Friday, March 2, 2012
Thread of Life - Will Oursler
Story: Thread of Life
Author: Will Oursler
Source: 20 Great Tales of Murder (edited by Helen McCloy & Brett Halliday)
Story Number: 62
A very short story of only 4 pages to show that even doctors fall prey to the deadly sin of pride – even at the cost of one’s life!
The Doctor gets a call one night from the hospital summoning him to treat a head fracture where the skull has been crushed, possibly due to a mugging attack. After seeing the patient, the Doctor shakes his head at his young associate as though to say that it’s gone be a touch and go. “Not even your hands, with all their skills…” The associate chides him. The distinguished brain surgeon accepts the challenge and undertakes a deadly operation and comes up triumphs by saving the girl’s life. The beauty of the story is the twist ending - the whole moral of the story depends on it.
It turns out that nobody except the Doctor is aware that it was he who was responsible for the girl's injury. If he had used a knife or a bullet, there would’ve been no question of calling in the great brain man to save her. The author points out in the final line that human pride is so great that, he could not fail, even in snatching from death the only witness against him!