'Do you mean by all this that you seriously doubt whether you will ever be able to write again?'
'In awful seriousness, I doubt it,' replied Reardon, with haggard face.
'It strikes me as extraordinary. In your position I should work as I never had done before.'
'Because you are the kind of man who is roused by necessity. I am overcome by it. My nature is feeble and luxurious. I never in my life encountered and overcame a practical difficulty.'
'Yes; when you got the work at the hospital.'
'All I did was to write a letter, and chance made it effective.'
'My view of the case, Reardon, is that you are simply ill.'
'Certainly I am; but the ailment is desperately complicated. Tell me: do you think I might possibly get any kind of stated work to do? Should I be fit for any place in a newspaper office, for instance?'