OCR Interpretation

The Mellette County pioneer. [volume] (Wood, Mellette County, S.D.) 19??-1971, August 16, 1912, Image 5

Image and text provided by South Dakota State Historical Society – State Archives

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn96090217/1912-08-16/ed-1/seq-5/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for

I I fri fAe I I
■ ■ °f a Doctor. ■ ■
(Cod vrlirht h»
hole Petrie came to me from Ent
land, bearing testimonials from sev
eral of London'a Yoremost phyaiclans
regarding her ability as a graduate
nurse. 1 availed myself of her serv
ices In my private hospital, and she
justified the good Impression she
made upon me at our first Interview.
Sbe was clever, painstaking and ab
solutely trustworthy, and I learned to
rely upon her In the handling of the
most difficult cases. Her health, how
ever, was not all that ft should have
been, and two months after her en
gagement she was taken 111 with a
form of nervous malady. I treated
her successfully, and she acknowledg
ed that, as I suspected, she had suf
fered from the ailment formerly, and
this was a second attack of the old
trouble. It was then that ehe related
to me a rather singular story, which
1 have endeavored to set down as fol
lows, as nearly as possible In her own
Early In the winter of last year
when living In London, I was sent to
nurse a patient by the name of Leo
nora Trefusls. She was a girl of nine
teen, and the victim of nerve distress
In an acute form. The Illness was
brought on by an unfortunate love
affair. Two years before sbe had
been engaged to a Captain Gifford
of the British army. Then the news
reached I honors that her lover had
been killed during an encounter with
tribesmen In India. His body was
never recovered, and the blow com
pletely prostrated the young girl. The
nervous breakdown which required
my services took place. I got her to
confide her sorrows to me, and she
often spoke of Captain Gifford and of
the love she still bore him.
By and by Leonora began to get
well, and soon afterward, to my aston
ishment. I heard of her engagement
to Dr. Herslet, one of the cleverest
surgeons In Harley street. I had
nursed patients for Dr. Herslet. and
never Imagined that he was a marry
ing man. He was hard and dry in
appearance, not more than thirty five,
but looking considerably older. Hers
let was a brain specialist, and no man
living had studied tha anatomy of the
brain more thoroughly. All that mod
ern science knew he had acquired.
J respected Herslet, but at the same
iinie 1 feared him, for ho was a silent,
cold sort of individual whose manner
repelled one. When he became en
gaged to Leonora 1 felt sorry for the
girl. Once I ventured to speak to my
patient on the subject.
"Do you really love this man whom
you the going to marry?’* I asked.
She looked at me sadly and shook
her head. “1 do not,” she said slowly.
M I am going to marry Dr. Herslet sim
ply because my father wishes It Yet
b-* knows that all my love Is given to
the man who lies in an unknown
grave. Dr. Herslet understands that
if such an impossible thing happened
as that Dick Gifford should come back
I could not marry him. Dick will
never come back, of ccurse, and 1
shall be married to Dr. Herslet in
two months from now. You will stay
with me until the wedding 1s over,
will you not, nurse?”
1 readily promised, for I had grown
to love the girl well. On a certain
day not long after thia conversation 1
happened to bo alone, when the door
of the room I was in opened and Dr.
Herslet came tn.
”1 have a very critical case in my
hospital just now, nurse," said he. "I
want your assistance, ns the case Is
one of life or death. You must leave
Miss Trefusls tomorrow and come to
“I cannot,” I replied. “Leonora is
better, but she is still dependent on
"Nevertheless,” he returned coldly,
‘you will come to my house tomor
row evening. The operation will take
place on the following morning. I
■m going to trephine. If I am not
•uccessful, the patient will go mad;
trephining is the only chance for him.
i win arrange the matter with Miss
That evening Lenora came to me.
"You win have to leave me, nurse,”
■ho said. "I feel terribly sad at the
thought of losing you, but Dr. Herslet
1" Insistent and must have his way.
" hen he becomes emphatic I have to
obey him. But I want you to come to
my room; I wish to show you some
you have never yet seen —Cap-
tain Gifford's photograph.”
I followed her to her room and she
hnaded me the photograph of a re
markably fine-looking, pleasant-faced
“it le a good face,” I said, after I
had examined the picture, "the coun
tenance ef a brave man. lam sorry
t° r you. Leonora.”
