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be won by faith and constancy, - that the himself on the Adriatic. Perhaps Naples, love of a life could outweigh a solid lump perhaps Florence, perhaps Rome. I'm of lire every year !
ambitious – I must have a large field. I However, the rough salutation brought have ideas; I must try them on all sorts him back to the life that had to be lived and kinds of men. I may even go back to with or without Irene; and he found him- Paris - not much chance, perhaps, where self alone in the trattoria but for one man good physicians are as common as black apparently a few years his senior, with berries; but think of the cases one sees whose face, though he could not recall it, and studies — the number, the variety ! he did not feel wholly unfamiliar. It was if I had but ten thousand francs I'd go not, however, a face that was easily for. back to Paris, and never leave the dissectgotten - not handsome, by any means, ing-room. That's the beauty of science, but, while grave and thoughtful, amazingly my dear Floriani. When you fairly know keen, with brilliant black eyes which her, you'll marry her without a dowry; seemed to be everywhere at once, in an and you'll never tire of her, because the anything but comfortable manner for any more you know of her, the more there's dusty corner or for anybody who had any- left to know.” thing to hide. And there was this pecul- Thus he rattled on, without giving iarity about the whole face, that these Guido a chance of speaking, in a light, same eyes, though so full of light and quick voice and easy manner; while, and movement, had not the sign of a smile in especially when he paused at last, his eyes them, even though the lips and the voice took a glow, as if it was the nonchalance expressed easy good nature; their touch that was skin-deep, and possibly affected, of wildness, in conjunction with otherwise while the enthusiasm, even though exhomely and commonplace features, gave pressed half in mockery, was real. them the odd effect of belonging to some “ Then there is another coincidence," other man.
said Guido, forcing himself to make some “What?" he went on, with a light laugh sort of response to his old comrade. at Guido's evident want of recognition. “We are doctor and doctor — you of “Don't you remember Saverio Calò ? " medicine, and I of law."
“ Capperi ! ” exclaimed Guido. “Why, “Excellent! And have you yet had to think that you should remember me your first client?" after all these years! But I thought No." you'd left Bari for good —
“ Nor I my first patient! Now this is “For everybody's good, I hope. And getting really interesting. We were evihow bave things been going on without dently made for one another. Let's make me ? Not very well, I should say, if you a bargain. We'll climb on one another's are a specimen. You look as if there'd shoulders. I'll physic you for your first been a dozen indigestions in that ragout." illness, and you shall defend me in my
“I have not been in Bari three hours, first action-at-law. And we will dose and after being away three years," said Guido defend each other so well, that there will bitterly — in anything but the tone in be no lawyer in the Two Sicilies but Dr. which one greets an old friend.
Floriana, and no physician but Dr. Cald. “ If that isn't a coincidence !” why, I've a great mind to begin your treatment I've been away six years and back six for indigestion, or love, or whatever's the hours! And what have you been doing matter with you, from this very hour." all this while? Yes, I've been faithful to “ Have you ever studied consumption ?" my first love, who'll be my last — science ! asked Guido, rather grimly, for he was in Here's her health, in what's left in your no humor for badinage, and all the less for bottle. I fell in love with her, if you re. feeling as if those uncomfortable eyes of member, that day when, not as high as Dr. Cald were reading him through and this table, we saw that Dulcamara fellow through. at the fair. Do you remember how I used “Studied consumption - phthisis! I? to operate upon every creature that came - have I not indeed !” exclaimed the in my way, even down to an amputation young physician, his whole face lighting of the hind leg of my grandfather's favor- up with excitement. · Why, phthisis is ite armchair? Well, I've gone through my passion; it is a mystery – the most the whole thing since then; I've walked fascinating of mysteries. It is the pur. the hospitals in Paris, and am now full. pose of my life to discover its cause, its blown into doctor of medicine. No; I course, its cure. Why do you ask don't think of practising in Bari. A physi- “ Because, if you want a patient, I've cian with a French degree mustn't waste I got a better than myself for you,
tient who is offering twenty-five thousand upon the breathing-apparatus of man and lire to anybody who will save him from other animals, until they exercised upon death's door
him the born specialist's fascination. He “ A case of phthisis? And twenty-five had not really exaggerated one whit when thousand lire ? I'm your man.
