Authors: Helen Wells
CHERRY AMES, RURAL NURSE
TITLES BY HELEN WELLS
Cherry Ames, Student Nurse
Cherry Ames, Senior Nurse
Cherry Ames, Army Nurse
Cherry Ames, Chief Nurse
Cherry Ames, Flight Nurse
Cherry Ames, Veterans’ Nurse
Cherry Ames, Private Duty Nurse
Cherry Ames, Visiting Nurse
Cherry Ames, Cruise Nurse
Cherry Ames, Boarding School Nurse
Cherry Ames, Department Store Nurse
Cherry Ames, Camp Nurse
Cherry Ames at Hilton Hospital
Cherry Ames, Island Nurse
Cherry Ames, Rural Nurse
Cherry Ames, Staff Nurse
Cherry Ames, Companion Nurse
Cherry Ames, Jungle Nurse
Cherry Ames, The Mystery in the Doctor’s Offi ce
Cherry Ames, Ski Nurse Mystery
CHERRY AMES NURSE STORIES
Copyright © 1961 by Grosset & Dunlap, Inc.
Copyright © renewed 2008 by Harriet Schulman Forman Springer Publishing Company, LLC
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of Springer Publishing Company, LLC.
Springer Publishing Company, LLC
11 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036-8002
Acquisitions Editor: Sally J. Barhydt Series Editor: Harriet S. Forman
Production Editor: Carol Cain
Cover design: Mimi Flow
Composition: Apex Publishing, LLC
08 09 10 11/ 5 4 3 2 1
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Wells, Helen, 1910-Cherry Ames rural nurse / by Helen Wells.
p. cm. — (Cherry Ames nurse stories) Summary: Cherry, the only public health nurse assigned to a rural county in southeastern Iowa, uncovers a phony folk medicine production operation using ginseng growing wild in swamp water tainted with harmful bacteria.
ISBN-13: 978-0-8261-0425-0 (alk. paper) ISBN-10: 0-8261-0425-8 (alk. paper)
[1. Nurses—Fiction. 2. Patent medicines—Fiction. 3. Swindlers and swindling—Fiction. 4. Country life—Iowa—Fiction. 5. Iowa—History—
20th century—Fiction.] I. Title.
Printed in the United States of America by Bang Printing
Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii I New Job, New Friends . . . . . . . . 1
II Guest at Aunt Cora’s . . . . . . . . .11
III Jane’s Story . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
IV All Kinds of Patients . . . . . . . .37
V A Curious Emergency . . . . . . . .53
VI Medical Detective Work . . . . . . .69
VII A Theft and Some Answers . . . . . .79
VIII A House with a Secret . . . . . . . .93
IX The Search . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
X A Ruse Is Set Up . . . . . . . . . . 121
XI Discoveries . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
XII The Old Pedlar Reappears . . . . . . 145
XIII Bad News . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
XIV Through the Trap Door . . . . . . . 165
XV The Whole Truth . . . . . . . . . 177
This page intentionally left blank
Helen Wells, the author of the Cherry Ames stories, said, “I’ve always thought of nursing, and perhaps you have, too, as just about the most exciting, important, and rewarding profession there is. Can you think of any other skill that is
needed by everybody, everywhere?”
I was and still am a fan of Cherry Ames. Her courageous dedication to her patients; her exciting escapades; her thirst for knowledge; her intelligent application of her nursing skills; and the respect she achieved as a registered nurse (RN) all made it clear to me that I was going to follow in her footsteps and become a nurse—
nothing else would do.
Thousands of other young readers were motivated by Cherry Ames to become RNs as well. Through her thought-provoking stories, Cherry Ames led a steady stream of students into schools of nursing across the country well into the 1960s and 1970s when the series ended.
Readers who remember enjoying these books in the past will take pleasure in reading them again vii
now—whether or not they chose nursing as their life’s work. Perhaps they will share them with others and even motivate a person or two to choose nursing as their career.
My nursing path has been rich and satisfying. I have delivered babies, cared for people in hospitals and in their homes, and saved lives. I have worked at the bed-side and served as an administrator, I have published journals, written articles, taught students, consulted, and given expert testimony. Never once did I regret my decision to become a nurse.
During the time I was publishing a nursing journal, I became acquainted with Robert Wells, brother of Helen Wells. In the course of conversation I learned that Ms. Wells had passed on and left the Cherry Ames copyright to Mr. Wells. Because there is a short-age of nurses here in the US today, I thought, “Why not bring Cherry back to motivate a whole new genera-tion of young people? Why not ask Mr. Wells for the copyright to Cherry Ames?” Mr. Wells agreed, and the republished series is dedicated both to Helen Wells, the original author, and to her brother, Robert Wells, who transferred the rights to me. I am proud to ensure the continuation of Cherry Ames into the twenty-fi rst century.
The fi nal dedication is to you, both new and former readers of Cherry Ames: It is my dream that you enjoy Cherry’s nursing skills as well as her escapades.
I hope that young readers will feel motivated to choose
nursing as their life’s work. Remember, as Helen Wells herself said: there’s no other skill that’s “
needed by everybody, everywhere.”
