Chapter 7 Summary

When the doors to Operating Theater 3 burst open, no one in the room knows whether it is really Dr. Hemlatha or an apparition. She looks fierce and is practically breathing fire; only when she demands to know what nonsense Gebrew is talking do they realize it is, indeed, their Hema. Matron and others see her arrival as a miracle; Dr. Stone sees it as a lifeline thrown to him in the deep crevasse in which he finds himself. Many years later Hema will describe that moment to Marion, telling him she knew the problem as soon as she walked into the room because of the smell. No one writes about it in textbooks, but it is the smell of what she calls fetor terribilis. It is both sweet and astringent, and it always means a “labor room...

(The entire section is 968 words.)