would he choose? '

‘Huh? Don't give me your barefoot boy act. Alcohol, of course. But it might be almost anything, the way the kids nowadays eat, drink, snort, smoke, or shoot anything that doesn't shoot back. '

‘Not alcohol. Enough alcohol to do that produces a horrible hangover, with halitosis, twitches and shakes, and bloodshot eyes. But look at her - clear eyes, healthy as a horse, and innocent as a pup in the clean laundry. Pixel! Stay out of that! So what do we look for? '

‘I dunno; let's operate and find out. Urine sample. Blood sample. Saliva, too? '

‘Certainly. And sweat, if you can find enough:

‘Vaginal specimen? '

‘Wait, ' I objected. ‘If you intend to poke around inside me, I want a chance to douche and wash:

‘Not bleedin' likely, ducks, ' Dagmar answered gently. ‘What we need is whatever is in there now. .. not after you've washed your sins away. Don't argue; I wouldn't want to break your arm:

I shut up. I do indeed want to smell good, or not smell at all, when being examined. But as a doctor's daughter (and a therapist myself) I knew that what Dagmar said made sense. .. since they were looking for drugs. I didn't expect that they would find any. .. but they might; I certainly was missing some hours. Days? Anything could have happened.

Dagmar had me pee in a cup and took my blood and saliva, then told me to climb on to the table and into the stirrups. ‘Shall I do it? Or the Boss? Out of the way, Pixel! And stop that. '

‘Either of you. ' (A truly considerate nurse. Some female patients can't stand to be touched down below by females, others are shy with males. Me, I was cured of all such nonsense by my father before I was ten. )

Dagmar came back with a dilator. .. and I noticed something. Brunette, I said she was. She had remained undressed save for scanty panties - which were not opaque. she should have shown a dark, built-in fig leaf, no?

No. Just skin shade and a hint of the Great Divide.

A woman who shaves or otherwise depilates her pubic curls has a profound interest in recreational sex. My beloved first husband Brian pointed this out to me in the Mauve Decade, circa 905 Gregorian. I've checked Brian's assertion through a century and a half, endless examples. (I am not counting prepping for surgery or for childbirth. ) The ones who did it because they preferred that styling were without exception hearty, healthy, uninhibited hedonists.

Dagmar wasn't prepared for surgery; she (obviously! ) was not about to give birth. No, she was about to take part in a saturnalia. QED.

It made me feel warm toward her. Brian, bless his lecherous soul, would have appreciated her.

By now, in the course of chatting while she took samples, she knew the essentials of my ‘hallucination', so she knew that I was a stranger in town. As she was adjusting that damned dilator (I have always detested them, although this one was blood temperature and was being handled with the gentle care that a woman can bring to the task, having been there herself) - while she was busy with this, I asked a question in order to ignore what she was doing. ‘Dagmar, tell me about this festival. '

‘La Fiesta de Santa Carolita? Hey, you clamped down! Watch it, ducks, you'll hurt yourself. '

I sighed and tried to relax. Santa Carolita is my second child, bron in 1902 Gregorian.