Toward the evening of the next day
1 w «nt to Dr. Rerolet's hospital,
which was next door to hie own house.
Having been taken to my room and
t’ven some refreshment, a servant
came to ask me If I wished to see my
I*tient. I assented, and In my pro*
r «ffional expand uniform followed
tirl to the door of a room on th.
Brtt Boor. I knocked, a voice hade
•ater. and I stepped taslde. A
J* 11 ®an had risen to receive me; a
fitood on the table behind him;
fit. %
(Copyright. by
A -
Q. Chapman.)
his face and figure were In the
shadow. He came forward and shook
Pray sit down, nurse," he said.
"Has Dr. Herslet told you the na
ture of the operation?”
‘ Yes." I replied. “He says It is a
serious one.”
"Exactly. Well, a couple of years
ago I received a severe blow on the
head and Dr. Herslet believes there
Is pressure on a certain portion of the
brain. Since the tlm. of the accident
I have suffered from epileptic fits. To
save myself from the horrors of a
lunatic asylum I prefer to take the
chance of the surgeon'a knife. I re
turned home a fortnight ago. When
with my regiment I received the blow
which I have just mentioned. I was
supposed to be dead, but was taken
prisoner Instead. I have much to live
for, should the operation prove suc
cessful. If not, there are certain
friends whom I would just as soon
have believe that I perished In India.
But I must not talk too much as the
slightest excitement brings on a fit.
Here is the key of my portmanteau.
Perhaps, nurse, you will go to my
room and unpack some of my things."
I took the key and went Into his
bedroom, which adjoined the sitting
room. A large portmanteau stood by
the door. 1 unlocked It and began to
put away my patients clothes. At
the bottom of the portmanteau I
found a pile of papers on top of which
lay a photograph. I took the photo
graph up, and the well-known face of
my late patient, Leonora Trefusls,
was before me! My mind reverted to
the man I had just left. Surely, as he
turned from out the shadow and the
lamplight fell upon his features, I had
noticed something familiar about that
frank, open face. Where had I seen
It before? Like a flash of truth, or
what seemed to be the truth, became
clear. The man I was about to nurse
had only just returned from India,
where he had been wounded and tak
en prisoner. Was it possible that I
had found Leonora’s lost lover? But
1 must make sure; I must not be rash.
I returned to the sitting room.
"I have unpacked your things," I
said to the patient. “By the way,
would you mind letting me know your
“My name is Captain Gifford," was
the reply.
I left tho room without speaking
further. It was nearly 10 o'clock, but
I resolved to go straight to Ix>onora
and tell her what I had discovered.
1 dressed hurriedly and was descend
ing the stairs when tho front door
opened and Dr. Herslet entered.
“Have you seen the patient, nurse?"
he asked.
“Yes," I answered. “I have unpack
ed his things. I am going out to see
Miss Trefusis: 1 have some important
ui'wb for her."
“I am afraid I cannot spare you
now," he said. “The operation Is to
be performed early in the morning
and 1 want to talk the case over with
you. Come into my consulting room.”
I followed him down the hall and
entered the consulting room.
“Now, nurse," ho said, “what do
you mean by saying you have news
for Miss Trefusis?”
‘ Do you not intend to marry her in
about six weeks?" I asked.
“Certainly: but what has your news
to do with that?"
‘•Everything. You engaged yourself
to marry Ix'onora on a condition. She
promised to wed you only because she
believed her old lover to be dead.”
“Which he is. 1 did say to her that
If such a thing should happen as that
the dead should return to life, I
should in honor give her up. But I
was never sufficiently interested to
even ask the name of the gentleman;
I preferred to avoid the subject.”
“You can scarcely avoid it now,” I
said. Dr. Herslet. Leonora's old
lover exists; he is alive and In this
house now. His name is Captain Gif
ford. Go to Ix'onora, If you do not be
lieve me, and ask what her lover's
name was. Ask her to show you his
photograph. The photograph is that
of the man upstairs, your patient.”
Dr. Herslet’s cold eyes gated at me
steadily. The man's nerves must have
been made of steel, for he never
“I will investigate your story, he
said. “In the meantime, I do not In
tend to allow you to see Leonora to
night. While I am absent you shall
remain here.” Without waiting for a
replv, he left the room, and locked the
door after him. At the end of an
hour he returned. His face was as
cold and Impassive as ever
“I have verified the truth of your
tale,” be said. “I visited Miss Tref
usls and for the first time since our
engagement I alluded to her old lover.
