Theodore Dreiser 10 страница

case but willing to appear interested, "--what was it you cut off?"

"Why, that sore on my ear up here, you know. You told me to cut it off,

and I did."

"Yes," said the doctor, becoming curious and a little amazed, "with


"Why, with a pair of scissors, Doc, just like you said."

The doctor stared at him, the whole thing coming gradually back to him.

"But didn't you have some trouble in cutting it off?" he inquired, in

disturbed astonishment.

"No, no," said the driver, "I made 'em sharp, all right. I spent two

days whettin' 'em up, and Bob Hart Theodore Dreiser 10 страница cut 'er off fer me. They cut, all

right, but I tell you she hurt when she went through the gristle."

He smiled in pleased remembrance of his surgical operation, and the

doctor smiled also, but, according to his daughter, he decided to give

no more idle advice of that kind.

In the school which I attended for a period were two of his sons, Fred

and Walter. Both were very fond of birds, and kept a number of one kind

or another about their home--not in cages, as some might, but inveigled

and trained as pets, and living in the various open Theodore Dreiser 10 страница bird-houses fixed

about the yard on poles. The doctor himself was intensely fond of these

and all other birds, and, according to his daughter and his sons, always

anticipated the spring return of many of diem--black-birds, blue jays,

wrens and robins--with a hopeful, "Well, now, they'll soon be here

again." During the summer, according to her, he was always an interested

spectator of their gyrations in the air, and when evening would come was

never so happy as when standing and staring at them gathering from all

directions to their roosts in the trees or the birdhouses. Similarly,

when the Theodore Dreiser 10 страница fall approached and they would begin their long flight

Southward, he would sometimes stand and scan the sky and trees in vain

for a final glimpse of his feathered friends, and when in the gathering

darkness they were no longer to be seen would turn away toward the

house, saying sadly to his daughter:

"Well, Dollie, the blackbirds are all gone. I am sorry. I like to see

them, and I am always sorry to lose them, and sorry to know that winter

is coming."

"Usually about the 25th or 26th of December," his daughter once

quaintly added to me, "he would note that the days were Theodore Dreiser 10 страница beginning to get

longer, and cheer up, as spring was certain to follow soon and bring

them all back again."

One of the most interesting of his bird friendships was that which

existed between him and a pair of crows he and his sons had raised,

"Jim" and "Zip" by name. These crows came to know him well, and were

finally so humanly attached to him that, according to his family, they

would often fly two or three miles out of town to meet him and would

then accompany him, lighting on fences and trees by the way, and cawing

to him as he drove Theodore Dreiser 10 страница along! Both of them were great thieves, and would

steal anything from a bit of thread up to a sewing machine, if they

could have carried it. They were always walking about the house,

cheerfully looking for what they might devour, and on one occasion

carried off a set of spoons, which they hid about the eaves of the

house. On another occasion they stole a half dozen tin-handled pocket

knives, which the doctor had bought for the children and which the crows

seemed to like for the brightness of the metal. They were recovered once

by the children, stolen again by the crows, recovered Theodore Dreiser 10 страница once more, and so

on, until at last it was a question as to which were the rightful


The doctor was sitting in front of a store one day in the business-heart

of town, where also he liked to linger in fair weather, when suddenly he

saw one of his crows flying high overhead and bearing something in its

beak, which it dropped into the road scarcely a hundred feet away.

Interested to see what it was the bird had been carrying, he went to the

spot where he saw it fall and found one of the tin-handled knives, which

the crow Theodore Dreiser 10 страница had been carrying to a safe hiding-place. He picked it up and

when he returned home that night asked one of his boys if he could lend

him a knife.

"No," said his son. "Our knives are all lost. The crows took them."

"I knew that," said the doctor sweetly, "and so, when I met Zip uptown

just now, I asked her to lend me one, and she did. Here it is."

He pulled out the knife and handed it to the boy and, when the latter

expressed doubt and wonder, insisted that the crow had loaned it to him;

a joke which Theodore Dreiser 10 страница ended in his always asking one of the children to run and

ask Zip if she would lend him a knife, whenever he chanced to need one.

Although a sad man at times, as I understood, the doctor was not a

pessimist, and in many ways, both by practical jokes and the humoring of

odd characters, sought relief from the intense emotional strain which

the large practice of his profession put upon him. One of his greatest

reliefs was the carrying out of these little practical jokes, and he had

been known to go to much trouble at times to work up a good laugh Theodore Dreiser 10 страница.

