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Chapter 14 finds Jack in his fifth floor office with Chet first thing in the morning. The first thing Jack wants to do is get to work and call Susanne Hard's husband to question him about possible originating causes of her infectious disease. The first thing Chet wants to do is confirm Jack's hoped for but not promised appearance at their planned date with Terese and Colleen.
After Chet wrings an explosive agreement from him, Jack calls Mr. Maurice Hard. Before being able to question him about pets and travel, Jack learns that Susanne's parents are accusing Maurice of some sort of foul play in Susanne's death. Finally Jack learns that the family dog is healthy and that Susanne had not traveled anywhere because of her uncomfortable pregnancy except up to their rural country house in Connecticut where Susanne wandered by the pond and in the grounds where she fed the wild deer and rabbits.
The other information he gets is that their visitor from India had stayed one week three weeks prior to Susanne's hospitalization, he was well at last contact, and Susanne hated hospitals so had not been in one prior to going into labor to give birth. Similar information emerged when he called the husband of Katherine Mueller, the woman who died who had worked in the hospital supply room. In the end, Jack still has no clue to originating causes, which prompts his sudden impulse to go to Manhattan General again to look for physical clues in the building itself and to look at the laboratory slide that was prepared at the hospital.
All Jack learns at the hospital is that there are no obvious physical connections between the seventh floor OB-GYN and medical ward; supply workers don't have contact with patients; the slide in the lab showed no plague but did exhibit excessive "pleomorphism"; and that the administrative staff, who were friendly the previous day, were adamantly unfriendly to Jack now, even threatening a slander action. Jack is now convinced that the missing information he needs is to be found at Manhattan General, but he doesn't know where.
"I'd say your presence is more than disruptive," Kelley said. "In fact, you've been downright slanderous. You could very well be hearing from our lawyers." ... [They] now acted as if Jack were the enemy. What could they all be hiding? And why hide it from Jack?
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