Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> Mesmerides in a Stage-Coach; Or, Passes en Passant >> Page 227

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Page 227

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
"Yes, I know; it is all right."
"You are satisfied," I said to Alford, resuming my control over
the patient.
"Perfectly though it's monstrous strange."
"You shall see another proof of my power."
Thus saying, I prompted the veneration of both my patients, then
commanded them to rise and embrace, which they did, and very
lovingly too.
"Enough, gentlemen; we have made peace and prevented blood-
shed, and I hear the wheels of the other stage at the door. We have
nothing more to do than to put them into it."
"What, asleep?"
"Yes—why not? Take my right arm, Mr. Gilbert, my left arm,
Mr. Dalton."
They did so, and I led them down stairs and was about to conduct
them through the bar-room to the stage, and through a crowd of
wondering spectators.
"Stop, sir," said the barkeeper. "Who's to pay the bill?"
"They will pay, each for himself;" and, at my command, they
did so. I then conducted them to the coach and bade them get in.
"By the, I'll go with them and see the end of it," said Alford.
"If you will, I'll confer upon you the power of waking them."
He consented, and we entered the coach together, when I put him
in communication with both the patients, gave him a few brief but
sufficient instructions, and left the parties for my own stage—my
Jehu, the aforementioned John Staggers, having again become im-
portunate for the transmission of the mails. I had good reasons, for
my own part, to promote and encourage his hurry. The village had
gathered together; vague reports had gone abroad of what I had
been doing. John Staggers himself had denounced me for witchcraft,
and Doctor Vomit, the physician of the place, had begun to foment
the hue and cry against me as an impostor, a quack, a swindler and
magician. I had casually called the attention of Colonel Alford and
the others in the room to the singular effect of my processes upon
the pulse of the patient, showing how headache and fever might
be relieved, and this decided invasion of Vomit's province had stirred
up all his bile against me. Though he could not persuade John
Staggers that I was a humbug, it was not hard to convince him that
I was a wizard; and while Vomit was working the crowd, Staggers