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Let Me Feel Your Pulse

Short Stories


A Bird of Bagdad

A Blackjack Bargainer

A Call Loan

A Chaparral Christmas Gift

A Chaparral Prince

A Comedy in Rubber

A Cosmopolite in a Cafe

A Departmental Case

A Dinner at--------*

A Double-Dyed Deceiver

A Fog in Santone

A Harlem Tragedy

A Lickpenny Lover

A Little Local Colour

A Little Talk about Mobs

A Madison Square Arabian Night

A Matter of Mean Elevation

A Midsummer Knight's Dream

A Midsummer Masquerade

A Municipal Report

A Newspaper Story

A Night in New Arabia

A Philistine in Bohemia

A Poor Rule

A Ramble in Aphasia

A Retrieved Reformation

A Ruler of Men

A Sacrifice Hit

A Service of Love

A Snapshot at the President

A Strange Story

A Technical Error

A Tempered Wind

According to Their Lights

After Twenty Years

An Adjustment of Nature

An Afternoon Miracle

An Apology

An Unfinished Christmas Story

An Unfinished Story

Aristocracy Versus Hash

Art and the Bronco

At Arms With Morpheus

Babes in the Jungle


Between Rounds

Bexar Scrip No. 2692

Blind Man's Holiday

Brickdust Row

Buried Treasure

By Courier

Calloway's Code


Cherchez La Femme

Christmas by Injunction

Compliments of the Season

Confessions of a Humorist

Conscience in Art

Cupid a La Carte

Cupid's Exile Number Two


Dougherty's Eye-Opener

Elsie in New York

Extradited from Bohemia

Fickle Fortune or How Gladys Hustled

Friends in San Rosario

From Each According to His Ability

From the Cabby's Seat

Georgia's Ruling


He Also Serves

Hearts and Crosses

Hearts and Hands

Helping the Other Fellow

Holding Up a Train

Hostages to Momus

Hygeia at the Solito

Innocents of Broadway

Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet

Jimmy Hayes and Muriel

Law and Order

Let Me Feel Your Pulse

Little Speck in Garnered Fruit

Lord Oakhurst's Curse

Lost on Dress Parade

Madame Bo-Peep, of the Ranches

Makes the Whole World Kin

Mammon and the Archer

Man About Town

Masters of Arts

Memoirs of a Yellow Dog

Modern Rural Sports

Money Maze

Nemesis and the Candy Man

New York by Camp Fire Light

Next to Reading Matter

No Story

October and June

On Behalf of the Management

One Dollar's Worth

One Thousand Dollars

Out of Nazareth

Past One at Rooney's


Proof of the Pudding

Psyche and the Pskyscraper

Queries and Answers

Roads of Destiny

Roses, Ruses and Romance

Rouge et Noir

Round the Circle

Rus in Urbe

Schools and Schools

Seats of the Haughty

Shearing the Wolf



Sisters of the Golden Circle


Sociology in Serge and Straw

Sound and Fury

Springtime a La Carte

Squaring the Circle

Strictly Business

Strictly Business

Suite Homes and Their Romance

Telemachus, Friend

The Admiral

The Adventures of Shamrock Jolnes

The Assessor of Success

The Atavism of John Tom Little Bear

The Badge of Policeman O'Roon

The Brief Debut of Tildy

The Buyer From Cactus City

The Caballero's Way

The Cactus

The Caliph and the Cad

The Caliph, Cupid and the Clock

The Call of the Tame

The Chair of Philanthromathematics

The Champion of the Weather

The Church with an Overshot-Wheel

The City of Dreadful Night

The Clarion Call

The Coming-Out of Maggie

The Complete Life of John Hopkins

The Cop and the Anthem

The Count and the Wedding Guest

The Country of Elusion

The Day Resurgent

The Day We Celebrate

The Defeat of the City

The Detective Detector

The Diamond of Kali

The Discounters of Money

The Dog and the Playlet

The Door of Unrest

The Dream

The Duel

The Duplicity of Hargraves

The Easter of the Soul

The Emancipation of Billy

The Enchanted Kiss

The Enchanted Profile

The Ethics of Pig

The Exact Science of Matrimony

The Ferry of Unfulfilment

The Fifth Wheel

The Flag Paramount

