On the second floor the distinct smell of a cedar tobacco pipe lingered in the air. Clara coughed as they ascended the stairs further.
“This is where sick folks get well,” Dr. Baker said opening his arms like a magician readying the
crowd for his next trick. One bedroom door on the second floor was open. Clara curiously poked
her head in. “Every room has a connecting bath.”
“Nice,” Clara mumbled as Dr. Baker quickly pulled the door shut coming within inches of
smacking her in the face.
As they made their way up another level Clara began to probe her uncle. “So what is it you do
“We cure cancer, tumors…without operation, radium or x-rays.”
“And how do you do that?”
“I have found the cure.”
“It works on all cancers? Cancers of the stomach as well as the head?” Clara asked.
“Indeed,” Dr. Baker said, an air of arrogance in his voice. “Do you doubt me?”
Yes. Perhaps. I don’t know.
“No of course not. I’ve only just met you. Why would I doubt you?” Clara said, covering the
truth of her thoughts.
“I once did a brain surgery in front of a live audience.”
“You made an operation into a show?” Clara asked appalled by his flamboyant excitement.
“But it is a show. A feat of nature, beating it at its own tricks. Don’t you agree?” he asked,
searching her eyes for even the slightest falter of disagreement.
“I don’t know enough on the subject to have a real opinion I suppose. I’m only nineteen you
Dr. Baker took a second more to stare at her before turning and pointing toward the staircase
leading to the fourth floor.
“Yes, well you do have a lot to learn. A bit of ignorance should be expected. I forget how
vacant-minded the youth are these days. Lily will show you to your room.” With that he turned on his heels and began back down the third floor hallway.
“Bye,” Clara let out meekly. “Thanks for…the tour.”
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