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Incidents of Travel in the Yucatan

New York: Harper and Brothers, 1848

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offered. Having little or no intercourse with the capital, this village was the first which Doctor Ca- bot's fame had not reached, and our host took me aside to ask me in confidence whether Doctor Ca- bot was a real medico ; which fact being easily es- tablished by my evidence, he wanted the medico to visit a young Indian whose hand had been man- gled by a sugar-mill. Doctor Cabot made some in- quiries, the answers to which led to the conclusion that it would be necessary to cut off the hand ; but, unluckily, at the last reduction of our luggage he had left his amputating instruments behind. He had a hand-saw for miscellaneous uses, which would serve in part, and Mr. Catherwood had a large spring-knife of admirable temper, which Doctor Ca- bot said would do, but the former flatly objected to its conversion into a surgical instrument. It had been purchased at Rome twenty years before, and in all his journeyings had been his travelling com- panion ; but after such an operation he would nev- er be able to use it again. Strong arguments were urged on both sides, and it became tolerably manifest that, unless amputation was necessary to save the boy from dying, the doctor would not get the knife.

Reaching the house, we saw the Indian sitting in the Sala, the hand torn off to within about an inch of the wrist and the stump swollen into a great ball six inches in diameter, perfectly black, and literally alive with vermin. At the first glance I retreated into


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