32 MEMORIES OF MY 1,
and instantly life rushed back. The man continued a sentence that he must have begun before the accident; then he stared wildly, and said, " Where am I ? " The clock of life had stopped through a temporary obstruction, the obstruction was removed and the clock ticked on as before. He was soothed, a silver plate was inserted over the hole, the scalp was replaced and stitched together, and he was sent into the ward. In due time he wholly recovered, the scalp having grown over the plate.
I had the option of accompanying any of the surgeons or physicians on his morning round. Each had his clinical clerk, who made notes of the case and wrote the treatment prescribed from time to time, upon a paper affixed to a board at the bed-head. I appreciated from the very first the high importance of careful study and record of every case. My feeling is now fully developed which was then in embryo, that it is our duty to avail ourselves of the opportunities that arise from the apparently unmoral course of Nature, of rendering similar events less dangerous and painful in the future. Blind Nature seems to vivisect ruthlessly, let us as reasonable creatures elicit all the good we can from her vivisections, for which we ourselves are in no way responsible. I became a clinical clerk in time, but felt acutely my incompetence to act up to my own high ideals.
It was a surprise to me to notice so few signs of pain and distress in the wards, even among the mortally stricken. I met with no instances of terror at approaching death, while the ordinary interests of life seemed powerful up to the close of consciousness. But it must be terrible to a sensitive and stricken