One of the, to him, richest jokes, and one which he always enjoyed

telling, related to a country singing school which was located in the

neighborhood of Pierceton, in which reading (the alphabet, at least),

spelling, geography, arithmetic, rules of grammar, and so forth, were

still taught by a process of singing. The method adopted in this form of

education was to have the scholar memorize all knowledge by singing it.

Thus in the case of geography the students would sing the name of the

country, then its mountains, then the highest peaks, cities, rivers,

principal points of interest, and so on, until Theodore Dreiser 10 страница all information about

that particular country had been duly memorized in song or rhyme.

Occasionally they would have a school-day on which the local dignitaries

would be invited, and on a number of these occasions the doctor was, for

amusement's sake merely, a grave and reverent listener. On one occasion,

however, he was merely passing the school, when hearing "Africa-a,

Africa-a, mountains of the moo-oo-oon" drawled out of the windows, he

decided to stop in and listen a while. Having tethered his horse outside

he knocked at the door and was received by the little English singing

teacher who, after showing Theodore Dreiser 10 страница him to a seat, immediately called upon the

class for an exhibition of their finest wisdom. When they had finished

this the teacher turned to him and inquired if there was anything he

would especially like them to sing.

"No," said the doctor gravely, and no doubt with an amused twinkle in

his eye, "I had thought of asking you to sing the Rocky Mountains, but

as the mountains are so high, and the amount of time I have so limited,

I have decided that perhaps it will be asking too much."

"Oh, not at all, not at all" airily replied the teacher, and turning Theodore Dreiser 10 страница to

his class, he exclaimed with a very superior smile: "Now, ladies and

gentlemen, 'ere is a scientific gentleman who thinks it is 'arder to

sing of _'igh_ mountings than it is to sing of _low_ mountings," and

forthwith the class began to demonstrate that in respect to vocalization

there was no difference at all.

Only those, however, who knew Dr. Gridley in the sickroom, and knew him

well, ever discovered the really finest trait of his character: a keen,

unshielded sensibility to and sympathy for all human suffering, that

could not bear to inflict the slightest additional pain. He was really,

in the main, a Theodore Dreiser 10 страница man of soft tones and unctuous laughter, of gentle touch

and gentle step, and a devotion to duty that carried him far beyond his

interests or his personal well-being. One of his chiefest oppositions,

according to his daughter, was to telling the friends or relatives of

any stricken person that there was no hope. Instead, he would use every

delicate shade of phrasing and tone in imparting the fateful words, in

order if possible to give less pain. "I remember in the case of my

father," said one of his friends, "when the last day came. Knowing the

end was near, he Theodore Dreiser 10 страница was compelled to make some preliminary discouraging

remark, and I bent over with my ear against my father's chest and said,

'Doctor Gridley, the disease is under control, I think. I can hear the

respiration to the bottom of the lungs.'

"'Yes, yes,' he answered me sadly, but now with an implication which

could by no means be misunderstood, 'it is nearly always so. The failure

is in the recuperative energy. Vitality runs too low.' It meant from the

first, 'Your father will not live.'"

In the case of a little child with meningitis, the same person was sent

to him to ask what of Theodore Dreiser 10 страница the child--better or worse. His answer was: "He is

passing as free from pain as ever I knew a case of this kind."

In yet another case of a dying woman, one of her relatives inquired:

"Doctor, is this case dangerous?" "Not in the nature of the malady,

madam," was his sad and sympathetic reply, "but fatal in the condition

it meets. Hope is broken. There is nothing to resist the damage."

One of his patients was a farmer who lived in an old-time log house a

few miles out from Silver Lake, who while working about his barn Theodore Dreiser 10 страница met

with a very serious accident which involved a possible injury to the

gall bladder. The main accident was not in itself fatal, but the

possible injury to the gall bladder was, and this, if it existed, would

show as a yellow tint in the eyeball on the tenth day. Fearing the

danger of this, he communicated the possibility to the relatives, saying

that he could do little after that time but that he would come just the

same and make the patient as comfortable as possible. For nine days he

came, sitting by the bedside and whiling away many a weary hour for the

sufferer, until the tenth morning. On Theodore Dreiser 10 страница this day, according to his

daughter, who had it from the sick man's relatives, his face but ill

concealed the anxiety he felt. Coming up to the door, he entered just

far enough to pretend to reach for a water bucket. With this in his hand

he turned and gave one long keen look in the eye of the sick man, then

walked down the yard to a chair under a tree some distance from the

house, where he sat, drooping and apparently grieved, the certainty of

the death of the patient affecting him as much as if he were his own


"There was no Theodore Dreiser 10 страница need for words," said one of them. "Every curve and droop

of his figure, as he walked slowly and with bent head, told all of us

who saw him that hope was gone and that death had won the victory."

