Q. 1. Why was Andrew Manson called ? How did he react to the call of duty ?
Ans. Andrew Manson had just begun his medical practice in the small Welsh mining town of Blaenelly. He was called in to attend to Susan Morgan, who was expecting her first child after being married for nearly twenty years. Her husband, Joe Morgan had been waiting for an hour outside the closed surgery. It was nearly midnight when Andrew reached there. As Joe acquainted Andrew with his wife’s condition, Andrew forgot his own affairs. He went inside for his bag and immediately left for the driller’s place. Since, the expecting mother did not need his services immediately, he decided to wait downstairs. He re-examined her after an hour. It was at 3.30 a.m. when the nurse called him. He struggled for an hour before the child was born. Then he worked feverishly to revive the weak mother and still born child. He had to use all his knowledge and experience in discharging his duty. He did not pay attention to his own tensions. Duty stood first in front of him and he responded to it single-handedly.
Q. 2. Describe thoughts and feelings of Andrew Manson as he sat dozing by the kitchen fire?
Ans. Andrew Manson had recently come out of medical school and started his medical practice as an assistant to Dr. Edward Page in a small mining town. One night he was called to attend a woman who was expecting her first child. After examining the patient Andrew knew that there would be a period of waiting. He was tired but he decided to stay there until everything was over. He knew that he would not be able to enjoy even an hour’s sleep if he went home. As Andrew sat by the kitchen fire, his thoughts were rather muddled up. He had rather a disappointing evening with his girlfriend, Christine, that day. Then, he was still obsessed by the episode he had seen at Cardiff station. He thought of Bramwell who was foolishly devoted to a woman who deceived him meanly. Then he thought of Edward Page who was married to an ill-natured woman and was now living unhappily, apart from his wife. He reached the conclusion that all marriages were dismal failures. Suddenly, the image of Christine, with her eyes towards him, flashed across his mind. Now, he wished to consider marriage as a pleasant state. He sat thus brooding, thinking of Christine.
Q. 3. Why was Andrew Manson torn between two desires ? How did he resolve this dilemma ? [KVS Silchar, 2017]
Ans. Andrew was a medical practitioner in a small mining town. One night he was attending a woman who was expecting her first child. After a long wait and an hour long hard struggle of Andrew, the woman gave birth to a still child. Andrew was in dilemma. When he gazed at the lifeless child, he shivered with horror. Then he looked at the mother who was in a desperate state and needed immediate attention. He was torn between his desire to attempt to bring the child back to life and his obligation towards the mother. Soon the dilemma was resolved. Instinctively he gave the child to the nurse and turned his attention to the mother who lay unconscious. She was almost pulseless. Her strength was ebbing fast. Andrew knew that it was a race against time. He made frantic efforts to restore the flabby woman. Instantly he smashed a glass ampoule and injected the medicine. After a few minutes her heart strengthened. Andrew knew that she was now out of danger and he could safely leave her.
Q. 4. Give a brief account of the efforts made by Andrew to revive the still born baby.
Ans. A shiver of horror passed over Andrew as he gazed the still form of the new born baby. Though it was a perfectly formed boy, its limp warm body was white. The whiteness meant lack of oxygen. Andrew only remembered the treatment given to such case in the Samaritan. He gave the child artificial respiration before he had asked for cold and hot water. Then, he dipped the child alternately in cold and hot water. Now, the child was quite slippery. He rubbed it with rough towel. Then, he pressed and released the chest till it heaved up. Andrew doubled his efforts. The child started gasping. A bubble of mucus came from one tiny nostril. The pale skin turned pink. The limbs were no longer boneless. Its head did not lie back spinelessly. The child gave a cry. It was alive. His efforts were successful.
Q. 5 . Why does Andrew comment that he had done something ‘real at last’ in Blaenelly ?
Ans. Having put the mother on the path of recovery, Andrew asked about the child. Taking it for a still child, the nurse had dumped it beneath the bed. Andrew pulled the child out. It was a perfectly formed boy. Its limp warm body was white and soft. Its head was hanging loosely on the thin neck. Its limbs seemed boneless. Andrew at once knew it was a case of Asphyxia Pallida. He ordered the nurse to get him hot water and cold water and basins. In the meantime, he laid the child upon a blanket and began the special method of respiration. When the nurse brought the basins, he splashed cold water in one basin and lukewarm in the other. He hurried the child between the two. Fifteen minutes passed, but no breathe came from the body of the child. In sheer desperation he rubbed the child with a towel, crushed and relaxed the little chest with both hands. Thus he tried to get breath into the limp body. Then a miracle happened. The little chest gave a short, convulsive heave and then another. Andrew redoubled his effort. The child was now gasping, deeper and still deeper. Then came the child’s cry. Andrew heaved a sign of relief. He handed the child to the nurse and climbed down the stairs. As he walked down the street he kept thinking. “I’ve done something, oh, God! I’ve done something real at last.” It was perhaps his thanks giving to God to enable him to do the impossible. He was happy that he saved a life and did something meaningful.