The Eve of All-Hallows, Vol. 3 (of 3) (Illustrated)

The Eve of All-Hallows, Vol. 3 (of 3) (Illustrated)

by Matthew Weld Hartstonge

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The banditti who made the fierce and fiery attack, as recounted in our last chapter, a few days subsequent to that sad event were arrested by the Gens d'Armes in Soignies wood. They had been composed, it appeared upon examination, of the daring and desperate of different nations, and that their leader was a Spaniard.

But it is indeed full time that we should return to the mansion of Tyrconnel, where [2]all was distress and dismay. But amid all this incidental confusion and alarm no time whatever had been lost in calling in surgical assistance; two surgeons of reputed eminence being instantly summoned—an English practitioner of the name of Leach, who long had been a resident at Brussels, and a Monsieur Bourreau, a French surgeon in considerable practice, likewise a resident of this ancient city, who immediately obeyed the summons.

Monsieur Bourreau was the first to arrive, who had a conference with Sir Patricius Placebo, understanding that he was a medical gentleman.

Monsieur Bourreau.—"Ah! serviteur, Monsieur.—Mais je demand votre pardon! car je pourrois dire, le Chevalier Aussi-bon!"

Sir Patricius Placebo.—"Hem, hem! Placebo, je dis Placebo!—Prononces comme il faut, si vous plais, Monsieur Chirurgien!"

Monsieur Bourreau.—"Oh, pardon encore, je demand tres humblement de votre mains. Je dis, Chevalier Placebo, que les blesseurs portées de les fusils sont toujours trop [3]dangereux; et pour moi, Chevalier Assebo, je prefere dix blesseurs de l'epée partout, à une diable blesseure de portée de fusil!—Mais, neanmoins, toujours chacun à son goût!"

Sir Patricius.—"Cette remarque, Monsieur Chirurgien, est trop vrai; et vous-avez sans doute beaucoup de raison certainment; car comme ils ont dit autrefois,

'De gustibus non disputandum!'

Hem, hem, ahem!"—having immediate recourse to his Carolus' snuff-box, which in the first instance he most politely handed to Monsieur Bourreau. And here the name of Surgeon Leach being announced, the two surgeons with due formality were conducted by the medical baronet to the sick man's chamber.

They found their patient suffering under much bodily pain, attended also with inflammation and a considerable degree of fever. They alternately felt his pulse, holding forth their watches, upon which they intently gazed; then looked at each other grave and portentous as the visages of two undertakers in their [4]vocation, and most sadly shook their sapient sconces.

However, it was not long before a very decided difference of opinion arose between the knights of the lance—to wit, M. Bourreau was for the immediate extraction of the ball, insisting most strenuously that such an operation was unavoidably necessary, thus to effect the enlargement of the wound, in order finally to extract the ball, which was the immediate and important consideration of the case, and thus finally to facilitate the cure; but at the same time with candour he acknowledged that the operation would not be unattended with pain. Meanwhile Mr. Leach was for leaving the bullet gradually to work out its own tranquil way in the quiet lapse of years and time, which result, he insisted pertinaciously, he had known to be the case in numerous instances, where bullets have remained innocuously lodged in several parts of the human body, until eventually, after a long lapse of years, they have worked forth a passage to the surface, and have been easily extracted. And other cases he knew, where individuals have retained with impu[5]nity bullets within their bodies, from a gun-shot or pistol wound, even to the closing hour of a protracted life.

Mr. Leach was likewise too of opinion that, as the wound was placed upon a joint, assuredly, that both knife and forceps should be put under due restraint, nor should any more opening be made than what was quite absolutely and imperatively necessary to meet the circumstances of the case.

It was considered incumbent by the duke, from this most serious difference of opinion, that a third surgeon should instantly be called in as umpire, and that his opinion in this intended consultation should be absolute.

Accordingly a Dutch surgeon, cognomine Mynheer Van Phlebodem, a practitioner of considerable repute, was called in, who, in conferring with his learned brethren, after a minute examination of the patient, whom he found labouring under a restless accession of fever, and having understood that Sir David Bruce had not sustained any loss of blood worth noticing, as issuing from the wound, the sage Mynheer considered it advisable to open a vein immediately, as he [6]was decidedly of opinion, from a course of long established practice, that repeated and copious bleedings, promptly and immediately adopted in the commencement, seldom or never fail of being attended with success.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940148993018
Publisher: Lost Leaf Publications
Publication date: 01/04/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 205 KB

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