One of his perpetual charges, as I learned later, was a poor old

unfortunate by the name of Id Logan, who had a little cabin and an acre

of ground a half dozen miles west of Warsaw, and who existed from year

to year heaven only knows how.

Id never had any money, friends or relatives, and was always troubled

with illness Theodore Dreiser 10 страница or hunger in some form or other, and yet the doctor always

spoke of him sympathetically as "Poor old Id Logan" and would often call

out there on his rounds to see how he was getting along. One snowy

winter's evening as he was traveling homeward after a long day's ride,

he chanced to recollect the fact that he was in the neighborhood of his

worthless old charge, and fancying that he might be in need of something

turned his horse into the lane which led up to the door. When he reached

the house he noticed that no smoke was coming from the Theodore Dreiser 10 страница chimney and that

the windows were slightly rimmed with frost, as if there were no heat

within. Rapping at the door and receiving no response, he opened it and

went in. There he found his old charge, sick and wandering in his mind,

lying upon a broken-down bed and moaning in pain. There was no fire in

the fireplace. The coverings with which the bed was fitted were but two

or three old worn and faded quilts, and the snow was sifting in badly

through the cracks where the chinking had fallen out between the logs,

and under the doors and windows.

Going up Theodore Dreiser 10 страница to the sufferer and finding that some one of his old, and to

the doctor well-known, maladies had at last secured a fatal grip upon

him, he first administered a tonic which he knew would give him as much

strength as possible, and then went out into the yard, where, after

putting up his horse, he gathered chips and wood from under the snow and

built a roaring fire. Having done this, he put on the kettle, trimmed

the lamp, and after preparing such stimulants as the patient could

stand, took his place at the bedside, where he remained the whole night

long, keeping the Theodore Dreiser 10 страница fire going and the patient as comfortable as possible.

Toward morning the sufferer died and when the sun was well up he finally

returned to his family, who anxiously solicited him as to his


"I was with Id Logan," he said.

"What's ailing him now?" his daughter inquired.

"Nothing now," he returned. "It was only last night," and for years

afterward he commented on the death of "poor old Id," saying always at

the conclusion of his remarks that it must be a dreadful thing to be

sick and die without friends.

His love for his old friends and familiar objects was striking Theodore Dreiser 10 страница, and he

could no more bear to see an old friend move away than he could to lose

one of his patients. One of his oldest friends was a fine old Christian

lady by the name of Weeks, who lived down in Louter Creek bottoms and in

whose household he had practiced for nearly fifty years. During the

latter part of his life, however, this family began to break up, and

finally when there was no one left but the mother she decided to move

over into Whitley County, where she could stay with her daughter. Just

before going, however, she expressed a wish to see Doctor Gridley Theodore Dreiser 10 страница, and

he called in upon her. A little dinner had been prepared in honor of

his coming. After it was over and the old times were fully discussed he

was about to take his leave when Mrs. Weeks disappeared from the room

and then returned, bearing upon her arm a beautiful yarn spread which

she held out before her and, in her nervous, feeble way getting the

attention of the little audience, said:

"Doctor, I am going up to Whitley now to live with my daughter, and I

don't suppose I will get to see you very often any more. Like myself,

you are Theodore Dreiser 10 страница getting old, and it will be too far for you to come. But I want

to give you this spread that I have woven with my own hands since I have

been sixty years of age. It isn't very much, but it is meant for a token

of the love and esteem I bear you, and in remembrance of all that you

have done for me and mine."

Her eyes were wet and her voice quivering as she brought it forward. The

doctor, who had been wholly taken by surprise by this kindly

manifestation of regard, had arisen during her impromptu address and now

stood before her Theodore Dreiser 10 страница, dignified and emotionally grave, his own eyes wet with

tears of appreciation.