She wept. I asked his name and par
tlculars about him and was shown hi.
photograph. My rival
stairs. Tomorrow I am to perform a
critical operation upon him. Think
what you have put into my power A
swerve of the knife means death. But
I have no intention of committing
murder. 1 ahall operate upon Captain
Giffort and I hop. to be succm. ul.
I will not throw the case away ’ f n .
,uecM> ot •“<* “ J"
greatly enhance my reputation.
aot sacrifice either love or ambition.
The operation will ba postponed. I
will give my patient excellent reasons
for the delay. I shall keep him hero
and operate after my marriage has
taken place. Now, perhaps, you un
derstand the strength of my position.
You can. If you wish It, return to
Leonora and stay with her until after
the marriage, or you can defy me."
"You mean that I am to go back to
Leonora and not tell her what I have
discovered F*
"Exactly; but you can please your
"What Is the alternative?"
"If you do not promise to obey me,
I shall seal your lips. How I will do
so Is my secret. You cannot leave
this bouse tonight Tomorrow morn
ing I will speak to you again. Now
you must go to your room."
He took me by the arm and led me
out of the consulting room. My brain
was In a whirl and I was Incapable of
resistance. I went up the stairs, en
tered my room and sat down to think
matters over. Knowing Herslet as I
did, I saw that It would be useless to
try to leave the house that night.
Perhaps I couM manage ft In the
morning. He had said the operatlbn
was to be postponed, and there might
yet be time for me to save Leonora.
Overcome with excitement and emo
tion, I lay back In my chair, and fell
Into a deep sleep. I awoke suddenly
and opened my eyes to see Dr. Hers
let standing before ms. I tried to rise,
but was unable to move. The surgeon
bent over me, one hand on my shoul
der, the other holding something to
my mouth and nostrils. The faint,
sweet smell of chloroform was in the
air. Herslet's cruel eyes were gazing
Into mine.
“You are In my power," he said;
"I am sealing your lips."
As he spoke I ceased to struggle
and my senses left me. When I awoke
again It was morning and I was lying
on the floor with my head against a
sharp corner of the bedstead. I felt
queer and heavy and there was a dull
pain In my temples. Suddenly the
door opened and a servant entered.
"What is the matterF’ she cried.
“What has happened?”
I made an effort to speak, but not a
word would come, only a gurgling
noise In my throat. I tried to struggle
to my feet, but my right side, arm and
leg were powerless. I sank back
with a moan. As I did so I noticed
a little blood on the corner of the bed
against which I had evidently fallen.
The girl rushed out and returned in
a few moments with Dr. Herslet. He
looked at me keenly.
“This Is dreadful," I heard him
murmur. He raised my paralyzed arm
and let it fall again. "How did thia
happen, nurse Petre?" he asked.
Again I tried to speak; my lips
moved, but no sound escaped them.
“Ring for Nurse Martha," said the
doctor, "and get her into bed. It 1}
apoplexy. I will be back shortly.”
I was put to bed, and soon Dr.
Herslet returned w’lth another doc
tor. They both examined me careful
"It is a clear case, Herslet," said
the other doctor. “Hemorrhage from
the .left middle cerebral, with hemi
plegia and aphasia. Very sad indeed.
The mind is fully conscious but all
power of speech is lost. Broca's con
volution is evidently involved.”
"Can you raise your right arm?” he
queried, bending over me.
I shook my head in reply. *
"You see she understands what is
said to her,” he added, looking at Dr.
Herslet. The two physicians left the
room, but soon Dr. Herslet returned
and sent the nurse away.
"Well," said he, bending over me,
"you can see now how wrong you
were to defy me. I told you I would
seal your lips If necessary, and they
are sealed. I am going to marry Miss
Trefusis, and so I have taken step*
to Insure your silence. It Is possible
that you may never be able to speak
sgain. With my knowledge of |he
localization of motor centers of the
brain. It was easy for me to do what
I have done. When 1 saw that you
were determined to leave the house
** Ahn
; TV
sometime and tall Miss Trefusls what
you had found out, I made up my
mind to oct. I wafted until you bad
dropped asleep, then I administered an
anaesthetic. The rest was easy. With
a suitable Instrument I made a small
opening through the bone at the top
of your temple, just over the center
which controls the power of speech.