Harriet Schulman Forman, RN, EdD
This page intentionally left blank
CHERRY AMES, RURAL NURSE
This page intentionally left blank
c h a p t e r i
New Job, New Friends
“well, now you’re on your own, cherry ames,” said the nurse supervisor. “Now you’ll be the one and only nurse responsible for good public health nursing service in this entire county. Just you, Cherry.”
“I’m scared and delighted all at once,” Cherry said.
“All those families! We visited only a sampling of them.
All those towns and villages!”
Cherry and Miss Hudson had just returned from their last visit together to the twenty-fi ve square miles of Cherry’s county in southeastern Iowa. It was a lovely countryside of thriving farms, where some ten thousand persons lived and worked, and where their children attended rural schools.
“Scared or not,” Cherry said, “I feel I’m off to a good start, Miss Hudson. I learned a lot driving around with you, nursing under your supervision during this training period.”
“I think you’ll do fi ne,” her supervisor encouraged her.
“I’ll visit you regularly, and you’ll come to monthly meetings with my fourteen other county nurses. Between times, if you need any advice or extra help, you can always phone or write me at the regional offi ce upstate.
Of course all the specialized facilities of the State Health Department are open to your patients on your request.” Miss Hudson smiled at her reassuringly. “And Dr. Miller, as health offi cer and your medical adviser, will confer with you frequently here in your offi ce.” Cherry had been assigned this rather bare offi ce on the second fl oor of the county courthouse in the small, quiet town of Sauk. Sunlight sifting through the trees outside shone on fi le cabinets and tables stacked with county health records and pamphlets about community health.
“I’m glad,” Cherry admitted, “that Dr. Hal Miller is young and as new on his county job as I am on mine.
Makes it easier to work comfortably together.” The supervisor smiled. “Well, you have to be young and strong to go out in all kinds of weather to nurse patients deep in the country. And I shouldn’t say just
‘patients.’ Remember that well people, who can be prevented from getting sick, are just as big a part of your job, Cherry. Remember to
good health care, and plan it in terms of whole communities.”
“I’ll remember,” Cherry said.
She felt rather breathless at the scope of her “one-man” job. Nursing new babies, children’s diseases, old people, and persons hurt in farm accidents, nursing
NEW JOB, NEW FRIENDS
patients of the eight physicians scattered through the county, under the physicians’ direction—that was only part of it. She would also teach health at P.T.A. meetings; keep watch for any threatened epidemic; and, if necessary, set up emergency clinics under the direction of the county health offi cer. She’d have TB control work to do, too. And she’d act as the one and only school nurse at the twenty-odd rural schools in her county.
The nearest hospital was twenty-fi ve miles away. It was a tall order for one nurse.
“I’m lucky,” she thought, “to be working with a county doctor as nice as Hal Miller.”
Miss Hudson picked up her handbag and a sheaf of reports. She smothered a yawn. “Thank goodness it’s Saturday, and the beginning of Labor Day weekend.” Cherry walked downstairs with her supervisor. “You still have a long drive home, haven’t you, Miss Hudson? Before you start out, would you like to come over to my Aunt Cora’s house and have some iced tea?” Aunt Cora, Cherry knew, could be counted on for hospitality at the drop of a hat. Hadn’t she taken Cherry herself in to stay at her comfortable house here in Sauk? Aunt Cora was one big reason Cherry had applied for this position as rural nurse.
“Thanks, Cherry, but I promised my own family to be home for supper.” Miss Hudson opened her car door and held out her hand to Cherry. “Good luck.” Just then another car pulled up alongside the supervisor’s. A tall, lean, young man in a rumpled suit jumped out and came over to the two nurses. A thermometer 4
in its case stuck out of his breast pocket, and a late garden rose was in his lapel.
“Are you leaving now, Miss Hudson?” Dr. Hal Miller asked. “I tried to get here sooner, but I had to stay with the Ellis youngster until his hemorrhaging stopped.
Hello, Miss Cherry.”
Cherry smiled at the young physician, and Miss Hudson said to him, “It’s nice of you to see me off. We’ll be meeting again soon in some of the state or university hospitals. Now if I don’t get started, I’ll
leave this lovely little old town.”
The supervisor slid into her car, waved, and drove off. Dr. Miller and Cherry stood for a minute in the shade of the courthouse trees. He mopped his forehead with his handkerchief.
“Had a busy afternoon, Doctor?” Cherry asked, with a hint of a smile.
He grinned back at her. “You look a little warm and dusty yourself. Say, would you mind coming back upstairs for a quick conference? I know it’s late, I know we aren’t supposed to work as a regular thing on Saturdays, but the work does pile up.”
“Of course I don’t mind,” Cherry said. Sick people, and prevention of sickness, could not wait. Besides, Cherry knew, Dr. Miller had his hands full as both the county health offi cer and private practitioner. He shared an offi ce with, and assisted, Dr. Aloysius Clark, who was growing too old to drive long distances in the country. The young doctor drove out to treat these rural patients.