Balancing the homely gift upon his extended hands, he waited until the

force of his own sentiment had slightly subsided, when he replied:

"Madam, I appreciate this gift with which you have chosen to remember me

as much as I honor the sentiment which has produced it. There are, I

know, threads of feeling woven into it stronger than any cords of wool,

and more enduring than all the fabrics of this world. I have been your

physician now for fifty years, and have been a witness of your joys Theodore Dreiser 10 страница and

sorrows. But, as much as I esteem you, and as highly as I prize this

token of your regard, I can accept it but upon one condition, and that

is, Mrs. Weeks, that you promise me that no matter how dark the night,

how stormy the sky, or how deep the waters that intervene, you will not

fail to send for me in your hour of need. It is both my privilege and my

pleasure, and I should not rest content unless I knew it were so."

When the old lady had promised, he took his spread and going out to his

horse Theodore Dreiser 10 страница, rode away to his own home, where he related this incident, and

ended with, "Now I want this put on my bed."

His daughter, who lovingly humored his every whim, immediately complied

with his wish, and from that day to the hour of his death the spread was

never out of his service.

One of the most pleasing incidents to me was one which related to his

last illness and death. Always, during his later years, when he felt the

least bit ill, he refused to prescribe for himself, saying that a

doctor, if he knew anything at all, was never such a fool as Theodore Dreiser 10 страница to take any

of his own medicine. Instead, and in sequence to this humorous attitude,

he would always send for one of the younger men of the vicinity who were

beginning to practice here, one, for instance, who having other merits

needed some assurance and a bit of superior recognition occasionally to

help him along. On this occasion he called in a very sober young doctor,

one who was greatly admired but had very little practice as yet, and

saying, "Doctor, I'm sick today," lay back on his bed and waited for

further developments.

The latter, owing to Dr. Gridley's great repute and knowledge, was very

much Theodore Dreiser 10 страница flustered, so much so that he scarcely knew what to do.

"Well, Doctor," he finally said, after looking at his tongue, taking his

pulse and feeling his forehead, "you're really a better judge of your

own condition than I am, I'm sure. What do you think I ought to give


"Now, Doctor," replied Gridley sweetly, "I'm your patient, and you're my

doctor. I wouldn't prescribe for myself for anything in the world, and

I'm going to take whatever you give me. That's why I called you in. Now,

you just give me what Theodore Dreiser 10 страница you think my condition requires, and I'll take


The young doctor, meditating on all that was new or faddistic, decided

at last that just for variation's sake he would give the doctor

something of which he had only recently heard, a sample of which he had

with him and which had been acclaimed in the medical papers as very

effective. Without asking the doctor whether he had ever heard of it, or

what he thought, he merely prescribed it.

"Well, now, I like that," commented Gridley solemnly. "I never heard of

that before in my life, but it sounds plausible. I'll take it, and Theodore Dreiser 10 страница we'll

see. What's more, I like a young doctor like yourself who thinks up ways

of his own--" and, according to his daughter, he did take it, and was

helped, saying always that what young doctors needed to do was to keep

abreast of the latest medical developments, that medicine was changing,

and perhaps it was just as well that old doctors died! He was so old and

feeble, however, that he did not long survive, and when the time came

was really glad to go.

One of the sweetest and most interesting of all his mental phases was,

as I Theodore Dreiser 10 страница have reason to know, his attitude toward the problem of suffering

and death, an attitude so full of the human qualities of wonder,

sympathy, tenderness, and trust, that he could scarcely view them

without exhibiting the emotion he felt. He was a constant student of the

phenomena of dissolution, and in one instance calmly declared it as his

belief that when a man was dead he was dead and that was the end of him,

consciously. At other times he modified his view to one of an almost

prayerful hope, and in reading Emily Bronte's somewhat morbid story of

"Wuthering Heights," his copy of which Theodore Dreiser 10 страница I long had in my possession, I

noted that he had annotated numerous passages relative to death and a

future life with interesting comments of his own. To one of these

passages, which reads:

"I don't know if it be a peculiarity with me, but I am seldom

otherwise than happy while watching in the chamber of death,

provided no frenzied or despairing mourner shares the duty with

me. I see a repose that neither earth nor hell can break, and I

feel an assurance of the endless and shadowless hereafter--the

eternity they have entered--where life is boundless in its

duration, and love Theodore Dreiser 10 страница in its sympathy, and joy in its fullness,"

he had added on the margin:

"How often I have felt this very emotion. How natural I know it to

be. And what a consolation in the thought!"

Writing a final prescription for a young clergyman who was dying, and

for whom he had been most tenderly solicitous, he added to the list of

drugs he had written in Latin, the lines:

"In life's closing hour, when the trembling soul flies

And death stills the heart's last emotion,

Oh, then may the angel of mercy arise

Like a star on eternity's ocean!"