The Fool-Killer

The Foreign Policy of Company 99

The Fourth in Salvador

The Friendly Call

The Furnished Room

The Gift of the Magi

The Girl and the Graft

The Girl and the Habit

The Gold That Glittered

The Greater Coney

The Green Door

The Guardian of the Accolade

The Guilty Party - An East Side Tragedy

The Halberdier of the Little Rheinschloss

The Hand that Riles the World

The Handbook of Hymen

The Harbinger

The Head-Hunter

The Hiding of Black Bill

The Higher Abdication

The Higher Pragmatism

The Hypotheses of Failure

The Indian Summer of Dry Valley Johnson

The Lady Higher Up

The Last Leaf

The Last of the Troubadours

The Lonesome Road

The Lost Blend

The Lotus And The Bottle

The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein

The Making of a New Yorker

The Man Higher Up

The Marionettes

The Marquis and Miss Sally

The Marry Month of May

The Memento

The Missing Chord

The Moment of Victory

The Octopus Marooned

The Passing of Black Eagle

The Pendulum

The Phonograph and the Graft

The Pimienta Pancakes

The Plutonian Fire

The Poet and the Peasant

The Pride of the Cities

The Princess and the Puma

The Prisoner of Zembla

The Proem

The Purple Dress

The Ransom of Mack

The Ransom of Red Chief

The Rathskeller and the Rose

The Red Roses of Tonia

The Reformation of Calliope

The Remnants of the Code

The Renaissance at Charleroi

The Roads We Take

The Robe of Peace

The Romance of a Busy Broker

The Rose of Dixie

The Rubaiyat of a Scotch Highball

The Rubber Plant's Story

The Shamrock and the Palm

The Shocks of Doom

The Skylight Room

The Sleuths

The Snow Man

The Social Triangle

The Song and the Sergeant

The Sparrows in Madison Square

The Sphinx Apple

The Tale of a Tainted Tenner

The Theory and the Hound

The Thing's the Play

The Third Ingredient

The Trimmed Lamp

The Unknown Quantity

The Unprofitable Servant

The Venturers

The Vitagraphoscope

The Voice of the City

The Whirligig of Life

The World and the Door

Thimble, Thimble


To Him Who Waits

Tobin's Palm

Tommy's Burglar

Tracked to Doom

Transformation of Martin Burney

Transients in Arcadia

Two Recalls

Two Renegades

Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen

Ulysses and the Dogman

Vanity and Some Sables

What You Want

While the Auto Waits

Whistling Dick's Christmas Stocking

Witches' Loaves

So I went to a doctor.

"How long has it been since you took any alcohol into your system?" he

Turning my head sidewise, I answered, "Oh, quite awhile."

He was a young doctor, somewhere between twenty and forty. He wore
heliotrope socks, but he looked like Napoleon. I liked him immensely.

"Now," said he, "I am going to show you the effect of alcohol upon your
circulation." I think it was "circulation" he said; though it may have
been "advertising."

He bared my left arm to the elbow, brought out a bottle of whiskey, and
gave me a drink. He began to look more like Napoleon. I began to like
him better.

Then he put a tight compress on my upper arm, stopped my pulse with his
fingers, and squeezed a rubber bulb connected with an apparatus on a stand
that looked like a thermometer. The mercury jumped up and down without
seeming to stop anywhere; but the doctor said it registered two hundred
and thirty-seven or one hundred and sixty-five or some such number.

"Now," said he, "you see what alcohol does to the blood-pressure."

"It's marvellous," said I, "but do you think it a sufficient test? Have
one on me, and let's try the other arm." But, no!

Then he grasped my hand. I thought I was doomed and he was saying
good-bye. But all he wanted to do was to jab a needle into the end of a
finger and compare the red drop with a lot of fifty-cent poker chips that
he had fastened to a card.

