A little Indonesian boy looks on doubtfully. There was no one else around, so I’m not sure what he was doing standing next to the kerb like that and he didn’t seem sure either, but he doesn’t look worried – just uncertain.
Extreme doubt must be overwhelming. If nothing is certain, how can you make a decision? How can you move forward or escape whatever it is you’re uncertain about?
At the opposite end of the continuum, absence of doubt must also be a problem. If you are sure of everything, why stop and think before you act? Why weigh up your position? It must be easy to blunder into all sorts of undesirable situations.
As with most things, moderation is the key. A bit of doubt encourages thought and reason. Although it doesn’t ensure we all make the right decision!
Daffodil finds herself in a situation where Amelia’s life is in jeopardy. Her sketchy knowledge of chloroform alerts her to the danger and she tells the voice – but she’s not sure…
“…I don’t trust that doctor. We’ve got to find some way to keep that chloroform away from you.”
“Have you taken leave of your senses? That medicine may be my only chance. I forbid you to do anything!”
“I can’t explain now, there’s no time, but I think that medicine is more likely to keep you unconscious than wake you up.”
“Don’t you dare interfere. How would you know anyway? You’re just a girl.”
“I do know. Please trust me. I saw the name of the medicine, and it’s something that’s used to make people unconscious, not to cure them.”
The voice was quiet again, not sure whether to believe me.
“Sometimes like cures like,” it whispered.
“Rubbish!” I said.
But despite sounding confident, the truth was that I just wasn’t sure. Perhaps the chloroform would cure her.
Until a few hours ago, I’d been a hundred years away with no more knowledge of chloroform than the next twenty-first century teenager. Before the voice had said anything, I’d been so sure the medicine was harmful.
But now? Well, one thing was for sure. If I wasn’t one hundred percent certain, I’d no right to do anything that might risk a girl’s life.
“And yet,” continued the voice, “perhaps you are right. There is something hard and calculating about Dr. Pursey…or am I just imagining it?”
It was enough for me that Amelia had also spotted the “good” doctor wasn’t all he seemed.
“You truly believe the medicine is harmful?” the voice asked.
“I do,” I said with more confidence than I really felt.
“Then, my life is in your hands…”
If you want to find out if Daffodil was right, check out ‘Daffodil and the Thin Place’ here