Being the only school-aged patient at St. Francis, Marcy posed an education problem. Sister Dana had done her best to fill the void, but at last conceded her skills were insufficient. Marcy's mind was too inquisitive. So it was decided that specific subjects, taught by whomever among the staff would volunteer, should supplement the general tutoring. Understandably this produced a curriculum rather heavy in psychology and religion. A plea was therefore made among the patients. And much to Sister Zoe's surprise, the response was overwhelming. Soon a schedule was worked out wherein Marcy's days (including many of her evenings) were largely to consist of shuttling from one course to another. The biggest surprise of all, however, was Julian's proposal to teach the young girl chess.

This change in Julian's attitude, i.e. his willingness to get involved, was most encouraging. Thus Sister Zoe was disposed to reconsider and to lift her ban.

Pending Marcy's approval, then, it was agreed that Julian's class would meet twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Fridays from two to three in the afternoon. The sanitarium's only chess set (plastic pieces and a checkerboard) was promptly commandeered, whereupon Julian unexpectedly produced his own beautifully hand-carved set. He suggested that the humbler one be given to his student so she would have the means to study and to practice.

Unlike most of the other courses—which were to be held in their instructors' rooms or offices—Julian's was assigned the recreation hall. The nun was not particularly suspicious of his motives, but thought a modest caution to be well advised.

 

The hall was...

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