The Priest`s Tale part 7


These causes of themselves often produce tetanus, and hydrophobia and tetanus have many points of resemblance. This is what the doctors tell us. But what good does that do, it they cannot give us at the same time some means of controlling or getting rid of this secret fear? I am waiting to hear from our medical friends on this point. But I beg your pardon, father, for interrupting.

Without ever having read anything of the kind,” replied the priest, “I have often thought of that.

“Meanwhile the weeks passed by, and the peasants were beginning to forget what had happened, or at least had stopped talking about it, when suddenly one morning toward the end of September the boy`s father came to tell me that Christos was not well.

` `What`s the matter with him?`

“ `I don`t know; he`s feverish, and has no appetite.`

Little milk

“I went to see him without delay, and found him lying on the floor wPh his cloak under him. He was quiet, but pale and troubled about himself. He told me that he couldn`t breathe, and that he felt stifled every now and then for lack of air. I offered him a little milk, and urged him to drink it. He sat up and took the cup in his hands; but as soon as he brought it near his lips, he began to shiver with disgust. I had barely cup from him when he was seized with terrible spasms, he was dying; but gradually he came to himself.

Ah! he cried, it s my father`s fault; if he had only got the mad plant for me, I shouldn`t be dying now—mad!`

I tried to persuade him that it was a mere derangement of the stomach, and said all I could to comfort him, but, alas! without believing what I said. Then I left him, promising to come back in the evening—-for I had to perform the marriage service in the most distant village of my parish. Such is the life of a priest: sorrow and joy marriage and death —ah, well—

“Before I reached home that evening I heard that Christos was delirious and violent. His father was waiting for me at the parsonage, and wanted me to help to move the poor boy to another house, where he could be on the ground-floor. The neighbors insisted on this; they were afraid he would get out on the street and bite every one he met. Where he was they could not prevent him from jumping out of the window, and they wished to have him on the ground-floor—where they could keep better watch. The peasants were afraid, and their fear made them savage. I saw that if Christos became dangerous they might shoot him without mercy.

Read More about A Ball part 6


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