Swooning, or slight mental mistiness, is not very unusual in ghost seers. The brother of a friend of my own, a man of letters and wide erudition, was, as a boy, employed in a shop in a town, say Wexington. The overseer was a dark, rather hecti... Read more of The Dead Shopman at Scary Stories.caInformational Site Network Informational
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Doctor Jones Commits Treason

From: Doctor Jones' Picnic

As they met at the breakfast table next morning, they found the Count
joyous and jubilant. Feodora had spent a comparatively comfortable
night. At the regular hour, 3 o'clock, A.M., the stitching pains and
cough recurred, but were so much less than usual, and lasted so much
shorter a time that she was radiant with joy, and thanked Dr. Jones so
sweetly that the good man was obliged to hem and cough and wipe his nose
and eyes, and complain of a slight cold which he had contracted. As for
the nobleman himself, he declared that he was the happiest and soundest
of all the Czar's subjects.

"I cannot understand this matter, Doctor," said he. "I have absolutely
exhausted the medical science of Europe without the slightest benefit.
Here you come from the United States, a new country, and supposed to be
very much behind in all matters of science and letters, yet you have
done for me and my daughter, as if by magic, what the accumulated
science and knowledge of Europe have not been able to do at all. Is your
science a mystic or esoteric affair, and are you the only one in
possession of the secret?"

"No, indeed, Count Icanovich. So far from my system being esoteric or
exclusively my own, I have for many years taught and exemplified to the
best of my ability the law by which I am governed in the selection of
the remedy. And there are a noble few in my country who are like
children sitting in the market, crying, 'We have mourned unto you and ye
would not mourn; we have piped unto you and ye would not dance.' By
every possible means we have endeavored to induce the dominant school of
medicine to investigate our claims, but they simply deride and laugh us
to scorn."

"But surely, Doctor, they cannot deny the evidence of their own senses!
If you cure that which they cannot, they certainly must heed you.
Anything else is unthinkable," exclaimed the Count.

"My dear sir, human nature is past finding out in its capacity for
stupidity and foolishness. God gives every man the power to choose good
or evil, and no amount of evidence can dispossess him of this elective
franchise. Hence he is the arbiter of his own fate. Abraham said to
Dives concerning his brethren, 'If they believe not Moses and the
prophets, neither will they believe, though one arose from the dead.'
Jesus Christ healed the sick, raised the dead, restored the lame, the
halt, the blind, in the presence of priests, lawyers, and doctors, the
scientists of those days; and they put him to death in precisely the
same spirit that they expatriated Samuel Hahnemann for discovering and
promulgating the only law of cure in God's universe. Human nature has
not changed a particle since the days of Adam and Eve, and it never will
be any more nor less than what it is now, except as it is regenerated
through the Atonement."

"This is marvelously strange," said the Count musingly. "I do not
remember to have heard of your system more than a few times in my life,
and then but as something ridiculous or foolish. Cannot something be
done to bring it before the public?"

"So far as I know, Count Icanovich, there is not a school in Europe
where the tenets of our system are taught. The dominant school of
medicine has used its power, and legislation effectually bars us out in
every European country. Only in America have we colleges, and even there
whatever privileges we enjoy are the results of deadly and
uncompromising warfare. So you will understand the difficulties under
which we labor."

"It seems, then, that it is simply a matter of ignorance with the laity
that your system has not become universally adopted," interposed
Professor Gray. "And the 'Regular School,' as they style themselves, is
exceedingly active in keeping them thus ignorant."

"That is the state of affairs exactly," cried Dr. Jones. "To illustrate
the fact that we have a law of cure, while the so-called Regulars have
nothing like it, a certain physician, a number of years ago, sent out
twenty letters, ten to prominent men of each school. He sent to each the
ordinary price of a prescription, and represented himself as a patient.
He detailed precisely the same symptoms to each. Now, if medicine is
worthy of being called a science, why should there not have been an
answer, and but one answer, as to the remedy indicated in this case?"

"So I have said a thousand times," exclaimed the Count, excitedly. "And
I can foretell the denouement so far as the Regular school is concerned:
You received as many prescriptions that were totally unlike as there
were men of that school who prescribed for you."

"Right, you are, my lord!" shouted the Doctor. "But eight of them
responded. No two of their prescriptions at all resembled each other,
and the aggregate number of drugs prescribed by them was somewhere near
seventy, if I remember correctly. If all these drugs had been put into a
jug, the compound would have been a mass of incompatibles that would
have poisoned any miserable wretch who was fool enough to take it."

