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A Model Teacher And Ideal Student

From: Doctor Jones' Picnic

The days and weeks flew swiftly by. The fame of the great air-ship
spread far and wide, and thousands of visitors came to inspect it and
the wonderful voyagers. But what especially drew the people, and was
talked of more than all else, was the marvelous skill of Dr. Jones as a
healer. The beautiful Feodora improved from day to day, so that she
daily drove with her devoted and constant companions, Mrs. Jones and
Mattie. She began to eat heartily, gained flesh rapidly, and her cough
had nearly left her. Roses of health assumed the place of hectic flush,
and she was the talk and wonder of everyone who knew of her former
hopeless condition.

Many were the consultations held by Dr. Jones, with the grateful and
goodnatured Count for interpreter. Money and honors poured in upon him,
though he never made any sort of charge for advice or medicine. The
better class of patients invariably left upon the table one or more
pieces of gold.

"Maggie, do you know that I have no idea of what to do with all this
money? If it keeps on this way, I shall be obliged to found a college
and hospital when we get back to Washington. Wouldn't it be grand if I
could break down the prejudices and legal barriers in this great
country, and establish our school upon an even footing with the old

"The Count must have influence at court. I should think that he might be
of great help to you," suggested Mrs. Jones.

"That is a good thought, and I will have a talk with him upon the
subject at the first opportunity."

The Count, meantime, was closely watching the Doctor's methods and the
results. He was delighted to note that many chronic cases recovered
under the treatment; and acute diseases yielded as if by magic to his
all-powerful infinitesimal doses.

"This is something utterly incomprehensible," he said to the Doctor one
evening, as the friends sat with him in his office, smoking and talking.
"Your medicines are working wonders, and yet I cannot understand how it
is possible for so minute a particle as is contained in one of your
doses to act so potently and profoundly upon a great mass of blood,
flesh, and bones, like the human body. That it does so is beyond
question. I have watched you carefully, and am thoroughly converted to
your system."

"Wouldn't it be a glorious thing for Russia if this system of medicine
could have at least an opportunity of being heard, and of exemplifying
the fact that it is founded upon science, and that beside it there is no
other?" cried Dr. Jones.

"Suppose you had an opportunity, by what method would you prove this
system to be what you claim for it?" asked Professor Gray.

"By the only method that can satisfy the human mind--practical
experience and demonstration. Nothing else will do. Theory is all well
enough, but if it cannot stand the test of experiment it is of no sort
of use. There is not a crowned head nor potentate in Europe before whom
I would not gladly and fearlessly put my system to such test. Give me
but a clear cut case--one that has not been spoiled by massive dosage or
surgery, and I am willing that the system shall stand or fall by the

"That is perfectly fair, and I know, Doctor, that you would succeed,"
said the Count. "And I will say, further, that I am at your service to
promulgate your system in Russia. I have influence at court, and I can
put it to no better use than to help you present the system of medicine
which you represent to those in a position to open our door to your

"If you will do that, sir, I shall never regret our having been blown
out of our course into Russia. If I can thus be instrumental in the
salvation of countless thousands of God's suffering children, I shall
feel that I have not lived in vain, whether I ever reach the North Pole
or not. Do not think, Professor, that I have in any degree lost
interest in our original enterprise. But, meantime, I must do what I
can for humanity when opportunity occurs."

"You are doing that, Doctor, and I heartily sympathize with you in your
labors," answered the Professor. "I only insist that, when permitted by
the fair Feodora, we sail immediately for our destination."

"That we will, Professor, and I promise not to enter into any
arrangements that shall prevent our going as soon as possible," replied
Dr. Jones.

"Excuse me, gentlemen," interrupted the Count, "but I wish to ask the
Doctor for information. As you know, I have had a considerable amount of
experience with the regular school of medicine, and you also know that I
was thoroughly disgusted with it when you came so opportunely. I have
carefully observed your methods, Dr. Jones, and I notice this essential
difference between the two schools: The old school physicians are
exceedingly particular in their examinations and explorations. They seem
extremely worried about naming the disease and knowing the exact
condition of the diseased tissues, but they do not appear to be able to
manage the practical part of the business--cure. You, as a
representative of the other system, do not lay so much stress upon these
things, but do take cognizance of the symptoms in each case with
surprising particularity. And I notice that you appear to base your
prescription solely upon what you term the 'totality of symptoms.' How
nearly am I right?"