Having made tha entrance I Intro
duced a probe and broke up that por
tion of the brain tissue. The external
opening is scarcely visible.. You are
supposed to be suffering from cere
bral hemorrhage. You may later on
rise from your bed, but you cannot
speak, nor can you control your brain
sufficiently to write anything, even
with your left hand. Thus you are as
powerless to convey the information
you know to Leonora Trefusls as if
you were dead. Having performed
the operation, I placed you with your
head beside the sharp corner of the
bed, and upon It smeared a little
blood. «You may call attention to the
small wound on your head by making
signs to the nurse, but she has been
told that the wound was caused by
your fall."
He bowed to me mockingly and left
the room. I lay perfectly motionless
in my bed. I knew that I was doom
ed, chained as in Iron fetters; I, in my
first youth, was doomed to the silence
of the grave. Dr. Herslet would
probably marry Leonora; Captain Gif
ford would probably die. Such
thoughts, sweeping by In grim proces
sion, tortured me day and night At
last, about a week after my seizure,
Leonora came to see me, accompa
nied by Dr. Herslet
“She looks so anxious and pathet
ic," said Miss Trefusls. “Watch her
eyes, Paul; they seem as though full
of a question. She Is longing to tell
us something. Perhaps she can write
s "Try her," said Dr. Herslet, produ
cing a pencil and sheet of paper.
Leonora placed the pencil In my
hand. I glanced at her and made a
frantic effort, but in vain. My brain
directed the words, but the hand
would not obey. I could only effect a
few straggling lines on the paper.
"It is of no use; she cannot," said
the surgeon. "It tortures her to try."
Leonora bent over and kissed me,
then left the room, her eyes wet with
tears. Some more weeks went by;
there was no change in my condition.
A certain morning dawned and I
awoke feeling strangely better. I
could not account for my sensations,
but I felt lighter and less heavy
limbed. I noticed, too, that I could
move my arm—the paralysis was evi
dently passing away. Once again I
made an effort to speak, but not a
word would come. Still, the paralysis
of the arm and side was less marked.
When the nurse entered the room I
longed to say to her, “I am better,"
but I think my eyes must have told
her something for she leaned over me
cheerily and said:
“Well, my dear, you are looking
more like yourself."
I raised my arm about an Inch in
order to draw her attention to It.
"Why, that Is a splendid improve
ment,* she said. "1 must tell Dr.
She stood at the side of the bed as
If considering.
“I am uncertain whether I ought to
trouble him today,” she said. "This
tn his wedding day. But, nurse, what
a strange expression you have In your
face. You have got such curious
eyes—l never before saw human eyes
express so much. I do not believe
that you like the Idea of this wedding.
Well, Miss Trefusis is a beautiful
young lady; but then, Dr. Herslet is
so clever, the oleverest surgeon of hto
day. Of course he is older, but——"
She was interrupted by a knock at
the door and went to open it I heard
her utter an exclamation; she then
came back quickly to my side.
"What do you think has happened?”
she said. "You are highly honored.
There Is no lees a person standing
outside than Miss Trefusis herself—
the bride-to-be. Shall I show her tar*
Mt ayea spoke, my band beckoned,
and Leonora entered. She van to bar
bridal drees. Her beauty was extra
ordinary and startling, but her sweet
face was ghastly pale and her dart
eyes were full of an uncontrollable
sadness. 1 motioned to Nurse Martha
to leave us alone. Leonora came up
close to me.
"I had hoped that you might be bet
ter," she said, bending over me. “I
could not go away without seeing you
and bidding you good-bye. Yes, I am
going to the church now to be mar
ried. Ah, nurse, dear nurse, poor Dick
never came back. I shall be Mrs.
Herslet within an hour."'
I motioned with my hand and said
with my eyes: "Stay with me a little
while. Mine Is a dreadful fate—com
fort me with your presence just for a
few minutes.”
