The Health Master
THE HEALTH MASTER
By Samuel Hopkins Adams
Associate Fellow of the American Medical Association
Boston And New York Houghton Mifflin Company
To George W. Goler, M.D., a type of the courageous, unselfish, and far-sighted health official, whom the enlightened and progressive city of Rochester, N. Y., hires to keep it well, on the “Chinese plan,” this book is inscribed, with the hope that it may, by exercising some influence in the hygienic education of the public, aid the work which he and his fellow guardians of the public health are so laboriously and devotedly performing throughout the nation.
To dogmatise on questions of medical practice is to invite controversy and tempt disaster. The highest wisdom of to-day may be completely refuted by to-morrow’s discovery. Therefore, for the simple principles of disease prevention and health protection which I have put into the mouth of my Health Master, I make no claim of finality. In support of them I maintain only that they represent the progressive specialized thought of modern medical science. So far as is practicable I have avoided questions upon which there is serious difference of belief among the authorities. Where it has been necessary to touch upon these, as, for example, in the chapter on methods of isolation in contagious diseases, a question which arises sooner or later in every household, I have advocated those measures which have the support of the best rational probability and statistical support.
Not only has the book been prepared in consultation with the recognized authorities on public health and preventive medicine, but every chapter has been submitted to the expert criticism of specialists upon the particular subject treated. My own ideas and theories I have advanced only in such passages as deal with the relation of the physician and of the citizen to the social and ethical phases of public health. To the large number of medical scientists, both public and private, whose generous aid and counsel have made my work possible, I gratefully acknowledge my debt. My thanks are due also for permission to reprint, to the Delineator, in which most of the chapters have appeared serially; to Collier’s Weekly, and to the Ladies’ Home Journal.
THE HEALTH MASTER
I.—THE CHINESE PLAN PHYSICIAN
THE eleven-o’clock car was just leaving Monument Square when Mr. Thomas Clyde swung aboard with an ease and agility worthy of a younger and less portly man. Fortune favored him with an unoccupied seat, into which he dropped gratefully. Just in front of him sprawled a heavy-shouldered young man, apparently asleep. Mr. Clyde was unfavorably impressed both by his appearance and by the manner of his breathing, which was as excessive as it was unusual. As the car swung sharply around a curve the young man’s body sagged at the waist, and lopped over toward the aisle. Before Mr. Clyde’s restraining hand could close upon his shoulder, he had tumbled outward to the floor, and lay quiet, with upturned face. There was a stir through the car.
“The horrid drunken creature!” exclaimed a black-clad woman opposite Mr. Clyde. “Why do they allow such people on the cars?”
The conductor hurried forward, only to find his way blocked by a very tall, slender man who had quietly stepped, from a seat next the window, over an intervening messenger boy and the box he was carrying. The new arrival on the scene of action stooped over the prostrate figure. One glance apparently satisfied him. With a swift, sharp motion he slapped the inert man forcefully across the cheek. The sound of the impact was startlingly loud. The senseless head rolled over upon the left shoulder, only to be straightened out by another quick blow. A murmur of indignation and disgust hummed and passed, and the woman in black called upon the conductor to stop the assault. But Mr. Thomas Clyde, being a person of decision and action, was before the official. He caught the assailant’s arm as it swung back again.
“Let him alone! What do you mean by beating a helpless man that way!”
“Do you know more about this affair than I do?” The crisp query was accompanied by a backward thrust of the tall man’s elbow which broke Mr. Clyde’s hold, and—smack! smack!—the swift double blow rocked the victim’s head again. This time the man groaned. The car was in an uproar. Mr. Clyde instantly and effectively pinned the tall man’s elbows from behind. Some one pulled the bell, and the brakes ground, throwing those forward who had pressed into the aisle. Against this pressure, Mr. Clyde, aided by the conductor, began dragging his man backward. The stranger was helpless to resist this grip; but as he was forced away he perpetrated a final atrocity. Shooting out one long leg, he caught the toe of his boot under the outstretched man’s jawbone and jerked the chin back. This time, the object of the violence not only groaned, but opened his eyes.
“I’ll have you in jail for that!” panted Mr. Clyde, his usually placid temper surging up.
Other passengers began to lift the victim.
“Drop him!” snapped the tall man, with such imperative decisiveness, that the helping hands involuntarily retracted. “Let him lie, you fools! Do you want to kill him?”
Misgivings beset and cooled Mr. Thomas Clyde. He had now reached the rear platform, still holding in his powerful and