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John Irving

“David Copperfield had a fever when he’d gone to bed, and Larch went to check on the boy. Dr. Larch was relieved to feel that young Copperfield’s fever had broken; the boy’s forehead was cool, and a slight sweat chilled the boy’s neck, which Larch carefully rubbed dry with a towel. There was not much moonlight; therefore, Larch felt unobserved. He bent over Copperfield and kissed him, much in the manner that he remembered kissing Homer Wells. Larch moved on to the next bed and kissed Smokey Fields, who tasted vaguely like hot dogs; yet the experience was soothing to Larch. How he wished he had kissed Homer more, when he’d had the chance! He went from bed to bed, kissing the boys; it occurred to him, he didn’t know all their names, but he kissed them anyway. He kissed all of them.
When he left the room, Smokey Fields asked the darkness, ‘What was that all about?’ But no one else was awake, or else no one wanted to answer him.
I wish he would kiss me like that, thought Nurse Edna, who had a very alert ear for unusual goings-on.
‘I think it’s nice,’ Mrs. Grogan said to Nurse Angela, when Nurse Angela told her about it.
‘I think it’s senile,’ Nurse Angela said.
But Homer Wells, at Wally’s window, did not know that Dr. Larch’s kisses were out in the world, in search of him.
He didn’t know, either – he could never have imagined it! – that Candy was also awake, and also worried. If he does stay, if he doesn’t go back to St. Cloud’s, she was thinking, what will I do? The sea tugged all around her. Both the darkness and the moon were failing.”


John Irving, The Cider House Rules
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The Cider House Rules The Cider House Rules by John Irving
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