Then the man took his seat again on the fire-plug, and after reloading the barrel of his gun put on a fresh cap and waited. Perkins remained inside and sent a boy out the back way for the mail. The first letter he opened was from a woman, who wrote:
“My husband took one dose of your liver regulator and immediately went into spasms. He has had fits every hour for four days. As soon as he dies I am coming on to kill the fiend who poisoned him.”
A clergyman in Delaware wrote to ask what were the ingredients of the liver regulator. He feared something was wrong, because his aunt had taken the medicine only twice, when she began to roll over on the floor and howl in the most alarming manner, and she had been in a comatose condition for fifteen hours.
A man named Johnson dropped a line to say that after applying the hair vigor to his scalp he had leaned his head against the back of a chair, and it had now been in that position two days. He feared he would never be released unless he cut up the chair and wore the piece permanently on his head. He was coming to see Perkins in reference to the matter when he got loose, and he was going to bring his dog with him.
A Mr. Wilson said that his boy had put some of the vigor on his face in order to induce the growth of a moustache, and that at the present moment the boy’s upper lip was glued fast to the tip of his nose and his countenance looked as if it had been coated with green varnish.
There were about forty other letters, giving the details of sundry other cases of awful suffering and breathing threatenings and slaughter against Mr. Perkins. Just as Mr. Perkins was finishing these epistles a friend of his came rushing in through the back door breathless, and exclaimed,
“By George, Aleck, you better get over the fence and leave town as quick as you can. There’s thunder to pay about those patent medicines of yours. Old Mrs. Gridley’s just gone up on that liver regulator, after being in convulsions for a week. Thompson’s hired girl is lying at the last gasp, four of the Browns have got the awfulest-looking heads you ever saw from the hair vigor, and about a dozen other people are up at the sheriff’s office taking out warrants for your arrest. The people are talking of mobbing you, and the crowd out here on the pavement are cheering a green-headed man with a gun who says he’s going to bang the head off of you. Now, you take my advice and skip. It’ll be sudden death to stay here. Leave! that’s your only chance.”
Then Doctor Perkins got over the fence and ran for the early train, and an hour later the mob gutted his office and smashed the entire stock of remedies. Perkins is in Canada now, working in a saw-mill. He is convinced that there is no money for him in the business of relieving human suffering.
GENERAL TRUMPS OF THE MILITIA.