The Count Steps Over The Line

: Doctor Jones' Picnic

The Silver Cloud's crew, if we may so term it, had busied themselves in

various ways, according to their several dispositions and bents of mind.

Dr. Jones was occupied more or less of the time with the invalids, who

came to him from far and wide. The most inveterate cases of chronic

diseases constituted the bulk of his practice, and the cures that he

made were truly marvelous. The patience and interest of the Count never

> flagged a moment. He continued at his post and interpreted for the

Doctor with surprising fidelity. Dr. Jones was so pleased with him that

he explained to his noble student every case for which he proscribed,

told him the name of the drug and precisely why he gave it. Surely here

was a model teacher and an ideal student.

Let it not be inferred that our Doctor was infallible, nor that he

always cured.

"There are many cases that are incurable, Sir Count, and we must learn

to know them almost by intuition. The causes of failure are numerous,

but you will notice that they are always to be found in the physician or

patient; never in the law of cure. If I be not able to apprehend and

duly estimate the symptoms of a given case, I must, of necessity, fail

to cure. Or if the patient be unruly, stupid, or willful, he must pay

the penalty. Frequently, the case has been rendered incurable by massive

dosage or surgery. My system cures all that is curable when

intelligently applied. And you will notice that in some instances there

is an absolute dearth of symptoms. You also observe that I give them a

dose and tell them to return in a week or ten days. When they return

they often exhibit a splendid crop of symptoms, and I experience no

trouble then in finding the remedy. These cases usually have a history

of suppressed eruption. At some time in their lives the itch, or eczema,

or some other skin trouble has been driven into their system by

external medicaments in the form of ointments, washes, etc. Lifelong

ailments, over which the old school have no control, are the result. A

large percentage of chronic diseases are due to this cause alone."

And so, during their leisure hours, sitting in the Count's office, or

peripatetically as they walked together in the park, the enthusiastic

Doctor taught his willing and attentive pupil.

"Just see those two inseparables!" cried Feodora to Mrs. Jones and

Mattie, as they sat by the front reception-room window, looking out upon

the park. The Doctor and Count were promenading before the great

building, the former with head erect, hands extended before him,

lecturing upon his favorite theme. The towering figure of the Count

strode along beside him, hands clasped behind and head bent well

forward, listening attentively to every word.

"I do believe that my father will be so enthusiastic a convert to the

Doctor's system, that he will get books and medicines and practice upon

our poor people when you are gone," said Feodora.

"And he could not do a better thing," answered Mrs. Jones. "I have known

laymen who made very fine prescribers. The Count could do a vast amount

of good with a set of books and medicines."

"Then you can rest assured that he will do so," returned Feodora. "My

father is a very benevolent man naturally, but was fast becoming a

misanthrope when you came among us. I shall never cease thanking God for

the northern gale that blew you here."

"Nor shall I, dear Feodora," said Mrs. Jones, kissing her with great

affection. "And I really dread the time when we must leave you. But you

are improving so rapidly that we must go before many weeks."

"I am glad to get well, but I do feel sorry to think of your going. But

I do not give up ever seeing you again. You will go to the North Pole in

a short time, and then return home. You will write me from there, both

you and Mattie, and then my father and I will visit you and bring you

home with us. You must spend a winter with us in our capital city. It is

the most beautiful and gayest city in Europe in its season."

"And you shall spend a winter in Washington," returned Mrs. Jones.

"I have never seen anything so beautiful as Washington," said Mattie.

And so the friends chatted and cemented their acquaintance and

friendship day by day, planning for future enjoyment of each other's


The Count and Feodora were greatly interested in their account of their

visit with the Barton family in Labrador.

"By the way," said Mattie, "let's go up to Will's studio and see his

painting of Jennie Barton."

Feodora readily assented. "I have been longing for some time to see the

interior of your beautiful cabin," she said.

They slowly walked to the cage and mounted to the cabin, a distance of

but fifty feet. They found Will at work upon a local landscape. He was

delighted to receive the ladies, especially Feodora. "This augurs well

for our sailing soon, Miss Feodora. And I cannot tell you how glad we

all are to see you recovering so rapidly."

