- Project Runeberg -  The story of San Michele /
385

(1929) [MARC] Author: Axel Munthe - Tema: Medicine
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fallen back in a swoon. The nurse thought she
was dead and was just rushing to call me when
I came in and said the boy had died that moment.
The nurse was right in her belief. Before I
had time to speak the mother looked me straight
in the eyes and said she knew her son was dead.
Erhardt seemed quite broken down by the death
of the boy, he reproached himself for having
recommended the serum. Such was the integrity
and the straightforwardness of this fine old man
that he wanted to write a letter to the father
almost accusing himself of having caused the
death of his son. I told him the responsibility
was mine, I being in charge of the case and that
such a letter might make the father, already
half-crazy with grief, go off his head altogether.
The next morning the mother was carried down
and put into my carriage and taken to the
nursing home of the Blue Sisters where I had
also succeeded in getting a room for her little
girl and her husband. Such was his fear of
diphtheria that he presented me with his whole
wardrobe, two big trunks full of clothes, not to
speak of his ulster and his top hat. I was
delighted, second-hand clothes are often more
useful than drugs. I persuaded him with
difficulty to keep his gold repeater, his pocket aneroid
is still in my possession. Before leaving the
hotel the Pittsburgh millionaire settled quite
unconcerned the gigantic bill, which made me
stagger. I superintended myself the disinfection
of the rooms and, remembering my trick in the
Hôtel Victoria in Heidelberg, I spent an hour
crawling about on my knees in the room the

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