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CHAPTER XVII. MY RICH PATIENT.
When I was admitted to the house of Gregory Vincent, I was surprised by its magnificence. It has been said that there are few palaces in Europe that compare in comfort and luxury with a first class New York mansion. I have never been in a palace, and Mr. Vincent's house was the only aristocratic house which I had had an opportunity to view. But I am prepared to indorse the remark.

I handed my card to the liveried servant who opened the door.

"Dr. Fenwick," he repeated. "Yes, sir; you are expected."

He led me upstairs into an elegant library, or sitting-room and library [Pg 151]combined. Here sat my acquaintance of the evening before, with his foot swathed in bandages and resting on a chair, while he was seated in a cosy arm-chair.

"Good-morning, doctor," he said. "I am glad to see you. You see that I am in the grasp of my old enemy."

"We will try to rout him," I said, cheerfully.

"That sounds well, and encourages me. Do you know, Dr. Fenwick, that without any special reason I feel great confidence in you. You are a young man, probably not more than half as old as my regular physician, but he has not been able to do me any good."

"And I hope to be able to do so."

"I suppose you have had experience in such cases?"

"Yes, I have an old aunt who had suffered untold tortures from rheumatism. She put herself under my charge, and for her sake I made an extensive study of rheumatic cases and remedies."

[Pg 152]

"Well?" he asked, eagerly.

"I finally cured her. It is now three years since she has had a twinge."

"Good! My instinct was correct. That gives me hopes of success under your charge. Don't be afraid to lose your patient by effecting a speedy cure. I will make you a promise. When you have so far cured me that I am free from rheumatic pains for three months, I will hand you a check for a thousand dollars."

"A thousand dollars!" I repeated with sparkling eyes. "That will indeed be an inducement."

"Of course I shall pay you your regular fees besides."

I could hardly credit my good fortune. I was like one who had just received intelligence that I had drawn a large sum in the lottery. I determined to win the promised check if there was any chance.

I began............
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