"It's the haemoglobin test," he explained. "The colour of your blood is

"Well," said I, "I know it should be blue; but this is a country of
mix-ups. Some of my ancestors were cavaliers; but they got thick with
some people on Nantucket Island, so --"

"I mean," said the doctor, "that the shade of red is too light."

"Oh," said I, "it's a case of matching instead of matches."

The doctor then pounded me severely in the region of the chest. When he
did that I don't know whether he reminded me most of Napoleon or Battling
or Lord Nelson. Then he looked grave and mentioned a string of grievances
that the flesh is heir to -- mostly ending in "itis." I immediately paid
him fifteen dollars on account.

"Is or are it or some or any of them necessarily fatal?" I asked. I
thought my connection with the matter justified my manifesting a certain
amount of interest.

"All of them," he answered cheerfully. "But their progress may be
arrested. With care and proper continuous treatment you may live to be
eighty-five or ninety."

I began to think of the doctor's bill. "Eighty-five would be sufficient,
I am sure," was my comment. I paid him ten dollars more on account.

"The first thing to do," he said, with renewed animation, "is to find a
sanitarium where you will get a complete rest for a while, and allow your
nerves to get into a better condition. I myself will go with you and
select a suitable one.

So he took me to a mad-house in the Catskills. It was on a bare mountain
frequented only by infrequent frequenters. You could see nothing but
stones and boulders, some patches of snow, and scattered pine trees. The
young physician in charge was most agreeable. He gave me a stimulant
without applying a compress to the arm. It was luncheon time, and we were
invited to partake. There were about twenty inmates at little tables in
the dining room. The young physician in charge came to our table and
said: "It is a custom with our guests not to regard themselves as
patients, hut merely as tired ladies and gentlemen taking a rest.
Whatever slight maladies they may have are never alluded to in

My doctor called loudly to a waitress to bring some phosphoglycerate of
lime hash, dog-bread, bromo-seltzer pancakes, and nux vomica tea for my
repast. Then a sound arose like a sudden wind storm among pine trees. It
was produced by every guest in the room whispering loudly, "Neurasthenia!"
-- except one man with a nose, whom I distinctly heard say, "Chronic
alcoholism." I hope to meet him again. The physician in charge turned and
walked away.

An hour or so after luncheon he conducted us to the workshop -- say fifty
yards from the house. Thither the guests had been conducted by the
physician in charge's understudy and sponge-holder -- a man with feet and
a blue sweater. He was so tall that I was not sure he had a face; hut the
Armour Packing Company would have been delighted with his hands.

"Here," said the physician in charge, "our guests find relaxation from
past mental worries by devoting themselves to physical labour --
recreation, in reality."

There were turning-lathes, carpenters' outfits, clay-modelling tools,
spinning-wheels, weaving-frames, treadmills, bass drums,
enlarged-crayon-portrait apparatuses, blacksmith forges, and everything,
seemingly, that could interest the paying lunatic guests of a first-rate

"The lady making mud pies in the corner," whispered the physician in
charge, "is no other than -- Lula Lulington, the authoress of the novel
entitled 'Why Love Loves.' What she is doing now is simply to rest her
mind after performing that piece of work."

I had seen the book. "Why doesn't she do it by writing another one
instead?" I asked.

As you see, I wasn't as far gone as they thought I was.

"The gentleman pouring water through the funnel," continued the physician
in charge, "is a Wall Street broker broken down from overwork."

I buttoned my coat.

Others he pointed out were architects playing with Noah's arks, ministers
reading Darwin's "Theory of Evolution," lawyers sawing wood, tired-out
society ladies talking Ibsen to the blue-sweatered sponge-holder, a
neurotic millionaire lying asleep on the floor, and a prominent artist
drawing a little red wagon around the room.

"You look pretty strong," said the physician in charge to me. "I think
the best mental relaxation for you would be throwing small boulders over
the mountainside and then bringing them up again."