If he is he described to Guido his idea of the curable, consider him cured. Where can earthly paradise as living in a great hosI see your friend? when ?"
pital for consumption, where he might “He is not my friend," said Guido. “I carry on endless researches into phthisis want him cured for a better reason than in all its forms, with stethoscope, microhis being my friend."
scope, and dissecting-knife, and with oc" And what is that?"
casional experiments of that darker kind “ Because he is my enemy. Because which modern science, like ancient magic, I want him to be well and strong enough prefers to conceal from the light of day. for me to cross swords with him — that is And as he proceeded in his investigation why. Because I don't want the disgrace of dead and living nature, more and more of having for a rival a lot of bones held convinced he grew that so-called consumptogether by a scrap of skin. Because —tion is due to a single cause, whether germ in short — because
or not, and that to discover the cause would Ah," said Saverio, “ I knew as soon be to discover the cure. And with this as I set my eyes on you that you were in belief grew the ambition to be the man by some sort of a fever; and that it must be whom he mutually dependent cause and either dyspepsia or love, I was as certain cure were to be found. as that there's no dish worth a fit of the Nevertheless, into practice he had not first and no woman worth a touch of the even yet begun to fall. He had, in one second. I'll pull you round — never fear. way and another, some thousands of paBut that other case! Embrace me, my tients, and yet had never received a fee. dear Guido! This is more than coinci- No doubt he did not go the right way to dence; it shall not be my fault if your attract patients to come to him; but the enemy does not live to put you past even same old professor who had made that my mending. Twenty-five thousand lire ! solitary criticism on his sanity was fond of Why, with good luck I shall be able to saying that a physician who would prosper work at phthisis for another ten years to must bear in mind that even the most income.”
teresting of patients is, after all, a fellowcreature, and never goes twice to the
practitioner who thinks of nothing but curTHERE was no doubt a good deal of ing him; which also may have had some. flightiness about Doctor Cald. But any thing to do with the matter. Saverio body who judged him by his mere manner Calo—as a fellow-student more flippantly would find himself considerably mistaken. and brutally put it – gave a patient an The Parisian professors would have told idea that he would rather prefer, on the you that they knew of no keener and whole, not to cure him, so that he might cooler brain than the young Italian physi- have another opportunity of looking inside cian's; of no rising man from whom they for the cause. In any case, things began expected greater things. It is true that to be serious; they seemed to threaten a his fellow-students had, from the first, phthisis or atrophy of the purse, in which styled him “The Madman," and had col. the most microscopic investigation would lected, or invented, any number of anec- be unable to discover a centime. dotes to justify the title ; and it is also Therefore had the doctor come on a true that one exceedingly shrewd old phy- visit to his native place, not for a holiday, sician had once said : “ Cald? the best which he abhorred, nor out of home-sick. braio in France; but I'd sooner trust my- ness, which he never felt, but simply to self alone with a tiger than with Calò. A see if among the Cald family, which is man without a heart is madder than a man extensive and complicated in those parts, without a brain. Look at his eyes.” But there might be some fractional inheritance he never said anything more ; and it was waiting to be claimed. And therefore, not such an easy thing to look steadily at also, he had not been sorry to fall across Dr. Cald's eyes. And long before he was a briefless advocate almost at his first ar. out of his studentship his nickname had rival, who might be glad to take a case become a title of honor, and then forgotten. cheaply. For, as mostly happens, his
Of course such a man was destined to enthusiasm in one direction was balanced be a specialist by nature; and gradually by corresponding prudence in most others. he directed his studies more and more! Seeing that “ La Traviata,” the only
opera for which he cared, was set down It was true he wanted money badly; but for performance, he spent his evening at he was far too much of a physician by the theatre; and then, after the very few nature to measure his interest in a case by hours' sleep which he had trained himself its possible profits; though Merrick did to find enough, a long swim in the sea, and not think so, he would really throw over a a lounge in the sunshine, he began to think dozen emperors for a coal-heaver, if the of a round of visits to his relations, in the coal-heaver's case promised him more to hope of hearing something that he might learn. He had half a mind to at once asturn to his advantage. And he was en- tonish his patient and vindicate the honor gaged in putting the last touches to such of his profession by coldly undertaking a toilet as might become a physician from the case for nothing; but the other half Paris, and arranging degrees of long-for- of his mind was wiser, and he did not tell gotten cousinship in his mind to whistled Mr. Merrick that health is one of the only scraps of last night's music, when - two things which money cannot buy.
