In order not to get stung out, Tom Beckermann told of a cat friend with tears on the testicles that might or might not have come from a cat. Tobias Barr remarked that this wasn’t unusual. Only a few months ago he treated a patient with a scratched face.
“He also claimed that a cat had done this to him, but if that had been true, the cat would have only had three claws and they would have been as wide as a human kitten,” concluded Dr. Barr to common laughter.
He wanted to continue with a second anecdote and was therefore annoyed when Rob Cole interrupted him to ask him if he remembered exactly when he had treated this patient. “No,” replied Dr. Barr briefly and returned to his story.
After the meeting, Rob went back to his colleagues: “Tobias, that patient with the scratched face. Could it be that you treated him on Sunday, September 3rd? “
“I don’t remember exactly. Didn’t write it down for me. “Dr. Barr knew all too well that Dr. Cole was more scrupulous in the practice than he was, and he felt caught out for not keeping sufficient records. “My God, you don’t have to write down every little thing, do you? Especially with a patient like this, an itinerant preacher from another county who was just passing through. I will probably never see him again, let alone have to treat him again. “
“Preacher? Do you remember his name? ”Dr. Barr frowned, thought hard, and shook his head.
Dr. Barr stared at him. As far as he could remember, the patient had left no exact address. “I think he said he was from Springfield.”
“Exactly, third-stage syphilis,” said Dr. Barr. “Asked my advice about it after I treated his face. This was a guy who wanted to get as much out of his dollar as possible.
If he had a corn on his little toe, I would have had to cut it out too. I sold him some ointment for his syphilis. “
Dr. Barr looked confused. “I guess he left without paying you, huh? Is that why you’re looking for him? “
“No. I performed an autopsy on a woman who was murdered the day you examined the man. She was raped by several men. I found skin under her fingernails and I suspect it scratched one of the men’s faces. “