"I told Feodora that you had made a fine painting of Jennie Barton. We

have told her all about our visit in Labrador, and she wishes to see

your painting of Jennie," said Mattie.

"I am only too proud to show it her," answered Will, and he removed a

cloth from the painting that rested upon an easel.

"What a sweet, lovely face!" exclaimed Feodora. "I have never seen

anything sweeter in my life."

Will hastened to assure her, though he flushed with pride, that it

lacked very much of doing the fair Jennie justice.

"There is something so good and pure in that face, that it rests one to

look at it," said the fair Russian.

"Would you accept it from me as a present?" asked Will.

"O Mr. Marsh! would you really part with it?"

"I shall feel greatly honored if you will accept it from me. I intend

painting another immediately. Whether I shall ever reach my ideal, I do

not know."

"I fear that you never will until you return to Constance House," said

Mattie slyly.

"Now Mattie, that is very unkind of you," cried Will with a well-assumed


Feodora thanked Will sincerely for his present, and declared that it

should be hung in her room where she might see it the first thing in the

morning and the last thing at night. "Surely nothing could be sweeter

and more interesting than the romance connected with this lovely

painting," said she.

Professor Gray, meantime, had not been idle all these weeks. He and

Denison had developed an affinity for each other, and spent many hours

together, the former teaching the latter much of the geology, botany,

etc., of the country round about. And with rod and gun they kept the

Count's table well supplied with game. They also did much riding, and

for many miles they became familiar objects to the inhabitants. The

Professor made copious notes of all he saw of interest, intending it as

subject matter for a future scientific work.

And Fred busied himself with his music. He had discovered among the

visitors at the castle a young Russian who spoke English tolerably well,

and who was more than an ordinary violinist. They immediately formed a

friendship, and daily sought each other's society. Fred became a great

favorite among the local talent, and many were the concerts they held in

the castle.

Surely, for prisoners in a foreign land, restrained from going about

their legitimate business, our friends were enjoying themselves

wonderfully. The Count and Feodora were never so happy as when doing

something calculated to enhance the comfort and pleasure of their

guests. The days flew so swiftly by that the time for their departure

was near at hand before they were aware of it. Feodora's recovery was

uninterrupted, and she had gained many pounds of flesh. All

apprehensions concerning her health had about disappeared. The Count

continued his medical studies and investigations with unabated zeal and

interest. The action of the infinitesimal dose was a knotty question. He

could not deny the fact that they exhibited marvelous power over

disease, but their immateriality staggered his faith at times, in spite

of all that he had seen and experienced. But there came a time when he

stepped over the line forever. He was "Born into the Kingdom," as the

Doctor expressed it.

There came a messenger at midnight one dark, stormy night, from a castle

several miles distant. A letter to the Count from a certain Russian

Prince, implored him to bring the American Doctor immediately to see his

wife. The Count awoke the Doctor and told him that he would accompany

him, if he would go; and he would esteem it a personal favor if he would

attend the call.

"Certainly, I will go," said Dr. Jones heartily, and he hastily prepared

himself for the journey.

The rain poured in torrents, and the heavy covered carriage in which

they rode lumbered uncomfortably over the rough country roads.

"You should introduce the horseless carriage into your country," said

the Doctor as he bounced about upon his seat. "You would then agitate

the subject of good roads."

At last they reached their destination, and were hurried to the bedside

of the suffering Princess. She was a woman of fifty-five, large and

fleshy, sitting bolt upright in the middle of the bed. Her distress was

terrible. The Doctor took the symptoms hurriedly as possible. They were:

Violent palpitation of the heart. The bed fairly shook with the action

of that organ.

Expectorating large quantities of frothy blood.

Breathing exceedingly labored; could not lie back in the least degree.

Stomach and bowels enormously distended with gas; so much so that she

could not lean forward at all.

Eructations of gas in large quantities, which gave no relief; the least

particle of food or drink excited these eructations.

A very profuse cold sweat that saturated her clothing and bed.

Great thirst, drinks little and often.

Lower extremities restless, could not keep them quiet.

Very nervous and despairing.

