Follow me to D.G. Hudson's lovely blog where I speak of the Louvre and the cruel Parisian streets:
"The medical system has played a large role in undermining the health of Americans.
According to several research studies in the last decade, a total of 225,000 Americans per year have died as a result of their medical treatments:
- 12,000 deaths per year due to unnecessary surgery
- 7000 deaths per year due to medication errors in hospitals
- 20,000 deaths per year due to other errors in hospitals
- 80,000 deaths per year due to infections in hospitals
- 106,000 deaths per year due to negative effects of drugs
Doctors are making money – LOTS of money for prescribing certain drugs to you and your family.
These kickbacks sway their prescribing decisions, and the result is increased drug costs for you and me.
Elu and I eased our way through the bristling crowd of medical students. We slowly approached the doctor who had so angered both Lucanus and Meilori. The students milled about the man so thickly that they piled up on the back of the doctor. He casually shook them off from his broad shoulders like so many rats and mice.
The sister hushed, “You cannot mean to confront Baron Guillaume Dupuytren?”
I made a face. He was one of the medical giants of France. He was cruelly handsome, thick of chest, and intimidating in manner.
A former battlefield surgeon, he had been made a baron by Napoleon. He held himself as if the M.D. after his name meant Me Deity.
Dupuytren felt himself an artist not just a surgeon. Dupuytren left no doubt in his words or deeds that he was the reigning presence in the Hôtel-Dieu.
He operated upon his patients according to the ancient motto: cito, tuto, and jucunde – quickly, surely, and agreeably.
Agreeably that is if you were not the poor patient whose penis he had just severed in one swift stroke of a giant knife … without anything for pain, not even a swallow of whisky.
He had the flush, calculating face of a rake and gambler … both pastimes of which he was guilty. He spent most nights at the better gambling houses at the Palais Royal. His normal temper was vile.
Sadly, he lost often, his infamous temper becoming even worse, and he took it out on the students … as well as his patients. As he was doing at the moment.
For outright brutality, Lucanus told me, the “great Guillaume Dupuytren had no equal … as he was proving with the poor woman in front of him.
He spoke harshly, quickly to the wheezing woman in obvious pain. Caught in a spasm of rapid breathing, she did not immediately respond.
Dupuytren struck her a backhanded blow so hard that she rocked to the bed on her back. She struggled to rise. He reached out and made a handle of her nose and held her so firmly that though she struggled, she could not free herself.
I felt King Solomon’s Ring burn cold on the third finger of my left hand even through the dragon-hide of my glove, (my right was too foul for such a rare artifact to be dirtied by touching it.)
“Turn around, Baron!”
The sister looked horrified at me, and I whispered, “He would not have obeyed unless his heart were evil.”
He jerked about like a puppet on a wire string. “How? You dare?”
“No, you dare!” I said. “The woman is in pain, alone, desperate, and pleading with you for help. And you dare strike her? Strike her?!”
One of the Prefecture of Police had obviously been stationed with the Baron in case Lucanus returned. He rushed at me, truncheon held high. Elu laughed, actually laughed at the clumsy man.
As easy as snatching a stick from a baby, Elu plucked the baton from the policeman. Twirling it around deftly in his corded fingers, he popped the man on the forehead with it with a snapping motion. The policeman reeled like a felled tree to the polished oak floor.
The sister cried out, but Elu snorted, “Be at peace, Sister. I refrained from killing him out of respect for you. He will only have a lump the size of a goose’s egg, a creature whose brains equal this clumsy white joke of a protector.”
I reached around with my left hand, drawing the back of my long coat enough so that the butt of my Colt was exposed. “Pity you’re not wearing a Colt, Baron.”
“I am not a barbarian!”
I flicked eyes to the poor ill woman, then to the Sister, and back to the Baron. “You couldn’t prove it by me.”
“M-My students will protect me!”
“Coward!” I snapped, moving between the moments.
I held up my forefinger and thumb to the Sister. “I’m just using these, Ma’am, and I will still kill this surgeon.”
“No!” she cried.
“Yes!” I said, grinding the nerve and acupressure points on the back of the Baron’s right hand with my thumb and forefinger.
Dupuytren squealed, pulling away from me. He clutched his right forearm at whose end flopped his now-useless right hand. He stared at it in horror.
I said, “You can still teach, but never again will you perform surgery or manhandle a patient.”
Dupuytren tried for outrage but his pain and fear neutered his attempt. “Undo this!”
I said, “You still have a working left hand.”
I met his eyes. “That could change. Don’t push it, Baron.”
Now, for the first two winners taken from those who commented on
my guest post on Lee McKenzie's Blog:
JOYLENE NOWELL BUTLER wins Lee's SIGN OF THE GREEN DRAGON!
H.R. SINCLAIR wins
THE STARS BLEED AT MIDNIGHT
Take a chance on my new 99 book will you?