Page:Germ Growers.djvu/20

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15
THE RED SICKNESS.

of health to take a longish holiday before commencing practice, and they were spending part of their holiday at Penruddoek. They were just about to leave us when the disease I am telling you of broke out.

The first case occurred in a valley about two miles from the village. In this valley there were several cottages inhabited mostly by farm labourers and artisans. These cottages lay one after another in the direction of the rising ground which separated the valley from Penruddock. Then there were no houses for a considerable space. Then, just over the hill, there was another and yet another. The disease had made its way gradually up the hill from one cottage to another, day after day a fresh ease appearing. Then there had been no new eases for four days, but on the fifth day a new ease appeared in the cottage just over the brow of the hill And when this became known, also that every case (there had now been eleven) had hitherto been fatal, serious alarm arose. Then, too, the disease became known as the "red sickness." This name was due to a discoloration which set in on the shoulders, neck, and forehead very shortly after seizure.

How the two doctors, as we called them, became armed with the needful powers I do not know. They certainly contrived to obtain some sort of legal autho-