Sbe appeared to read my thoughts,
for without a word sbe sat down near
me. Presently she took my band and
covered It with her kisses. Some of her
tears dropped upon It. As sbe sat so,
and the quick moments passed, and I
knew that in a very abort time her
fate would be Irrevocably sealed, a
frantic determination awoke within
me. If no worda could arise to my
lips, at least I could direct my
thoughts to the Providence above. I
began to pray fiercely, deapairlngly.
I began to plead with Heaven to give
me back the gift of apeech. If It
could be only for a abort time, a few
fleeting momenta, what might I not
accomplish? If I could but aave her
by a few whispered sounds, even if
the effort cost my Hfe, I would gladly
pay the price. ‘As 'my spirit writhed
within me Leonora watched me cur
iously, and then leaned forward and
touched me.
“What Is It, dearF* she asked.
"Your eyes seem to apeak, surely
there is something that is troubling
you. Oh, nurse, nurse, make an ef
fort. Surely you can move that allent
tongue if you try hard. I feel sure
there is something I must know, some
thing you want to tell me.”
My heart was beating wildly, and I
moved my partially paralyzed arm to
and fro. It seemed as though my
spirit must burst Its bonds and over
come the weakness of the flesh. My
lips trembled with one final, gigantic
effort; they writhed as in a spasm,
and a guttural noise issued from my
throat. Suddenly the blood came surg
ing to my temples; I found that the
long-lost speech had returned!
"Leonora!" I whispered faintly.
"Good Heavens! she speaks, she
speaks,” cried the girl. She fell upon
her knees by the bed with clasped
hands. "Dear, dearest, tell me what
is in your heart."
I knew that my words must be few.
I had to select them before they were
“Leonora, listen," I said. "Do not
marry Dr. Herslet. Captain Gifford is
a patient in this house; he is not
dead—he came back—l discovered his
identity: Dr. Herslet tried to silence
me, to keep you In ignorance. Do not
marry that bad man, dear."
I could say no more; my lips quiv
ered and were still. My brain reeled,
the room became dark and I slipped
away into blank unconsciousness.
I was very ill afterward and knew
nothing more for a long time. When
I came to myself Leonora told me the
story of the next few days. Acting
on advice, she went to seek Captain
Gifford, and found him. She said
little or nothing about that interview,
nor did I question her. Dr. Herslet
returned to the house about half an
hour after I had recovered my power
of speech. Leonora herself met him
and told him what had happened. He
looked quietly at her and bis face
grew white; he went out of the
house, never to return. Never again
did he come back to Harley street;
his career in England was ended, and
the reason of his strange disappear
ance was not made public as we kept
the secret to ourselves. Another
great surgeon performed the opera
tion on Captain Gifford, who recover
ed completely, and Leonora became
his wife.
As for me, I grew to have a horror
of my surroundings; everything in
London seemed to remind me of the
terrible period through which I had
passed. When I had regained my
strength I resolved to try what change
of climate and country would do for
me, and I came to New York.. Per
haps I started to work a little too
soon, but now, thanks to your care,
Dr. Halifax, 1 feel that I am on the
road to complete recovery. The si
lence is over forever, thank Heaven,
and the memory of that frightful ex
perience Is fast assuming the out
lines of some fantastic dream.
Headmasters' Replies.
Head Master Peabody of Groton was
noted for his wit. An illiterate mother
with pronounced social aspirations
once wrote him saying that she would
like to "Inter" her son as a scholar at
Groton. What she particularly Insist
ed upon knowing, however, before she
“Interred" darling Harold, was the
exact social standing of the parents
of the boys with whom Harold would
be thrown in contact. Headmaster
Peabody thus replied:
"Dear Madam: With reference to
interring your son at Groton 1 wish to
any that I should be glad to under
take the task. If your son behaves
himself well no questions will be
asked about hie parentage.”
When the same mother received
Harold’s quarterly deportment report
she cent it back, demanding to. know
what "generally good” meant Mr.
Peabody replied: "According to Web
ster’s Unabridged ‘generally* has tho
significance of *not particularly.'**
Doctor—Tour temperature Booms to
have token a drop or two.
Patient—Can’t I do tho mm doo*
•* r ■’’■•• •' ‘t
"What la the cause of the terrible in
crease tn the crop of suicides?" was
the psychological problem propounded
by one of Pittssurg*s notable scientific
men in the presence of a reporter for
the Pittaburg Diapatch. "I do not re
fer especially to Pittsburg,” he con
tinued, “for this species of insanity
seems to be general in America, and
In all other countries. It is a ghastly
record, this self-destruction by bullet,
by deadly drugs, by the knife, the
rope, by gas, by drowning, by almost
every means conceivable, and
nearly Inconceivable."