I was a hundred yards away before my doctor overtook me.

"What's the matter?" he asked.

"The matter is," said I, "that there are no aeroplanes handy. So I am
going to merrily and hastily jog the foot-pathway to yon station and catch
the first unlimited-soft-coal express back to town."

"Well," said the doctor, "perhaps you are right. This seems hardly the
suitable place for you. But what you need is rest -- absolute rest and

That night I went to a hotel in the city, and said to the clerk: "What I
need is absolute rest and exercise. Can you give me a room with one of
those tall folding beds in it, and a relay of bellboys to work it up and
down while I rest?"

The clerk rubbed a speck off one of his finger nails and glanced sidewise
at a tall man in a white hat sitting in the lobby. That man came over and
asked me politely if I had seen the shrubbery at the west entrance. I had
not, so he showed it to me and then looked me over.

"I thought you had 'em," he said, not unkindly, "but I guess you're all
right. You'd better go see a doctor, old man."

A week afterward my doctor tested my blood pressure again without the
preliminary stimulant. He looked to me a little less like Napoleon. And
his socks were of a shade, of tan that did not appeal to me.

"What you need," he decided, "is sea air and companionship."

"Would a mermaid --" I began; but he slipped on his professional manner.

"I myself," he said, "will take you to the Hotel Bonair off the coast of
Long Island and see that you get in good shape. It is a quiet,
comfortable resort where you will soon recuperate."

The Hotel Bonair proved to be a nine-hundred-room fashionable hostelry on
an island off the main shore. Everybody who did not dress for dinner was
shoved into a side dining-room and given only a terrapin and champagne
table d'hote. The bay was a great stamping ground for wealthy yachtsmen.
The Corsair anchored there the day we arrived. I saw Mr. Morgan standing
on deck eating a cheese sandwich and gazing longingly at the hotel.
Still, it was a very inexpensive place. Nobody could afford to pay their p
rices. When you went away you simply left your baggage, stole a skiff,
and beat it for the mainland in the night.

When I had been there one day I got a pad of monogrammed telegraph blanks
at the clerk's desk and began to wire to all my friends for get-away
money. My doctor and I played one game of croquet on the golf links and
went to sleep on the lawn.

When we got back to town a thought seemed to occur to him suddenly. "By
the way," he asked, "how do you feel?"

"Relieved of very much," I replied.

Now a consulting physician is different. He isn't exactly sure whether he
is to be paid or not, and this uncertainty insures you either the most
careful or the most careless attention. My doctor took me to see a
consulting physician. He made a poor guess and gave me careful
attention. I liked him immensely. He put me through some coordination

"Have you a pain in the back of your head?" he asked. I told him I had

"Shut your eyes," he ordered, "put your feet close together, and jump
backward as far as you can."

I always was a good backward jumper with my eyes shut, so I obeyed. My
head struck the edge of the bathroom door, which had been left open and
was only three feet away. The doctor was very sorry. He had overlooked
the fact that the door was open. He closed it.

"Now touch your nose with your right forefinger," he said.

"Where is it?" I asked.

"On your face," said he.

"I mean my right forefinger," I explained.

"Oh, excuse me," said he. He reopened the bathroom door, and I took my
finger out of the crack of it.

After I had performed the marvellous digito-nasal feat I said:

"I do not wish to deceive you as to symptoms, Doctor; I really have
something like a pain in the back of my head." He ignored the symptom and
examined my heart carefully with a latest-popular-air-penny-in-the-slot
ear-trumpet. I felt like a ballad.

"Now," he said, "gallop like a horse for about five minutes around the

I gave the best imitation I could of a disqualified Percheron being led
out of Madison Square Garden. Then, without dropping in a penny, he
listened to my chest again.

"No glanders in our family, Doc," I said.

The consulting physician held up his forefinger within three inches of my
nose. "Look at my finger," he commanded.

"Did you ever try Pears' --" I began; but he went on with his test rapidly.

