He went to his right down a stygian corridor that was clogged with chairs, tables, books, filing cabinets, typewriters, a large centrifuge, a gamma counter, three tennis rackets, and a king-sized white porcelain commode above which was a sign that read “Milton’s Throne.” He passed two laboratories as he reached the end of the corridor which turned south at a right angle. The first office after he made the turn was on his left; it had a black shingle hanging over it which said “Medicine.” Since nephrology was part of Medicine Grollman decided to go in, besides he could think of nothing else to do.
A middle aged lady was sitting behind a desk filling her nails with sandpaper. She didn’t look up when he entered. To the secretary’s left was a closed door that had yet another sign on it. This one said:


Grollman stood in front of the woman’s desk expecting to be recognized. When it was plain that he wasn’t going to be, he cleared his throat. She pulled a sheet of tissue paper from its cardboard box and handed it to him.

“That’s very kind of you,” he said, “but I was hoping for some additional assistance. I think I’m lost.”

Her eyelids fluttered mysteriously and then she looked up and searched his face like he was the missing link. “This is the Department of Medicine Office. It is not the lost and found.” She went back to her nails

Grollman bent over and twisted his face like a propeller. “Is this really the Department of Medicine Office? Is that why the sign that says “Medicine” is over the door? I’m one of the new renal fellows,” he assumed there would be more than one, “and I need to know where I’m supposed to go.”

“You’re not supposed to be here until tomorrow.”

When he was sure she wasn’t going to say anything more he said, “Well if it were tomorrow where would I go?”

“You’d see Milt.”


“Dr Lance.”

Milton Lance was the name that Grollman had seen on all of Dr Walker’s papers. He guessed that if he was going to work for Walker that he would come in contact with Lance as well.

“Dr Walker wants all the fellows to meet with Milt; he’ll decide what you should do.”

“Where’s Dr Walker?” Wade Walker was the chairman of the department of medicine and the chief of its section of nephrology. He had hired Grollman in a moment of caprice.

“He’s in Tibet, not that it’s any of your business.”

“Is Dr Lance around now?”



“Oh yeah, right. He’s usually not here this early.” It was almost 10:30.

“What do you suggest that I do?”

“Come back tomorrow.”

“Is the renal lab nearby?”

“You just passed them on your way here. All the labs to the right belong to nephrology.” She resumed sandpapering her nails.