"But how did the men of your school do, Doctor?" asked Professor Gray.
"Did they do any better?"

"Did they!" again shouted Dr. Jones, swelling and flushing with pride.
"Every one of them prescribed Lycopodium Pollen, which was the indicated

"How many physicians of your school are there in America?" asked the

"Something like twelve thousand, I believe."

"And would each of them have prescribed the remedy you mentioned?"

"All worthy of the name would have done so."

"And are not all worthy?"

"I am forced to say no! not by a great many. Like every other
representative system of truth, our greatest source of danger is from
within. No chain is stronger than its weakest link, as has been said
many times. The world judges us by our weaklings. Every good thing has
its hordes of counterfeits."

"Well," said the Count, "I am deeply interested in this matter. I must
hear more of it, Doctor."

"And I also am desirous of information upon this all important subject,"
added Professor Gray.

The wind had veered around to the west-nor-west. It had materially
abated in violence, but was still unfavorable for our navigators. And,
in truth, the Doctor was not nearly so anxious to depart at this time as
was Professor Gray. The good Doctor's mind was divided between a desire
to be off for the Arctics, and a professional interest in, and friendly
solicitude for, the beautiful Feodora. Nothing could exceed the delight
with which he noted the manifest curative power of the dose which he had
given her. And he had pledged his word that he would not leave her until
material improvement was apparent. So it was with a considerable degree
of resignation that he saw the wind continue northerly.

The matter stood about thus between him and Professor Gray: While Dr.
Jones was really commander of the expedition, yet the Professor
represented the Government's interests, and he kept a strict record of
every day's occurrences. These must be subjected to the inspection of
the proper authorities upon their return to Washington. The fact that
Dr. Jones had interested himself in a sick girl in the heart of Russia,
even though she was the only child of a Count who stood high with the
Emperor of all the Russias, could not excuse him to his Government for
holding in abeyance the mighty interests of the expedition upon which it
had projected him.

For two more days the northerly winds prevailed. Then came the
hoped-for, yet dreaded, change. At six o'clock in the morning, the
Professor rapped upon Dr. Jones' chamber door.

"Come, Doctor," he cried. "Ho! for the North Pole. A glorious breeze
from due South."

The Doctor joined him in a few moments, and they walked into the park.
The aluminum flag fluttered straight toward the north. The Doctor
expressed his delight, but there tugged at his heart the thought of
leaving the poor girl who clung to him for her life. But he did not dare
to mention this fact to Professor Gray. He knew that no merely
sentimental grounds would have any weight with that gentleman, and that
he (the Professor) would hold him strictly accountable to the Government
for any unnecessary delay.

So, with a sigh, he announced to his party that they would sail as soon
after breakfast as possible. The Count looked very much distressed, but
said not a word. After breakfast the Doctor and Count repaired to
Feodora's room. She had rested beautifully all night, and received them
with a glad, smiling welcome. But when Dr. Jones announced that he must
sail within two or three hours, her face became exceedingly sorrowful,
and she said to him so gently and simply that it touched the hearts of
the men more than tears could have ever done:

"And do you know what goes with you in your beautiful Silver Cloud?"

"I do not know that I do. What do you mean?"

"My life."

This unexpected reply caused the Doctor a terrible shock.

"O no! my dear young lady, you are doing splendidly. Just carry out my
written instructions and you will do as well without me as you would
with me."

"Dr. Jones, I appreciate your situation, and know that you have no right
to remain here for my sake, or anyone's else. I will not try to persuade
you to stay; but I know that when you have gone, Hope will have
accompanied you, and I shall certainly die."

"My God! My God! Dr. Jones, I cannot endure this," groaned the Count,
and great tears coursed down his cheeks.

"Let me talk with you a few moments privately," said the Doctor.

The Count led the way to his office, and when they were seated the
Doctor began:

"Count Icanovich, I cannot leave you, and yet you see my situation.
Professor Gray will not consent to an hour's unnecessary delay, and will
hold me in strictest account to my Government."

"Cannot he be brought to consent to remain a few weeks?" asked the Count

"Not all the gold in Russia would tempt him one moment," declared the
Doctor emphatically.

"But you must not go and take my darling's life with you!" cried the
Count desperately.

"Say 'shall not,' and you will hit it exactly," replied the little
Doctor, winking shrewdly at the Count.

"What do you mean?"

"Have you no special power or authority in this section?"

"I have very great power if I choose to use it. Do I understand you to
advise me to detain you by force?"

