Septimus eBook

William John Locke
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 336 pages of information about Septimus.
and yet so simple; his first idea of combining these with the orthodox drugs of the British Pharmacopoeia; his experiments; his talks with an aged man who kept a dingy little shop of herbs on the outskirts of the town, also called a pestilential fellow by the medical faculty of the district, but a learned ancient all the same, who knew the qualities of every herb that grew, and with some reeking mess of pulp was said to have cured an old woman’s malignant ulcer given up as incurable by the faculty.  He remembered the night when the old man, grateful for the lad’s interest in his learning, gave him under vows of secrecy the recipe of this healing emulsion, which was to become the basis of Sypher’s Cure.  In those days his loneliness was cheered by a bulldog, an ugly, faithful beast whom he called Barabbas—­he sighed to think how many Barabbases had lived and died since then—­and who, contracting mange, became the corpus vile of many experiments—­first with the old man’s emulsion, then with the emulsion mixed with other drugs, all bound together in pure animal fat, until at last he found a mixture which to his joy made the sores heal and the skin harden and the hair sprout and Barabbas grow sleek as a swell mobsman in affluent circumstances.  Then one day came His Grace of Suffolk into the shop with a story of a pet of the Duchess’s stricken with the same disease.  Sypher modestly narrated his own experience and gave the mighty man a box of the new ointment.  A fortnight afterwards he returned.  Not only had it cured the dog, but it must have charmed away the eczema on his ducal hands.  Full of a wild surmise he tried it next on his landlady’s child, who had a sore on its legs, and lo! the sore healed.  It was then that the Divine Revelation came to him; it was then that he passed his vigil, as he had told Zora, and consecrated himself and his Cure to the service of humanity.

The steps, the struggles, the purchase of the chemist’s business, the early exploitation of the Cure, its gradual renown in the district, the first whisperings of its fame abroad, thanks to His Grace of Suffolk, the early advertising, the gradual growth, the sale of the chemist’s business, the establishment of “Sypher’s Cure” as a special business in the town, the transference to London, the burst into world-wide fame—­all the memories came back to him, as he sat by the window of the Hotel de l’Europe and blinded his face with his hands.

He dashed them away, at last, with a passionate gesture.

“It can’t be!  It can’t be!” he cried aloud, as many another man has cried in the righteous rebellion of his heart against the ironical decrees of the high gods whom his simple nature has never suspected of their eternal and inscrutable irony.

CHAPTER XV

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Project Gutenberg
Septimus from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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