Twenty Years of Hus'ling - novelonlinefull.com
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"Why, do you know, the whole dang Railroad company have got to calling this town Pocahontas!"
"I guess not."
"But, by the Eternal G.o.ds! I know it is so. When our train stopped at the depot, the brake-man opened the door and yelled, 'Pocahontas!' at the top of his voice."
"O, thunder! Doctor; you have been so excited all night that you couldn't tell what he called."
"I couldn't?" he thundered out. "Don't you s'pose I could tell the difference between Pocahontas and--and--well, Johnston, you cussed fool, I'll never be able to call this infernal town by its right name again. I am going to retire."
We remained at that hotel but one day, not being able to make satisfactory rates, besides being dunned for our board in advance.
We then called on an elderly widow lady who was running a fourth-cla.s.s hotel. She seemed favorably impressed with the Doctor, which fact made us feel quite comfortable, for the time being.
I "hus'led" out with a lot of hand-bills, which I scattered over the town, and returned to the hotel to await results.
The first afternoon there came a middle-aged Irish woman to consult the doctor while in a Clairvoyant state. He seated her opposite himself, put his hands on the table, looked wise, and began:
"Madam you have been married several years, and have three children. You are forty-six years of age, have been afflicted several years, and have a cancer in the stomach. It will cost you twenty dollars for medicine enough to last you----"
"To last me a life-time, I s'pose," she cried out, and continued: "Docther, me dear old man, you're an old jacka.s.s! a hombug, a hypocrite and an imposcher! Sure, I niver had a married husband, and a divil of a choild am I the mither of. I am liss than thirty-foive, and a healthier, more robust picture of humanity niver stood before your domm miserable gaze! The cancer in me stomick is no more nor _liss_ than a pain in me left shoulder, which any domn fool of a docther wud know was the rheumatics. To the divil wid yer domned impostorousness and highfalutin homb.u.g.g.e.ry! Good day, Docther, darlint; good day. May the divil transmogrify you into a less pretentious individual, wid more brains and a domm sight less impecuniosity!"
[Ill.u.s.tration: GOOD DAY, DOCTHER, DARLINT! GOOD DAY.--PAGE 293.]
Our landlady had converted the up-stairs sitting room into a reception room and private office for the Doctor, by drawing a heavy curtain as a part.i.tion. It was my duty to remain in the reception half of the room to entertain the callers, while the Doctor was occupied in the consultation half, with the patient. Therefore I had a grand opportunity to witness the scene with our Celtic patient, by peeking between the curtains.
The Doctor was fairly paralyzed, and had a ghastly, sickening expression of countenance during the interview.
He made no attempt to speak further.
As she pa.s.sed out and slammed the door behind her, I opened the curtains and cried out:
"CHANGE CARS FOR POCAHONTAS!"
The Doctor began to rave and plunge and swear by note.
He said I had no better sense than to try to make a curiosity of him, and I would make a ---- sight better blower for a side-show than traveling agent for a celebrated physician; and that if I had the pluck of a sick kitten, I would have thrown that old Irish woman out, rather than sit there and snicker at her tirade and abuse of him.
In a few minutes a lady of German extraction called. The Doctor was in no very fit condition of mind to go into a state of Clairvoyance.
With the excuse that business was too pressing to take time to do so, he asked the lady to explain her affliction. In broken English she said:
"Obber you don't kan do vat you vas advertis.e.m.e.nt, I go."
"Well, dang it, sit down, then," growled the Doctor; and placing a chair for her, came to the part.i.tion and said to me, in an undertone:
"Now, you blamed fool, if you can't be dignified you had better leave."
"All right, Doctor; but you may need me to throw her out, so I'll stay."
He rejoined his patient and went through with his usual mysterious performances, and said;
"Madam, you are of German descent."
"Yah, yah, das ish so," she answered.
"Your weight is about two hundred pounds," was his next venture.
"Yah, yah; das ish so too," she replied. "How you vas know all dem tings?"
"You are not married----"
"Vas?" she began, almost terror-stricken.
"---- long," he interposed.
"Oh, you mean not married long time, Doctor? Das ist schust right."
"You are twenty-two years of age, and the mother of one child," he next ventured.
"How you vas know all dot?" she asked, excitedly.
"You can be cured, madam; but it will take some little time to do it, and you must take my medicine exactly as I direct you."
"How mooch costen?"
"Twenty dollars for the first lot of medicine, and when that is gone I'll see you again."
She then said:
"Vel, Doctor, I youst got ten dollar. You take dot, und I pay you de undter ten last week."
"Not much," said the Doctor, firmly. "Twenty dollars or nothing."
I then looked in, and calling him to me, whispered:
"Great Heavens! don't let her leave with that ten dollars. Take it; take it quick!"
"Well, but the fool wants to pay the balance last week instead of next week."
"But suppose she never pays? You haven't even told her what her complaint is yet; and it's worth ten dollars to get out of that."
"Thunderation! haven't I told her that yet?" he asked, in great excitement.
I a.s.sured him in the negative. He immediately returned to the patient and said:
"Well, I guess I'll let you pay me the ten dollars."
"But, Doctor," she e.j.a.c.u.l.a.t.ed; "you no tell me yet where am I sick."