“No external wound could I see anywhere, so I took out my knife and began taking the skin off the rat. I soon discovered two very minute punctures, like small needle-holes, in the side of the rat, where the fangs of the snake had entered. The parts between the skin and the flesh, and the flesh itself, appeared as though affected with mortification, even though the wound had not been inflicted above a quarter of an hour, if so long.
Anxious to see if the skin itself was affected, I scraped away the parts on it with my finger-nail. Finding nothing but the punctures, I threw the rat away and put the knife and skin in my pocket, and started to go away. I had not walked a hundred yards before all of a sudden I felt just as if somebody had come behind me and struck me a severe blow on the head and neck, and at the same time I experienced a most acute pain and sense of oppression at the chest, as though a hot iron had been run in and a hundred weight put on the top of it I knew instantly, from what I had read, that I was poisoned; I said as much to my friend, a most intelligent gentleman, who happened to be with me, and told him if I fell, to give me brandy and eau de luce, words which he kept repeating in case he might forget them. At the same time I enjoined him to keep me going, and not on any account to allow me to lie down. I then forgot everything for several minutes, and my friend tells me I rolled about as if very faint and weak. He also informs me that the first thing I did was to fall against him, asking if I looked seedy. He most wisely answered, “No; you look very well.” I don't think he thought so, for his own face was as white as a ghost; I recollect this much. He tells me my face was of a greenish yellow color. After walking, or rather staggering, along for some minutes, I gradually recovered my senses, and steered for the nearest chemist's shop. Rushing in, I asked for eau de luce. Of course, he had none, but my eye caught the words “Spirit, ammon. co., or hartshorn, on a bottle. I reached it down myself, and pouring a large quantity into a tumbler with a little water, both of which articles I found on a soda-water stand in the shop, and drank it off, though it burnt my mouth and lips very much. Instantly I felt relief from the pain at the chest and head. The chemist stood agast, and on my telling him what was the matter, recommended a warm bath. If I had then followed his advice these words would never have been placed on record. After a second draught at the hartshorn bottle, I proceeded on my way, feeling very stupid and confused.
On arriving at my friend's residence close by, he kindly procured me a bottle of brandy, of which I drank four large wine-glasses, one after the other, but did not feel the least tipsey after the operation. Feeling nearly well, I started on my way home, and then, for the first time, I perceived a most acute pain under the nail of the left thumb; this pain also ran up the arm. I set to work to suck the wound, and then found out how the poison had got into the system. About an hour before I examined the dead rat I had been cleaning the nail with a pen knife, and had slightly separated the nail from the skin beneath. Into this little crack the poison had got when I was scraping the skin to examine the wound. How virulent, therefore, must the poison of the cobra be! It already had been circulated in the body of the rat, from which I had imbibed it second-hand.”
|The AMERICAN HOMOEOPATHIC REVIEW Vol. 01 No. 06, 1859, pages 287-288
|Poisoning by a Cobra.
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