Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/400

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was an unmistakable look of mortification on the part of those who had consented to summon this Æsculapius, but there was no help for it now. At this moment a visitor was announced to Mr. Marsh, and the lady therefore was the first to prove the wild man's skill. He examined the injured foot, placed it in warm water, dipped his own fingers in olive oil, and rubbed and pressed the foot very gently for about twenty minutes. He then carefully dried it and bade his patient walk. She hesitated, having suffered so much and so long from every effort of that kind; but an imperative 'Imsheh, imsheh,' decided her. She placed her foot firmly on the floor and took a step, another and another, and still no pain. In a few minutes she was in the street, and, after strolling some hours among the bazaars of the city, returned without the least feeling of discomfort. The cure was perfect and permanent.

"In the meantime Mr. Marsh had passed through a more severe ordeal at the hands of the magician. His foot and ankle, which were both badly swollen and discolored, were very sensitive to the manipulation, and especially to the energetic pulling which in this case was a part of the treatment, and at the end of three quarters of an hour he was well-nigh exhausted by the pain. But then, on looking at his foot, he was surprised to find that the swelling had disappeared, the color was almost entirely natural, and the shoe and stocking, which had been laid aside for almost two weeks, were put on with perfect ease. He was then directed to walk, which to his amazement he found he could do without the least pain; and the only unpleasant sensation he experienced afterward was a slight stiffness for the first day or two, which, however, did not in the least interfere with walking. After this, preparations for forty days' wandering in the desert were made as rapidly as possible."

Making allowance for the enchantment that distance always lends, there is little doubt that these two injuries were much benefited by the manipulations of the wild Arab. But it is very evident that he hurt his second patient much more than there was any need of. It would, indeed, be strange if the teachings of science did not enable us to improve on the methods of blind instinct. And though science often follows art with limping strides, yet here we can say that science has caught up with art and together they work for the rapid amelioration of disabled joints. No sane person would think of having massage applied immediately to the seat of a sprain, but many imagine that this is what the masseur will do, and hence deprive themselves of the early benefit that might be got from this method of treatment, which quickly relieves the pain, the heat, and the swelling, removes the pressure from terminal nerve filaments, and prevents the parts from stick-