"Now look across the bay. At my finger. Across the bay. At my finger.
At my finger. Across the bay. Across the bay. At my finger. Across the
bay." This for about three minutes.

He explained that this was a test of the action of the brain. It seemed
easy to me. I never once mistook his finger for the bay. I'll bet that
if he had used the phrases: "Gaze, as it were, unpreoccupied, outward --
or rather laterally -- in the direction of the horizon, underlaid, so to
speak, with the adjacent fluid inlet," and "Now, returning -- or rather,
in a manner, withdrawing your attention, bestow it upon my upraised digit"
-- I'll bet, I say, that Henry James himself could have passed the exami

After asking me if I had ever had a grand uncle with curvature of the
spine or a cousin with swelled ankles, the two doctors retired to the
bathroom and sat on the edge of the bath tub for their consultation. I
ate an apple, and gazed first at my finger and then across the bay.

The doctors came out looking grave. More: they looked tombstones and
Tennessee-papers-please-copy. They wrote out a diet list to which I was
to be restricted. It had everything that I had ever heard of to eat on
it, except snails. And I never eat a snail unless it overtakes me and
bites me first.

"You must follow this diet strictly," said the doctors.

"I'd follow it a mile if I could get one-tenth of what's on it," I

"Of next importance," they went on, "is outdoor air and exercise. And
here is a prescription that will be of great benefit to you."

Then all of us took something. They took their hats, and I took my

I went to a druggist and showed him the prescription.

"It will be $2.87 for an ounce bottle," he said.

"Will you give me a piece of your wrapping cord?" said I.

I made a hole in the prescription, ran the cord through it, tied it around
my neck, and tucked it inside. All of us have a little superstition, and
mine runs to a confidence in amulets.

Of course there was nothing the matter with me, but I was very ill. I
couldn't work, sleep, eat, or bowl. The only way I could get any sympathy
was to go without shaving for four days. Even then somebody would say:
"Old man, you look as hardy as a pine knot. Been up for a jaunt in the
Maine woods, eh?"

Then, suddenly, I remembered that I must have outdoor air and exercise.
So I went down South to John's. John is an approximate relative by
verdict of a preacher standing with a little book in his hands in a bower
of chrysanthemums while a hundred thousand people looked on. John has a
country house seven miles from Pineville. It is at an altitude and on the
Blue Ridge Mountains in a state too dignified to be dragged into this
controversy. John is mica, which is more valuable and clearer than gold.

He met me at Pineville, and we took the trolley car to his home. It is a
big, neighbourless cottage on a hill surrounded by a hundred mountains.
We got off at his little private station, where John's family and
Amaryllis met and greeted us. Amaryllis looked at me a trifle anxiously.

A rabbit came bounding across the hill between us and the house. I threw
down my suit-case and pursued it hotfoot. After I had run twenty yards
and seen it disappear, I sat down on the grass and wept disconsolately.

"I can't catch a rabbit any more," I sobbed. "I'm of no further use in
the world. I may as well be dead."

"Oh, what is it -- what is it, Brother John?" I heard Amaryllis say.

"Nerves a little unstrung," said John, in his calm way. "Don't worry.
Get up, you rabbit-chaser, and come on to the house before the biscuits
get cold." It was about twilight, and the mountains came up nobly to Miss
Murfree's descriptions of them.

Soon after dinner I announced that I believed I could sleep for a year or
two, including legal holidays. So I was shown to a room as big and cool
as a flower garden, where there was a bed as broad as a lawn. Soon
afterward the remainder of the household retired, and then there fell upon
the land a silence.

I had not heard a silence before in years. It was absolute. I raised
myself on my elbow and listened to it. Sleep! I thought that if I only
could hear a star twinkle or a blade of grass sharpen itself I could
compose myself to rest. I thought once that I heard a sound like the sail
of a catboat flapping as it veered about in a breeze, but I decided that
it was probably only a tack in the carpet. Still I listened.

Suddenly some belated little bird alighted upon the window-sill, and, in
what he no doubt considered sleepy tones, enunciated the noise generally
translated as "cheep!"

