PART II. The Country of the Saints.
6. CHAPTER VI. A CONTINUATION OF THE REMINISCENCES OF JOHN WATSON, M.D.
"I've got a good deal to say," our prisoner said slowly.
"I want to tell you gentlemen all about it."
"Hadn't you better reserve that for your trial?" asked the
"I may never be tried," he answered. "You needn't look
startled. It isn't suicide I am thinking of. Are you a
Doctor?" He turned his fierce dark eyes upon me as he asked
this last question.
"Yes; I am," I answered.
"Then put your hand here," he said, with a smile, motioning
with his manacled wrists towards his chest.
I did so; and became at once conscious of an extraordinary
throbbing and commotion which was going on inside. The walls
of his chest seemed to thrill and quiver as a frail building
would do inside when some powerful engine was at work. In
the silence of the room I could hear a dull humming and
buzzing noise which proceeded from the same source.
"Why," I cried, "you have an aortic aneurism!"
"That's what they call it," he said, placidly. "I went to a
Doctor last week about it, and he told me that it is bound to
burst before many days passed. It has been getting worse for
years. I got it from over-exposure and under-feeding among
the Salt Lake Mountains. I've done my work now, and I don't
care how soon I go, but I should like to leave some account
of the business behind me. I don't want to be remembered as
a common cut-throat."
The Inspector and the two detectives had a hurried discussion
as to the advisability of allowing him to tell his story.
"Do you consider, Doctor, that there is immediate danger?"
the former asked.
"Most certainly there is," I answered.