First Page Project Gutenberg Header Page 90 of 193 Next Page Last Page CHAPTER XIX - Michael, Brother of Jerry

CHAPTER XIX

"I'll see you again," Harry Del Mar told Daughtry, at the end of his fourth conversation on the matter of Michael's sale.

Wherein Harry Del Mar was mistaken. He never saw Daughtry again, because Daughtry saw Doctor Emory first.

Kwaque's increasing restlessness at night, due to the swelling under his right arm-pit, had began to wake Daughtry up. After several such experiences, he had investigated and decided that Kwaque was sufficiently sick to require a doctor. For which reason, one morning at eleven, taking Kwaque along, he called at Walter Merritt Emory's office and waited his turn in the crowded reception-room.

"I think he's got cancer, Doc.," Daughtry said, while Kwaque was pulling off his shirt and undershirt. "He never squealed, you know, never peeped. That's the way of niggers. I didn't find our till he got to wakin' me up nights with his tossin' about an' groanin' in his sleep.--There! What'd you call it? Cancer or tumour--no two ways about it, eh?"

But the quick eye of Walter Merritt Emory had not missed, in passing, the twisted fingers of Kwaque's left hand. Not only was his eye quick, but it was a "leper eye." A volunteer surgeon in the first days out in the Philippines, he had made a particular study of leprosy, and had observed so many lepers that infallibly, except in the incipient beginnings of the disease, he could pick out a leper at a glance. From the twisted fingers, which was the anaesthetic form, produced by
nerve-disintegration, to the corrugated lion forehead (again anaesthetic), his eyes flashed to the swelling under the right arm-pit and his brain diagnosed it as the tubercular form.

Just as swiftly flashed through his brain two thoughts: the first, the axiom, _whenever and wherever you find a leper, look for the other leper_; the second, the desired Irish terrier, who was owned by Daughtry, with whom Kwaque had been long associated. And here all swiftness of eye- flashing ceased on the part of Walter Merritt Emory. He did not know how much, if anything, the steward knew about leprosy, and he did not care to arouse any suspicions. Casually drawing his watch to see the time, he turned and addressed Daughtry.

"I should say his blood is out of order. He's run down. He's not used to the recent life he's been living, nor to the food. To make certain, I shall examine for cancer and tumour, although there's little chance of anything like that."

And as he talked, with just a waver for a moment, his gaze lifted above Daughtry's eyes to the area of forehead just above and between the eyes. It was sufficient. His "leper-eye" had seen the "lion" mark of the leper.

"You're run down yourself," he continued smoothly. "You're not up to snuff, I'll wager. Eh?"

"Can't say that I am," Daughtry agreed. "I guess I got to get back to the sea an' the tropics and warm the rheumatics outa me." Next Page

Read Easily - Free Ebooks Online Library
All the works of art should begin by their ending.
Edgar Allan Poe