“ Dr. Cald ? " said a voice that seemed “You see it's really important I should to come from some cousin twenty times get well,” said Mr. Merrick, sinking into removed at the very least, so feeble it a chair. “It's not as if I was some poor sounded, and so far away
devil who doesn't matter whether he lives “ I am Dr. Saverio Cald," he answered, or dies. I've got seven thousand a year instinctively stiffening into an extra-pro- — pounds sterling! and how can a man fessional air at the emaciated figure which get the good out of his money unless he's could easily have entered through the well? It isn't, either, as if I didn't know merest chink of the door.
the use of money. I tell you, doctor, it's “Ah! Then doubtless you have heard hard. There's such a lot of good I could of Merrick - the famous Albert Merrick do. I could go into the best society; I — who has baffled your whole precious could keep a cellar fit for a duke; I could faculty for years? I'm he.”
whack and my fling; and I might “ You wish to consult me?"
double my capital all the while, for I'm "I hear you're fresh from Paris. I one that knows how to make pleasure pay. haven't been in Paris for a long while, so Now, I put it as man to man look at maybe they've found out something or me, and say if it isn't hard !” other since my time. I never heard speak Dr. Cald did look at him, and sharply, of you till last night, so I suppose you but he did not say. aren't much to speak of; but you're an. Mr. Merrick's huskiness had become a other doctor, and that's enough for me. whine. “And then there's a pack of Look here! I tell you what I tell every wretches, poor relations, without a hundoctor I see: I've got an income of a dred pounds among them, and serve them hundred and seventy thousand francs a right —it's my duty to live to disappoint year, and I'll give five-and-twenty thou. every man and woman Jack of 'em; and sand, money down, to the doctor who'll I'll do it, if I die. No, I don't mean cure me of this — cold. A pretty good that; but you know what I mean. Why, fee-eh?"
would you believe it?- there's a cousin "I hope you don't think,” said Dr. of mine, a poor devil of a curate, that had Cald, “ that a physician can do for twenty- the face to write to me the other day for a five thousand francs what he cannot do loan of five pounds, because his wife was for
ill, and he'd got a sixth child, and a lot of “Gammon! Don't tell me that the stuff about a wolf and a door -as if there doctors will leave a millionaire with the was any wolves in England, and as if, if measles for a coal-heaver with a cholera. there was, they'd look for flesh on a cuDo you think I'd go to them if they were rate's bones!" a pack of fools ? For twenty-five thou- “ It was fortunate for the poor man to sand francs I feel safe that the best of have so rich a cousin,” said Dr. Cald, for them tries his very best. I've figured it the sake of saying something while he all out, and based my reckoning on a care- used his eyes. ful estimate of the highest professional “ Wasn't it? If he hadn't, he wouldn't income. I've reckoned that less mightn't have had the lesson I sent him on the be enough, but that more would be wasted. wickedness of giving to beggars — politThat's business; and a man that gives ical economy, you know; pauperizes the less or more than he need for what he population - and the other wickedness of wants is a fool.”