I leaped into the air.

"Hey! what's the matter down there?" called John from his room above mine.

"Oh, nothing," I answered, "except that I accidentally bumped my head
against the ceiling."

The next morning I went out on the porch and looked at the mountains.
There were forty-seven of them in sight. I shuddered, went into the big
hall sitting room of the house, selected "Pancoast's Family Practice of
Medicine" from a bookcase, and began to read. John came in, took the book
away from me, and led me outside. He has a farm of three hundred acres
furnished with the usual complement of barns, mules, peasantry, and
harrows with three front teeth broken off. I had seen such things in my
childhood, and my heart began to sink.

Then John spoke of alfalfa, and I brightened at once. "Oh, yes," said I,
"wasn't she in the chorus of -- let's see --"

"Green, you know," said John, "and tender, and you plow it under after the
first season."

"I know," said I, "and the grass grows over her."

"Right," said John. "You know something about farming, after all."

"I know something of some farmers," said I, "and a sure scythe will mow
them down some day."

On the way back to the house a beautiful and inexplicable creature walked
across our path. I stopped irresistibly fascinated, gazing at it. John
waited patiently, smoking his cigarette. He is a modern farmer. After
ten minutes he said: "Are you going to stand there looking at that chicken
all day? Breakfast is nearly ready."

"A chicken?" said I.

"A White Orpington hen, if you want to particularize."

"A White Orpington hen?" I repeated, with intense interest. The fowl
walked slowly away with graceful dignity, and I followed like a child
after the Pied Piper. Five minutes more were allowed me by John, and then
he took me by the sleeve and conducted me to breakfast.

After I had been there a week I began to grow alarmed. I was sleeping and
eating well and actually beginning to enjoy life. For a man in my
desperate condition that would never do. So I sneaked down to the
trolley-car station, took the car for Pineville, and went to see one of
the best physicians in town. By this time I knew exactly what to do when
I needed medical treatment. I hung my hat on the back of a chair, and
said rapidly:

"Doctor, I have cirrhosis of the heart, indurated arteries, neurasthenia,
neuritis, acute indigestion, and convalescence. I am going to live on a
strict diet. I shall also take a tepid bath at night and a cold one in
the morning. I shall endeavour to be cheerful, and fix my mind on
pleasant subjects. In the way of drugs I intend to take a phosphorous
pill three times a day, preferably after meals, and a tonic composed of
the tinctures of gentian, cinchona, calisaya, and cardamom compound. Into
each teaspoonful of this I shall mix tincture of nux vomica, beginning
with one drop and increasing it a drop each day until the maximum dose is
reached. I shall drop this with a medicine-dropper, which can be procured
at a trifling cost at any pharmacy. Good morning."

I took my hat and walked out. After I had closed the door I remembered
something that I had forgotten to say. I opened it again. The doctor had
not moved from where he had been sitting, but he gave a slightly nervous
start when he saw me again.

"I forgot to mention," said I, "that I shall also take absolute rest and

After this consultation I felt much better. The reestablishing in my mind
of the fact that I was hopelessly ill gave me so much satisfaction that I
almost became gloomy again. There is nothing more alarming to a
neurasthenic than to feel himself growing well and cheerful.

John looked after me carefully. After I had evinced so much interest in
his White Orpington chicken he tried his best to divert my mind, and was
particular to lock his hen house of nights. Gradually the tonic mountain
air, the wholesome food, and the daily walks among the hills so alleviated
my malady that I became utterly wretched and despondent. I heard of a
country doctor who lived in the mountains nearby. I went to see him and
told him the whole story. He was a gray-bearded man with clear, blue, wr
inkled eyes, in a home-made suit of gray jeans.

In order to save time I diagnosed my case, touched my nose with my right
forefinger, struck myself below the knee to make my foot kick, sounded my
chest, stuck out my tongue, and asked him the price of cemetery lots in

He lit his pipe and looked at me for about three minutes. "Brother," he
said, after a while, "you are in a mighty bad way. There's a chance for
you to pull through, but it's a mighty slim one."

