This week’s words: Breakable Sawbones ((n.) a surgeon or physician) Marsh Cry Wither Mortar Crouch Latex Gloves Preta (n.)) a wandering or disturbed ghost) Cellar Mournful Cauterize
Mr Perkins was our town’s doctor though we referred to him more as a sawbones because of his penchant for amputating limbs for what often appeared any old whim. He could cauterise a wound, a red-hot ember doing the trick more often than not.
All his work was carried out in the cellar of his home with his wife, Mrs Perkins, upstairs running a very successful prosthetic business.
Mr Perkins had a very mournful face and would frown during a diagnosis further accentuating his mournfulness and suggest the chopping off of a limb as the only solution. The alternative he would say was the see the limb wither and die, and no one he claimed wanted to see that. Often with the help of Mrs Perkins, a patient would be measured up for a new limb and given an early bird discount if they signed up immediately.
Several patients came to him with what appeared to be marsh fever, and Mr Perkins with a cry of disgust would decry the patient’s loose morals and offer to remove the said infected bit, no matter where it manifested itself.
So with latex gloves and no idea if the patient might be allergic to latex, he would set to work claiming the human body was breakable and if he didn’t act quickly there was no telling which bit of the patient might be infected next.
Hence marsh fever patients could be identified as the ones missing various parts of themselves, such as a finger, a toe, an ear, part of their upper arm and in some cases bits of their reproductive organs which did lead to a lot of discussion as to the veracity of his methods.
In his cellar he kept a crucifix, to keep the ghost at bay he’d say. Preta was his great fear. The ghost of his first ever fatal patient, Preta Jones, a mother and woman with several children and one on the way who with her dying gasp cursed Mr Perkins with being haunted until his dying day. Mr Perkins on days when he felt most vulnerable could be found crouching against the old mortar of the cellar asking if the coast was clear of Preta whom he suspected was lurking in the shadows waiting to cry foul of him.
As it was his favourite saw was often to be found in strange places in his cellar, bones would be scattered about the floor, and his beloved latex gloves spread out and sometimes pointing at him in a gesture of accusation.