one pauper marrying another, and keeping “Pig!" the doctor would have ex. up the breed. He's wiser now. He won't claimed, had he spoken his thought aloud. trv the begging-letter dodge again. My
father, who was just the biggest old fool of his malice and meanness, but this last that ever lived, made a fool of a will, so brag was the most repulsive of all. The that if anything was to happen to me, and very idea of a young and pretty girl, whoI had no children, all my money goes ever she was, selling herself to this creaamong my cousins — as if it wasn't against ture, made the doctor feel positively bujustice that a man can't do what he likes man with anger. with his own, married or single, dead or And - now he came to think of it alive! So, even if there wasn't my own surely this must be the rival who stood in enjoyment to think of, all wasting away in his old comrade Guido's way. He did the prime of life, there's all those male not think what sort of a girl she must be and female paupers to disappoint and sell, who would throw over her lover for such as they deserve. Wouldn't you like to a husband as this ; for he had never specsee their faces when they find I've got a ulated on women except as cases. Inson and heir - eh?”
deed, that a girl should take the richer Dr. Cald's own face could not help bidder was, no doubt, only patural — more showing some of his disgust at the spite, fools men to bid for them, when there were malice, and stupid yet self-conceited self- so many much more interesting things in ishness displayed in every tone and grin the world. But he did think it moostrous of this wretched skeleton; but the disgust that Guido should be cut out by one with was thrown away.
whom he could not have even the satisfac" And I mean to see 'em, too,” said Mr. tion of fighting. Merrick, smirking and chuckling as well “I'm hanged if you shall be cured !” he as his hollow cough would allow. "I'm thought to himself, forgetting for once the going to be married as soon as I'm well, obligation of his profession to restore to and then some day I shall give a family the world for a few more years of wickedparty. I shall ask all my relations to a ness even one who deserved nothing betfeed – won't they open their eyes !- and ter than hanging. “I wouldn't do Guido they'll find it's a christening. I shall have such an ill turn for ten times the money." married secretly, you know; the first they However, he set to work upon his examknow of it will be the sight of the son and ination with stethoscope and thermomeheir."
ter, asking a few pointed questions the “ What !” exclaimed Dr. Cald at last, while, until at last -aloud. “Marry — you !".
“Well?" asked Mr. Merrick. “How “Why do you speak as if that were any long will it be before I'm cured?" thing out of the way? To be sure. Am But Dr. Cald remained portentously I too old ? "
silent and grave. He was once more only “No; but
the physician, wholly wrapped up in his “Am I ugly?”
case, and that case a bad one. “Oh, signor! Ugly is very far indeed “Signor,” he said at last, “it is my duty from being the word! But
to tell you that you are very, very ill. “Disagreeable? A man who cannot be There is nothing puzzling in your case. loved for himself alone? Why, if I were I only wish it were not so plain. Well, I all that, haven't I seven thousand a year? am speaking, no doubt, to a man of courBut, as you say, I'm no fool. I'm going age. We must all die, a little sooner or a to marry for love, I am love on both little later; what does it matter when ? sides. A girl that I can marry here on It is true there are things one would not the quiet, so that my little joke won't be like to leave uodone, so long as there is a spoiled; a foreigoer, with no friends or chance of doing them. The discovery of relations to bother one, only a sot of a the true theory of phthisis, for example ; father, who'll be no trouble; a girl of hum. but that, happily, is not the case with you. ble rank, who'll look up to me, and won't Ah, it is a great thing to die in the knowlhave extravagant ways; and, last and best, edge that it is the very best thing one can the prettiest young creature in the world, do both for one's self and for one's friends. who adores the very ground I stand on. Yes; it is my only duty to suggest that I declare to you, doctor, she has such a you become reconciled to your relations, passion for me that she'd have me without and to settle your affairs; and — to lose no a peony. What do you say to that, doc. time.” tor - eh?"