"What can it be?" I asked eagerly. "I have taken arsenic and gold,
phosphorus, exercise, nux vomica, hydrotherapeutic baths, rest,
excitement, codein, and aromatic spirits of ammonia. Is there anything
left in the pharmacopoeia?"

"Somewhere in these mountains," said the doctor, "there's a plant growing
-- a flowering plant that'll cure you, and it's about the only thing that
will. It's of a kind that's as old as the world; but of late it's
powerful scarce and hard to find. You and I will have to hunt it up. I'm
not engaged in active practice now: I'm getting along in years; but I'll
take your case. You'll have to come every day in the afternoon and help
me hunt for this plant till we find it. The city doctors may know a lot
about new scientific things, but they don't know much about the cures that
nature carries around in her saddlebags."

So every day the old doctor and I hunted the cure-all plant among the
mountains and valleys of the Blue Ridge. Together we toiled up steep
heights so slippery with fallen autumn leaves that we had to catch every
sapling and branch within our reach to save us from falling. We waded
through gorges and chasms, breast-deep with laurel and ferns; we followed
the banks of mountain streams for miles; we wound our way like Indians
through brakes of pine -- road side, hill side, river side, mountain side
we explored in our search for the miraculous plant.

As the old doctor said, it must have grown scarce and hard to find. But
we followed our quest. Day by day we plumbed the valleys, scaled the
heights, and tramped the plateaus in search of the miraculous plant.
Mountain-bred, he never seemed to tire. I often reached home too fatigued
to do anything except fall into bed and sleep until morning. This we kept
up for a month.

One evening after I had returned from a six-mile tramp with the old
doctor, Amaryllis and I took a little walk under the trees near the road.
We looked at the mountains drawing their royal-purple robes around them
for their night's repose.

"I'm glad you're well again," she said. "When you first came you
frightened me. I thought you were really ill."

"Well again!" I almost shrieked. "Do you know that I have only one chance
in a thousand to live?"

Amaryllis looked at me in surprise. "Why," said she, "you are as strong
as one of the plough-mules, you sleep ten or twelve hours every night, and
you are eating us out of house and home. What more do you want?"

"I tell you," said I, "that unless we find the magic -- that is, the plant
we are looking for -- in time, nothing can save me. The doctor tells me

"What doctor?"

"Doctor Tatum -- the old doctor who lives halfway up Black Oak Mountain.
Do you know him?"

"I have known him since I was able to talk. And is that where you go
every day -- is it he who takes you on these long walks and climbs that
have brought back your health and strength? God bless the old doctor."

Just then the old doctor himself drove slowly down the road in his rickety
old buggy. I waved my hand at him and shouted that I would be on hand the
next day at the usual time. He stopped his horse and called to Amaryllis
to come out to him. They talked for five minutes while I waited. Then
the old doctor drove on.

When we got to the house Amaryllis lugged out an encyclopaedia and sought
a word in it. "The doctor said," she told me, "that you needn't call any
more as a patient, but he'd be glad to see you any time as a friend. And
then he told me to look up my name in the encyclopaedia and tell you what
it means. It seems to be the name of a genus of flowering plants, and
also the name of a country girl in Theocritus and Virgil. What do you
suppose the doctor meant by that?"

"I know what he meant," said I. "I know now."

A word to a brother who may have come under the spell of the unquiet Lady

The formula was true. Even though gropingly at times, the physicians of
the walled cities had put their fingers upon the specific medicament.

And so for the exercise one is referred to good Doctor Tatum on Black Oak
Mountain -- take the road to your right at the Methodist meeting house in
the pine-grove.

Absolute rest and exercise!

What rest more remedial than to sit with Amaryllis in the shade, and, with
a sixth sense, read the wordless Theocritan idyl of the gold-bannered blue
mountains marching orderly into the dormitories of the night?

© Art Branch Inc. | English Dictionary