"Count, you have apprehended the exact condition of things. It is well
enough to know all we can of the state of the organ or organs that we
are treating; but suppose I spend hours examining a patient with all the
appliances known to medicine, and have determined to a certainty the
name of the disease with which my patient is afflicted, I am now no
nearer knowing the remedy indicated in this case than I was before I
made the examination. I must go back and take all the symptoms into
account, both subjective and objective before I can intelligently

"I do not see, then, that it makes any difference whether you know all
about the condition of the organs, or can name the disease or not," said

"Good boy, Will," smiled the Doctor. "You're learning fast. It is an
absolute fact that some of the best shots I ever made were where
neither I, nor any living man, could make what we term the
diagnosis--that is, name the disease. I will give you a case in point: A
good many years ago, when I was quite a young physician, there came into
my office a man who desired me to go with him and see a sick babe. I
found the most miserable looking three months' old child I had ever
seen. Nothing could exceed the emaciation and puniness of the little
creature, and the mother was carrying it about upon a pillow. For six
weeks it had cried night and day, almost incessantly, except when under
the influence of opiates. Five old school doctors had done what they
could, and at last had declared that it could not live. They had not
been able to establish the diagnosis, and so were at sea as to
treatment. I sat beside it and studied the case as closely as possible
for more than an hour. There was but one peculiarity or symptom upon
which to base a prescription. It was this: It would lie a few moments
apparently asleep, then it would give a start and begin to scream with
all its puny power. This would last one or two minutes, when it would as
suddenly fall asleep again. This, they assured me, was the way it had
performed all through its illness, except when opiated. 'Pains come and
go suddenly.' That was all I had to go on. I could not locate the pains,
nor by any possible means know what the cause of them was; but I did
know, thank God, what was of infinitely greater importance: I knew the
drug that had that particular symptom, and that was Belladonna. Into
half a tumblerful of water I dropped five or six drops of the two
hundredth dilution of that drug, and put a few drops of this medicated
water into the poor little thing's mouth."

Here the Doctor stopped, knocked the ashes from his pipe, arose and
started as if to leave the room.

"Hold on, Doctor," cried Fred; "I am very much interested in that baby.
How did it come out on your Belladonna solution?"

"O yes! I should have said that it immediately went to sleep, and did
not awaken for several hours. It never cried again, received no more
medicine, and in a few weeks would have made a model picture for a
patent baby food company. It only received the one little dose that I
gave it."

"I declare," said the Count, laughing heartily, "that it sounds absurd
beyond anything I ever heard in my life. Yet who has greater reason to
know it to be absolutely true than myself. Go on, Doctor; I am prepared
to believe anything you are pleased to tell us of your miraculous

"Before I go I think I will spin you one more story," said the Doctor,
reseating himself. "This is what might be termed the reductio ad
absurdum of prescribing merely for the disease by name, irrespective of
symptomatology. I was called to see a poor Dutchman who was in the last
stage of pulmonary consumption. He had just been brought home from a
certain city, where he had been in a hospital for two or three months.

"Well, Hans," I said, "how did they use you at the hospital; they are
very scientific there, you know, and must have done great things for

"O Doctor!" he groaned, "dondt speak aboudt dem fellers. Dey vos de
piggest lot of shackasses I efer saw."

"Why, Hans, I am surprised at you! What did they do that did not please

"Vell, I tells you. Ven I goes into dot hoshpital, dey oxamines mine
lungs. Den dey puts me into a pedt mit a pig card hanging ofer mine
hedt, und dere vos on dot card in pig letters, de vird, CONSUMPTION. I
tink dey puts dot card dere to encourage me ven I looks at him. Und in a
leedle pox py mine hedt, dey puts a pottle of medticine und say to me,
'You dakes a teaspoonful of dot efery dree hours.' So I do dot. It vos
awful stuff but I sticks to him aboudt dree veeks. Den I can no more
dake it. It makes me so seek to mine stummick dot I gan no more eat
anyting. So I say to de steward von morning, 'I gan no more dake dot
medticine. I must haf some oder kind.' Vell, sir, you should haf seen
dot feller look at me. He lifts up his hands und says, 'I shoost adtmire
you, Hans.' 'What for you adtmire me?' 'Pecause you vos de piggest
kicker dot efer comes into dis hoshpital. Now look at yourself. You vos
oxamined und put into de ped to which you pelong. Dere ish de card
hanging ofer your hedt vot tells vot vos der matter mit you. Und den
dere ish der medticine for consumption in de pottle py your hedt. Dot
medticine is Doctor Smith's favorite prescription for dot disease. Und
mit all dot you kicks. Vot more do you want?' 'Vell,' I say, 'I gan no
more dake dot medticine. It makes me awful seek.' 'Now, Hans, dondt be
so unreasonable. You pelongs to dot ped, und whoefer goes into dot ped
dakes dot medticine. Dondt you see?' 'But I dells you dot I gan no more
dake dot medticine. It vill kill me. If no oder medticine goes mit this
ped, put me in some oder ped dot has a tifferent pottle, I cares not
what it is.' But no, sir! dey keeps me in dot ped. So I spidts Doctor
Smith's tam stuff into de slop bowl, und comes home so quick as I gan."

"I could hardly credit Hans' story, and told it as a joke to an old
school physician who was familiar with the hospital where Hans had been.
To my surprise he did not seem to see any joke in it. 'Can it be
possible,' said I, 'that Hans told the truth?' 'Well,' said he, 'in all
but one particular I think that he did.' 'And what was that particular?'
I asked. 'The card above his head did not have on it, 'Consumption,' but
'Phthisis Pulmonalis.'"

Next: The Count Steps Over The Line

Previous: Doctor Jones Commits Treason

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