“What!” cried Mr. Merrick, trgiog to Dr. Cald had never come across a pa- start to his feet, but immediately sinking tient who inspired him with such utter back into bis chair, where he crouched loathing. Mr. Merrick had been odious and shivered. “You mean that I am goenough while boasting of his purse, and I ing to It is montrous ; it is infamy!
Look here,” he whined, “I'll make it too. And, by the way, there are famous double the money there !-- every penny cresses at a place called San Giove. Only of fifty thousand francs — if you'll give me if you think of going there, go at once ; a chance of a cure. I'm not fit; I'm not for there's no time to lose, whatever you ready ; and those cousins of mine will get try.” it all."
“ Then you think Dr. Cald had never learned any tact; “I think it is a coincidence that you and if he had, he would no longer have should have thought of water-cresses, just used it, for the creature made him feel when you are within a day's journey of the brutal.
finest and most plentiful in all Italy. And “Signor,” said he, “not your whole as to old women — there's no knowing, fortune would buy you one more of the after all. Yes, go to San Giove, and stay few days still left you. I would cure you there; order a post-chaise, and go now. if I could, but you are past curing. I “ And Irene ?" would give you hope if I could; but there “ Irene?" can be no hope, because there is no doubt. “ The girl I'm going to marry A simpler and plainer case was never “If you think of Irenes before waterseen."
cresses, I've nothing to say. If you like For some time Mr. Merrick remained to commit suicide, that's go affair of silent, while Dr. Calò mentally grumbled mine.". against fate for having, after so much bril. “Is it so bad as that?”
“ Just so bad. Here's your one chance ; commonplace and so profoundly uninter- and there you sit, thinking how you can estiog. It must have been full ten mio throw it away." utes before the case spoke again, but to “No, doctor. I'm not a fool. I'll pack himself rather than to the doctor.
up and go." “Then it must be done at once. They Dr. Cald sighed with relief as he heard shan't have it, that's flat — not a penoy his detestable patient coughing his way more than I can prevent 'em. I'll marry down-stairs. Irene at once; and then, whatever hap- “ Water-cresses! What an idea ! to pens, I'll snap my fingers at 'em all.” bring back to life a man who in three
“What ! you will marry?"cried the doc- weeks will be in his grave. But Bari's rid tor, carried out of himself with disgust and of him, and that's a blessing. The brute, amazement. “You, on the edge of the to be cheating me into interest in a com
mon, vulgar case of straightforward gal. “Yes, I will. You speak as if my life loping consumption !” And so forth he - mine — was no use.
It is of use. It's went to visit bis relatives and friends to uodo my fool of a father's fool of a and Irene was saved. will." “ And he'll do it, too,” thought the doc
IV. tor, as the doomed man fell into silence Now, lest anybody with an abnormal again, till
taste for water-cresses should, on the “Doctor," said he once more, “I was strength of Dr. Cald's recommendation, once told that people had been brought make a journey to San Giove for its inback from the grave by water-cresses. Do dulgence, it is only right to say at once you think there might be any chance of its that, though the salad in question does being true ?"
grow at San Giove, it is neither finer nor "Certainly not. Who ever told you more abundant there than in most villages such rubbish ?"
with a brook and a pond. In short, it was “Well, it was only an old woman. simply the first place that came into the But
doctor's mind as being difficult to get at, " So I should suppose.”
much more difficult to leave, and altogether “But sometimes those old womeo do a capital place of banishment for a disasay uncommonly curious things. And if greeable and uninteresting patieot to die in it's the only chance left, I might try it. before he could have time to marry the Would it do any harm?"
sweetheart of the doctor's old friend and “ As much harm as good ; neither less comrade. nor more. But — All at once a bril- If only old Vanucci had known who had liapt thought flashed into the doctor's been the means of depriving him of the mind. “You're quite right, – it won't do chance of becoming the father of a rich an atom of harm; and if some other old young widow, he would unquestionably woman tells you something else, try that, I have made things warm for the doctor;