When he himself Theodore Dreiser 10 страница was upon his death-bed he greeted his old friend Colonel

Dyer--he of the absent overcoat and over-shoes--with:

"Dyer, I'm almost gone. I am in the shadow of death. I am standing upon

the very brink. I cannot see clearly, I cannot speak coherently, the

film of death obstructs my sight. I know what this means. It is the end,

but all is well with me. I have no fear. I have said and done things

that would have been better left unsaid and undone, but I have never

willfully wronged a man in my life. I have no concern for Theodore Dreiser 10 страница myself. I am

concerned only for those I leave behind. I never saved money, and I die

as poor as when I was born. We do not know what there is in the future

now shut out from our view by a very thin veil. It seems to me there is

a hand somewhere that will lead us safely across, but I cannot tell. No

one can tell."

This interesting speech, made scarcely a day before he closed his eyes

in death, was typical of his whole generous, trustful, philosophical

point of view.

"If there be green fields and placid waters beyond the river that he Theodore Dreiser 10 страница so

calmly crossed," so ran an editorial in the local county paper edited by

one of his most ardent admirers, "reserved for those who believe in and

practice upon the principle of 'Do unto others as you would have them do

unto you,' then this Samaritan of the medical profession is safe from

all harm. If there be no consciousness, but only a mingling of that

which was gentleness and tenderness here with the earth and the waters,

then the greenness of the one and the sparkling limpidity of the other

are richer for that he lived, and wrought, and returned unto them so

trustingly again Theodore Dreiser 10 страница."

_Culhane, the Solid Man_

I met him in connection with a psychic depression which only partially

reflected itself in my physical condition. I might almost say that I was

sick spiritually. At the same time I was rather strongly imbued with a

contempt for him and his cure. I had heard of him for years. To begin

with, he was a wrestler of repute, or rather ex-wrestler, retired

undefeated champion of the world. As a boy I had known that he had

toured America with Modjeska as Charles, the wrestler, in "As You Like

It." Before or after that he had trained John L. Sullivan, the Theodore Dreiser 10 страница world's

champion prize fighter of his day, for one of his most successful

fights, and that at a time when Sullivan was unfitted to fight any one.

Before that, in succession, from youth up, he had been a peasant

farmer's son in Ireland, a scullion in a ship's kitchen earning his way

to America, a "beef slinger" for a packing company, a cooks' assistant

and waiter in a Bowery restaurant, a bouncer in a saloon, a rubber down

at prize fights, a policeman, a private in the army during the Civil

War, a ticket-taker, exhibition wrestler, "short-change man Theodore Dreiser 10 страница" with a

minstrel company, later a circus, until having attained his greatest

fame as champion wrestler of the world, and as trainer of John L.

Sullivan, he finally opened a sporting sanitarium in some county in

upper New York State which later evolved into the great and now

decidedly fashionable institution in Westchester, near New York.

It has always been interesting to me to see in what awe men of this type

or profession are held by many in the more intellectual walks of life as

well as by those whose respectful worship is less surprising,--those who

revere strength, agility, physical courage, so-called, brute or

otherwise Theodore Dreiser 10 страница. There is a kind of retiring worshipfulness, especially in men

and children of the lower walks, for this type, which must be flattering

in the extreme.

However, in so far as Culhane was concerned at this time, the case was

different. Whatever he had been in his youth he was not that now, or at

least his earlier rawness had long since been glazed over by other

experiences. Self-education, an acquired politeness among strangers and

a knowledge of the manners and customs of the better-to-do, permitted

him to associate with them and to accept if not copy their manners and

to a certain extent Theodore Dreiser 10 страница their customs in his relations with them. Literally,

he owned hundreds of the best acres of the land about him, in one of the

most fashionable residence sections of the East. He had already given

away to some Sisters of Mercy a great estate in northern New York. His

stables contained every type of fashionable vehicle and stalled and fed

sixty or seventy of the worst horses, purposely so chosen, for the use

of his "guests." Men of all professions visited his place, paid him

gladly the six hundred dollars in advance which he asked for the course

of six weeks' training, and brought, or attempted to, their Theodore Dreiser 10 страница own cars and

retinues, which they lodged in the vicinity but could not use. I myself

was introduced or rather foisted upon him by my dear brother, whose

friend if not crony--if such a thing could have been said to exist in

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