Then, as the old man babbled on, he descended from the fence, shouldered his umbrella, and together the two started for the ferry. He said he wanted to buy a new suit of clothes. That he had on he had bought in 1807 in Germany, and it was beginning to get threadbare. So the reporter led him over the river, put him in a horse-car, asked him to send his address to the office, and the aged pilgrim nudged up into a corner seat, put his valise on the floor and sailed serenely out of sight amid the reverberation of the oaths hurled by the driver at an Irish drayman who occupied the track in front of the car.
THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF DR. PERKINS.
It might be hardly fair to say that Doctor Perkins, a former resident of the village, was a quack; he may be described in milder phrase as an irregular practitioner. He belonged to none of the accepted schools, but treated his patients in accordance with certain theories of his own. The doctor had a habit of relating remarkable stories of his own achievements, and the most wonderful of these was his account of an attempt that he once made to cure a man named Simpson of consumption by the process of transfusion of blood. The doctor, according to his own story, determined to inject healthy blood into Simpson’s veins.
As no human being was willing to shed his blood for Simpson, the doctor bled Simpson’s goat; and opening a vein in Simpson’s arm, he injected about two quarts of the blood into the patient’s system. Simpson immediately began to revive, but, singular to relate, no sooner had his strength returned than he jumped out of bed; and twitching his head about after the fashion of a goat, he made a savage attempt to butt the doctor. That medical gentleman, after having Simpson’s head plunged against his stomach three or four times, took refuge in the closet; whereupon Simpson banged his head against the panel of the door a couple of times, and would probably have broken it to splinters had not his mother-in-law entered at that moment and diverted his attention. One well-directed blow from Simpson floored her, and then, while she screamed for help, Simpson frolicked around over the floor, making assiduous efforts to nibble the green flowers in the ingrain carpet. When they called the hired man in and tied him down on the bed, an effort was made to interview him, but the only answer he could give to such questions as how he felt and when he wanted his medicine was a “ba-a” precisely like that of a goat, and then he would strain himself in an effort to butt a hole in the headboard. The condition of the patient was so alarming, and Mrs. Simpson was so indignant, that Dr. Perkins determined to undo the evil if possible. So he first bled Simpson freely, and then, by heavily bribing Simpson’s Irishman, he procured fresh blood from him, and injected Simpson the second time. Simpson recovered, but he shocked his old Republican