“Many of the suicides are traceable
to cauaea that are really trivial, but
those are mostly confined to women
and for the most part. I think the rec
ords will show, to young women of the
shallower sort, who have been disap
pointed In what they imagine love.
Sometimes It la domestic difficulty,
and I dare say that nine-tenths of the
cases of this sort are really due to
the impossibility of the family to
make the social show they desire.
This affects the wife and mother
poignantly, probably because of the
presence of daughters who wish to
dress more showily than the purse of
the father will permit. The father
also is fond of his children and In at
tempting to give them all that his
purse will allow be often gives more,
gets deeper and deeper into pecuniary
difficulty, and concludes that the easi
est way out Is the way that will end
all for him, not stopping to consider
that the sensible way would be to live
well within his means no matter what
the demands on his income.
“Nearly always this is the result of
wishing to live like other people live
whose incomes are larger. It la a
silly view of life, and to some
extent It Is peculiarly an American
view. The show that mere money will
give induces a sort of craze to make
the same sort of show that somebody,
else’s money gives, and where ther*
is much more money. I have here a
clipping of an interview with Frederic
Harrison of world-wide reputation ae
a publicist, and it is so much to the
point that I hope it can be reproduced
in the Dispatch. The comment of
Mr. Harrison was called out by the
suicide of a young stockbroker. Mr.
Coleman, whose Income was about
53,000, but who lived to the limit of
about 56.000. He became involved in
debt and paid his debts by putting a
bullet in his brain. Here is the com
"However terrible the cost, people
must be in the swim. Each man to
day in England copies the senseless
extravagance of bis richer neighbor.
They follow like sheep one after tho
other, and no one has the courage of
his convictions. r
"The case of Mr. Coleman Is a fin
ger post on the road along which *«
are traveling today.
“The taste for luxury has Increased
beyond all bounds, spreading from the
upper classes, who started it, to the
middle classes, who were free from it
20 years ago.
People cannot keep quiet now.
They can’s be alone, they can't read,
they can’t stay at home. Formerly
people went to the theater to enjoy
the play. Now, the play is not enough.
They must have supper at an expen
sive restuarant after the theater.
“And it Is not because they really
desire these luxuries that they indulge
in them. It is something even moro
poisonous to public life than mere idle
“It Is a want of mental balance. Th®
middle-class family has lost the power
of estimating things on their own mer
its. They do things now because they
fear to be ’out of it.’ It is sufficient
for a man or woman to see their neigh
bors in enjoyment of some luxury to
want it themselves. It is a lunacy of
"In Germany people go to the thea
ter simply dressed, because they love
the theater. And if a man goes in the
stalls it is because he finds them more
comfortable than the pit—not because
he is ashamed to be seen in a cheaper
part of the house than bis neighbors.
"But we are losing our sense of pro
portion and our equanimity. And
when those are gone there will be no
dedght left in life.
‘‘There are many causes I would as
sign for this. Th® young people have
too much to say. They have not suf
ficient mental balance to be a sound
Influence, though the enthusiasm may
be theirs. But enthusiasm must bo
pruned, or it will run wild.
"The prudent and steady people
have been pushed Into the background,
and they are beginning to think it
must be their proper place. We want
them back again in the van.
"Then, English society, which 30
years ago was impervious to foreign
Influences, has let the restless Ameri
can spirit pervade it of late. Money
must be spent. And the more you can
spend the nobler is the work you will
have done for society.
"This must be fought. We must
make England realise that the simple
life contains all the elements of hap*
plness. It is not for others to ordain
our life, nor to set a value on the
things that make it worth living.
“Wo must cultivate a crop of sound
judgment. The ground has lain fallow
too long, and weeds have sprang up oa
all sides*
"Look here. Henry, you shall not
waste so much of your time on this
foolish aviation stunt"
“X)h. father, how can you talk set A
is a wcy usttftiM sssusatioa.*
.f** '■ 5 Tr v
On the Contrary.
• i< j
| ♦ I A
K • 1

xml | txt