The Doctor grinned, gave a little Frenchy shrug of the shoulders, and
said: "It would be treason to my country to advise you to do so, sir;
but if you permit us to go, surely you cannot blame me for going. I very
much prefer to stay, but only absolute force can prevent my going."

"I understand you perfectly, Doctor, and you need say no more," replied
the Count, smiling grimly. "It had not occurred to me to treat my guests
with such discourtesy; but you Americans have an adage, I have
heard,--or is it English?--that a hint is as good as a kick. Well, you
needn't kick me--unless I let you go. Now go up to my daughter and cheer
her up with the news that you are forcibly detained, and will not sail
till she is cured."

Here the two men clasped hands, threw open their mouths to their widest
extent, and laughed long and--silently.

"But now run up to Feodora; she needs you badly, and I have some very
important business to attend to."

So the Doctor again ascended to Feodora's room. He found there his wife
and Mattie, all three in tears.

"Come, come, girls, wipe your eyes. Please leave me alone with Miss
Feodora a few minutes. I will join you down stairs directly."

"And now," said he, "cheer right up. We are not going to leave you until
your father consents. I have made the arrangement with him, but it must
not be known to anyone else. You understand, do you not?"

"I do, Doctor, I do," she cried; "and I promise to get well as soon as I
can, so as not to detain you any longer than necessary. I shall get
well! I shall get well!" and she pressed his hand to her lips in the
ecstacy of her joy.

"There, there," said he, a little sheepishly, withdrawing his hand, "go
to sleep now, and come down to the drawing-room this afternoon."

He had been in the drawing-room but a moment or so when the Professor
and Will rushed in, each very excited.

"Doctor!" cried Will, "what do you suppose the Count has done?"

"I don't know, I'm sure. What's the matter?"

"Well, by Jove, if he hasn't padlocked our cables, and very coolly
informed us that we cannot sail until he gives us permission!"

"What can he possibly mean!" exclaimed the Doctor in well-assumed
astonishment. "We must see about this matter. Where is he?"

"We left him at the globe," said the Professor. "I cannot comprehend the
meaning of this. Let us go at once and see him."

"Surely he must be joking you," said the Doctor, as they walked rapidly
toward Silver Cloud.

They found a group standing beneath the globe; and, as Will had said,
every anchor and cable was heavily padlocked. Dr. Jones stepped briskly
up to Count Icanovich and said with all the sharpness he could command:
"What is the meaning of this, Sir Count? Why have you padlocked these

"Evidently I could have but one object; to prevent your casting them

"But why? What right have you to do so?"

"Simply the right of might. But come," said he, looking over the
company, "let us talk this matter over together. Shall we return to the

"Suppose we ascend to the cabin," said the Doctor. "There we can talk
without interruption."

So, two by two, they all ascended to the sittingroom of the cabin. The
Doctor and Count were the first to go up.

"I shall make a great demonstration of anger, and may talk pretty
sharply, Count, but you will know my meaning," said the former, as they
landed in the engine-room.

"I perfectly understand; act your part, Doctor."

When they were all seated in the sittingroom, the Doctor immediately
reiterated the question:

"What is the meaning of this high-handed proceeding, Count Icanovich?"

"It simply means that I cannot consent to let you go at present, Doctor

"And do you really mean to detain us by force?"

"I do, if necessary."

"Will you kindly tell us your object, and by what authority you dare to
delay a United States' expedition? Do you not know that our Government
will demand heavy reprisals for this action upon your part?"

"Allow me to answer your first question. When you landed among us a few
days ago, you found us a despairing lot of invalids. We were simply
waiting death as the only possible escape from our pains and distress.
The change that you have brought about by your medical skill and
knowledge is known to you all, and I need not dwell upon it. Our hearts
are bursting with gratitude, and it pains me beyond measure to be thus
obliged to use coercion; but my daughter's interests--her life--compel
me to detain you. She declares that she cannot live if the Doctor leaves
her, and I cannot and will not permit her only chance of recovery to
thus fly away in the air. She is all I have on earth, and I swear that
you shall stay until she consents to let you go."

"But, Count Icanovich, do you not see how impossible it is for us to
remain?" asked Professor Gray.

"No; I only see how impossible it is for you to go."

"But look at the vast amount of money that our Government has intrusted
us with for an express purpose. Having accepted this trust, our first
and only duty is to that Government. And I tell you that whoever dares
to detain us will have a heavy account to settle with a great and
powerful nation."

