One day, not long afterwards, a man from the neighboring country drove up in front of the house and asked the doctor to follow him to his master’s farm. Falk was pleased that the news of his establishment had already reached the farmers in the district; his new, hitherto unused doctor’s stool was soon placed in the wagon, and the two drove off in silence.
After they got out of the town Falk asked the sullen driver, “What is the matter with your patient? What do you think has gone wrong?”
“He got a bone in his throat,” replied the man.
“I see! Did you not try to slap him on the back?”
The man turned slowly toward the doctor, looked puzzled at him and said, “Very likely.”
There the conversation ended, and after a while they arrived at the farm, which was situated at the edge, or almost at the edge of the heath. The farmer received the doctor, showed him the way to the parlor and sent for sandwiches and brandy, but Falk had no appetite; as a matter of fact he did not feel quite well.
Farmer opened the low
Finally the time came to look at the patient, and Falk was somewhat surprised when the farmer led him into the yard, through the stables, and stopped at a small isolated house situated in a morass which sent out a most unpleasant odor. The farmer opened the low door and took the doctor over to a pig.
“There he is,” he said.
Henry Falk had entirely forgotten that he had moved into the house of a veterinary. The blood rushed to his cheeks and he cried, “What, do you expect me to cure your pig?”
The farmer answered, “Well, before you came we sent for Jespersen to cure the horse, but next time, if it so pleases our Lord, you shall treat the horse also. To-day you will have to be satisfied with the pig.”
“Go to—with your pig and your horse.”
“You should not use such ugly language,” said the farmer, and colored slightly.
“That is just what I shall!” shouted the doctor. “And next time you have a sick beast, send for a veterinary and not for a practising physician. I have heard it said that to you farmers, nothing is too good for your beasts, but that you scarcely send for a veterinary when a human being is ill.”Henrik and Rosalie