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nurse Florence as well as anybody."

Florence was taken by her mother and father to Nashville in January to enter the Haggard 

Clinic for tests. It was just after New Year's, the weather was cold, the trip dreary. When the tests 

were over, they assured her, they would know what to do.

But after all the examinations were done, the doctor who had greeted them now gave them 

little encouragement. Florence had a hardening and thickening of the skin, which they called 

"derma," or scleroderma.

"There have been only 400 cases like yours on record," Florence's father told her later. It 

was several days before Florence was told that very few such cases ever recovered.

"Florence Evans, the lady who's turning to stone," she thought as she lay in bed in her own 

room once more. It was a nightmare! One of pain and unnatural change through which she had 

been living for eight weeks. She had been pretty: grey eyes and chestnut hair. Now, when she 

looked into a mirror, the face of a stranger stared back at her, swollen and rigid. And it was hard, 

like her hips, now.

And the unspeakable word which no one had used, but which everybody understood, had 

filtered into her consciousness: the word incurable.

On January 6, Dr. Maddox came to visit her and said that he would obtain some 

information from a research laboratory about Florence's condition. Now her hopes soared, for she 

had faith in the science of her day. She still clung to the thought that some magic would be found 

to work for her.

But two days later, she awoke with the aching permeating her body more than ever, 

compounded by a burning sensation along her spine. Her mother came in, bringing aspirin and 

water. She took them gratefully, carefully propping herself up with a contrived smile. Her father 

came in and sat down on a chair by the bed.

"Florence, have you forgotten Cayce?" he asked, his head tilted inquisitively, his lean face 


She was suddenly aware of the sun pouring room into her room. And aware, too, more 

than she dared to admit even to herself, of her faith that a reading from Edgar Cayce, the 

clairvoyant "doctor" of Virginia Beach, would be the answer to her desperate need.

She was well informed of the unorthodox treatments he usually prescribed. She knew, also, 

that he had read for hundreds of people right there in Toddesville and the surrounding community, 

as well as people in many parts of the country. When medical doctors had failed, or found nothing 

could be done for their patients, Cayce had been called in to give readings, although he remained 

in his home miles away! Miraculous results had followed his diagnoses and treatments given for 

many people, and his fame was growing every day.

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