"I perfectly appreciate all that, Professor Gray, and am ready to settle
any indemnity that may be demanded of me. I tell you, one and all, that
I count these things as but dross when compared with the life of my
Feodora. She shall not die if any high-handed outrage that I can commit
will prevent it. You have heard me."

The voyagers looked at one another in dismay. Here was a predicament
that no one could have foreseen.

"How long is this delay likely to last?" asked Will.

"Just as long as the interests of my daughter's health demand it,"
returned the Count.

The Doctor gave a hypocritical groan that would have made his fortune
upon the stage.

"How long will that be, Doctor?" asked Will.

"Three months, at least," was the reply.

The Professor duplicated the Doctor's groan with such emphasis that the
party could not repress their smiles, and the two conspirators did not
dare look at each other.

"Well, Professor, we'll have to accept the inevitable," said Dr. Jones.
"Let's go down again and continue our studies of Russian customs and

"Allow me to say, gentlemen, before we descend, that it is best that we
should have a thorough understanding. I desire to treat you as my
honored friends and guests, and to allow you every possible liberty and
pleasure while here. Pledge me your word that you will not attempt to
sail without my knowledge, or seek governmental interference, and all I
have is at your command."

"Before I accede to your proposition, I wish to put one question: If Dr.
Jones will consent to remain, will you permit the rest of the party to
depart with the ship?" asked the Professor.

"I shall be delighted if you can make any such arrangement," quickly
returned the Count.

"What do you say, Doctor?" cried Professor Gray, turning to him.

The Doctor pondered a moment or two, and then said:

"It is very great to be the discoverer of the North Pole, but it is very
much greater to save a human life. My wife and Mattie will remain with
me, but the rest of you may depart immediately if you wish."

"As for me," said Denison, promptly, "I shall stay with Dr. Jones."

Will and Fred looked at each other a moment, then Fred burst out:

"Let's stick together. The North Pole will be there just the same a few
months later, and I do not blame Count Icanovich for detaining the
Doctor under the circumstances. To use a beautiful Americanism, we may
as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. In one, in all."

"I stand with the majority," said Will.

"Well, gentlemen, I do not see but that I am in a hopeless minority, and
must accept the Count's terms," sighed the Professor. "But say, Doctor,
let me suggest one more idea before settling the matter definitely. Are
there not men in Russia who practice your system, and who could fill
your place satisfactorily in this case?"

"I presume there are, but I am unacquainted with them."

"But, gentlemen, my daughter will accept no substitute. I suggested the
same idea to her, but she would not listen to it. It is Dr. Jones or
nobody with her. There is no alternative. Dr. Jones must stay." This the
Count said so decisively that further argument was mutually dropped as

"Well, Sir Count, since fate is against our sailing until the recovery
of the fair Feodora, I only hope her return to perfect health may be
unprecedentedly rapid, and I hereby give you the required pledge." With
this the Professor extended his hand to the Count. The latter seized it
cordially, then shook hands with each of the rest of the company,

"I am so glad that this unpleasant matter has been so easily and
amicably adjusted. Let us go down now, and the only command that I put
upon you is that you use my castle as your own, and that you come and go
as you please."

They all thanked the noble Count, and the whole party set out for the
castle. When they reached the drawing-room the Professor dropped into a
chair and said: "I used to be of the opinion that the stories of the
enchanted castles, Sleeping Beauties and Beasts were all childish
fiction and romance. But, as the darky said, 'Heah we is.' We have the
castle, the Beauty, and the Beast. Though I must say of the Beast that
he is a very amiable old fellow, after all, and I would do just as he is
doing under the circumstances. This Beauty must be awakened, and Dr.
Jones is the Prince of Physicians who can do it."

"Thank you, Professor. And now, girls, take off your hats and cloaks,"
cried the Doctor. "We have concluded to stay with the Count a few

They looked at him to see if he were not joking.

"What do you mean, Doctor?" asked his wife. "Did you say that we were to
stay here a few months?"

"Yes, my dear. The Count has persuaded me to remain until Feodora is so
far recovered that we can safely leave her."

"Well now, I will tell you the truth; I am really glad to hear it." Then
turning to the company, she proudly said: "This is just like him. I am
sure that he would not only give up the North Pole, but the whole earth
to save a human life."

"Come, come, sis," said the Doctor, blushing and confused, "you make me
feel silly. Scatter off, now, and make yourselves at home. We must make
the Count glad to get rid of us."

Next: A Model Teacher And Ideal Student

Previous: Beauty And The Beast

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