Here was a terrible case, and the little Doctor studied it with the

greatest possible care. He learned that the Princess had been an invalid

for many years. She had taken vast quantities of crude drugs, and the

time had come when her stomach rebelled and would tolerate no more

drugging. The great physicians of Europe had been consulted, without

permanent benefit. Her regular medical attendant, with his assistant,

was now present. Dr. Jones was introduced to them, and such courtesies

as were possible under the circumstances were extended by each. They

gave such information as possible through the Count, and declared that

the Princess must die within a few hours. They now stood powerless by,

very curious and observant of everything the Doctor did.

He had carefully written out the above symptoms, and now retired for a

few moments with the Count to an adjoining room. The two Russian

physicians were asked to join them, as a matter of professional


"This is a desperate affair," said the Count, "and I fear that your

infinitesimals will do her very little good."

"Don't be so sure, Sir Count. You may see something to-night that will

remove your last remnant of unbelief," returned the Doctor, as he turned

over the leaves of a materia medica that he had brought with him.

"There is undoubtedly organic disease of the heart, and other

complications that I have not time now to investigate. I have the

totality of symptoms before us, and I have found the remedy that covers

them precisely." He read to the Count each symptom, and showed how

exactly they were covered by the drug. Some degree of explanation of

this was made the native physicians, but it was evidently something new

to them which they did not at all comprehend.

"And now let us hasten to administer a dose of this drug."

They returned to the sick chamber. Dr. Jones from a small case vial

dropped a single minim into a teaspoon and wiped it off upon her tongue.

It seemed so simple and wholly inadequate a thing to do in this very

urgent affair, that the Count and the two medical men could not repress

their smiles.

But the Doctor said, "Wait and you shall see the glory of God."

Not more than three minutes later, the royal patient, who was sitting

perfectly erect, eyes closed, suddenly threw up her hands and cried out

in the Russian tongue, "My God! What have you given me? I'm drunk!" and

fell back upon her pillow as if shot. She almost immediately began

snoring as if sound asleep. The Prince, Count, and two physicians sprang

forward in great alarm, and were about to raise her to her former

sitting posture. But Doctor Jones said commandingly, "Let her alone! Do

not touch her!"

"But she is dying!" cried Count Icanovich.

"No, my dear Count, she is sleeping beautifully. To awaken her now would

be fatal. I wish all to leave the room but her nurse."

Several moments later the Doctor followed them to the parlor. The Count

was greatly agitated, and stepped up to him immediately as he entered.

"How is she now, Doctor?"

"Sleeping as peacefully as a child."

"And is it a natural, healthful sleep?"

"Perfectly so."

"Doctor, you have conquered my last prejudice. The modus operandi of the

action of your infinitesimals I shall never comprehend. But that they do

operate, immediately, powerfully, and beneficently, I can no longer

doubt. Now please let me see the vial from which you poured the

wonderful drop that you gave Her Highness."

The Doctor complied, and the Count held the tiny vial to the light and

read the label, "Cinchona Officinalis, 30x."

The Prince also took the vial into his hand, looked at it with

curiosity, and made a remark to the Count.

"His Highness suggests that this must be a poison of fearful power,"

said the Count to Dr. Jones.

"Please say to him that it is not a poison in any sense of the word. I

could swallow every drop of it with perfect impunity," replied Dr.


Nothing could exceed the interest and curiosity of the two physicians.

They looked at the vial and asked questions almost without number. The

old familiar look of incredulity crept into their eyes when they came to

an understanding of the immateriality of the dose. They were familiar

with the dogma of "Similia similibus curanter," or "Like cures like,"

and repudiated it at once. But they said nothing of it to the Prince or

Count at this time. The Count again addressed Dr. Jones.

"His Highness is lost in wonder at the magical effect of your medicine,

and desires me to express his heartfelt gratitude and thanks."

The Prince, with tears in his eyes, took the Doctor's hand, and said

something to him in his own language.

"He says that he can never repay you for what you have done to-night,

and that you may command him for anything in his power," interpreted the


"Say to him that I am more than repaid for anything that I have done.

Let him give all the glory to God."

After ascertaining that the Princess still slept quietly, the Doctor and

Count retired for the remaining hours of the night.