And note this:

'"Revelation xii. 6. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared of God."

'That is Boston.'

'I recognise it, madam. These are sublime things and impressive; I never understood these passages before; please go on with the--with the-- proofs.'

'Very well. Listen:

'"And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud; and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire. And he had in his hand a little book."

'A little book, merely a little book--could words be modester? Yet how stupendous its importance! Do you know what book that was?'

'Was it--'

'I hold it in my hand--"Christian Science"!'

'Love, Livers, Lights, Bones, Truth, Kidneys, one of a series, alone and without equal--it is beyond imagination and wonder!'

'Hear our Founder's eloquent words: "Then will a voice from harmony cry, 'Go and take the little book; take it and eat it up, and it shall make thy belly bitter; but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.' Mortal, obey the heavenly evangel. Take up Divine Science. Read it from beginning to end. Study it, ponder it. It will be indeed sweet at its first taste, when it heals you; but murmur not over Truth, if you find its digestion bitter." You now know the history of our dear and holy Science, sir, and that its origin is not of this earth, but only its discovery. I will leave the book with you and will go, now, but give yourself no uneasiness--I will give you absent treatment from now till I go to bed.'

III

Under the powerful influence of the near treatment and the absent treatment together, my bones were gradually retreating inward and disappearing from view. The good word took a brisk start, now, and went on quite swiftly. My body was diligently straining and stretching, this way and that, to accommodate the processes of restoration, and every minute or two I heard a dull click inside and knew that the two ends of a fracture had been successfully joined. This muffled clicking and gritting and grinding and rasping continued during the next three hours, and then stopped--the connections had all been made. All except dislocations; there were only seven of these: hips, shoulders, knees, neck; so that was soon over; one after another they slipped into their sockets with a sound like pulling a distant cork, and I jumped up as good as new, as to framework, and sent for the horse-doctor.

I was obliged to do this because I had a stomach-ache and a cold in the head, and I was not willing to trust these things any longer in the hands of a woman whom I did not know, and in whose ability to successfully treat mere disease I had lost all confidence. My position was justified by the fact that the cold and the ache had been in her charge from the first, along with the fractures, but had experienced not a shade of relief; and indeed the ache was even growing worse and worse, and more and more bitter, now, probably on account of the protracted abstention from food and drink.

The horse-doctor came, a pleasant man and full of hope and professional interest in the case. In the matter of smell he was pretty aromatic, in fact quite horsey, and I tried to arrange with him for absent treatment, but it was not in his line, so out of delicacy I did not press it. He looked at my teeth and examined my hock, and said my age and general condition were favourable to energetic measures; therefore he would give me something to turn the stomach-ache into the botts and the cold in the head into the blind staggers; then he should be on his own beat and would know what to do. He made up a bucket of bran-mash, and said a dipperful of it every two hours, alternated with a drench with turpentine and axle-grease in it, would either knock my ailments out of me in twenty-four hours or so interest me in other ways as to make me forget they were on the premises. He administered my first dose himself, then took his leave, saying I was free to eat and drink anything I pleased and in any quantity I liked.

The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg and other Stories Page 43

Mark Twain

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Mark Twain
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