medical gentlemen, some or all of whom seem to have been graduates of Gegg
College, met one evening in a hotel in Glasgow. As they had known each
other in their youth, and the majority had been abroad, each entertained
the others by telling some wonderful cure, bordering on the miraculous,
that he had performed. The incredulous laugh and jest of the party
followed each narrator. There was, however, one of the company who seemed
to believe each, and ended the doubts of the rest by saying:
"Well, and it might be true."
Each was individually pleased with
him for believing his story, although all thought him exceedingly simple
for believing the stories of the others. When it came to this individual’s
turn to tell his own story, he began:
"When I was on board the
lying off Kinburn, we cast anchor before
the Russian fort, and set to action. After the action was finished, as I
was going my round, attending to the wounded, I came to a man shot through
the middle by a chain bullet. My attendant said to me:
"What shall I do with this man?’
"'Put him into a sack,’ said I,
intending to have the burial service read over him, and to have him
lowered into the deep by and by. I forgot the matter till going my rounds
next day, when I came to the sack.
"What have you got there?’ I said to
"The man,’ he said, ‘that you told
me to put into the sack.’
"He opened the sack, and judge my
surprise—the man was actually alive. Well, I administered to him the best
and most nutritious aliment that the ship could afford. He seemed
delicate; I therefore thought it safest not to take him out of the sack.
About three months afterwards, when the ship arrived in England, I was
ordered by the Board of Admiralty to show my wounded, that they might
decide on the pensions to be given. Among the rest was placed this man
before the Board. He was ordered to walk. What was our surprise,—he walked
backwards. The stupid fellow of an attendant had not taken sufficient
care, but put the under half of his body to look one way, and the upper
half to look another.
"The Board was a little puzzled at
first what to do with the man. He was no longer of use as a sailor. After
some deliberation it was agreed to make him a ropemaker, and now he is the
best ropemaker in all England, for he walks forward all the time that he
looks to the rope."
"Where is that man to be seen?" was
asked. The reply was:
"He is at present employed in the
Government rope-works at Portsmouth, where he has nine shillings a week
more than any other man, besides his pension."