Elbow-Room eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 248 pages of information about Elbow-Room.

CHAPTER XXI.

CERTAIN DENTAL EXPERIENCES.—­AN UNFORTUNATE OFFICIAL.

Mr. Potts has suffered a good deal from the toothache, and one day he went around to the office of Dr. Slugg, the dentist, to have the offending tooth pulled.  The doctor has a very large practice; and in order to economize his strength, he invented a machine for pulling teeth.  He constructed a series of cranks and levers fixed to a movable stand and operating a pair of forceps by means of a leather belt, which was connected with the shafting of a machine-shop in the street back of the house.  The doctor experimented with it several times on nails firmly inserted in a board, and it worked splendidly.  The first patient he tried it on was Mr. Potts.  When the forceps had been clasped upon Potts’ tooth, Dr. Slugg geared the machine and opened the valve.  It was never known with any degree of exactness whether the doctor pulled the valve too far open or whether the engine was working at that moment under extraordinary pressure.  But in the twinkling of an eye Mr. Potts was twisted out of the chair and the movable stand began to execute the most surprising manoeuvres around the room.  It would jerk Mr. Potts high into the air and souse him down in an appalling manner, with one leg among Slugg’s gouges and other instruments of torture, and with the other in the spittoon.  Then it would rear him up against the chandelier three or four times, and shy across and drive Potts’ head through the oil portrait of Slugg’s father over the mantel-piece.  After bumping him against Slugg’s ancestor it would swirl Potts around among the crockery on the wash-stand and dance him up and down in an exciting manner over the stove, until finally the molar “gave,” and as Potts landed with his foot through the pier-glass and his elbow on a pink poodle worked in a green rug, the machine dashed violently against Dr. Slugg and tried to seize his leg with the forceps.  When they carried Potts home, he discovered that Slugg had pulled the wrong tooth; and Dr. Slugg never sent to collect his bill.  He canceled his contract with the man who owned the planing-mill, and began to pull teeth in the old way, by hand.  I have an impression that Slugg’s patent can be bought at a sacrifice.

[Illustration:  DR. SLUGG’S INVENTION]

Mr. Potts, a day or two later, resolved to take the aching tooth out himself.  He had heard that a tooth could be removed suddenly and without much pain by tying a string around it, fixing the string to a bullet and firing the bullet from a gun.  So he got some string and fastened it to the tooth and to a ball, rammed the latter into his gun, and aimed the gun out of the window.  Then he began to feel nervous about it, and he cocked and uncocked the gun about twenty times, as his mind changed in regard to the operation.  The last time the gun was cocked he resolved not to take the tooth out in that

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Elbow-Room from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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