There is a lot of entertainment and also a great deal of truth in this story. We recommend it highly.
Professor Carbonic was diligently at work in his spacious laboratory, analyzing, mixing and experimenting. He had been employed for more than fifteen years in the same pursuit of happiness, in the same house, same laboratory, and attended by the same servant woman, who in her long period of service had attained the plumpness and respectability of two hundred and ninety pounds.The electric current lighted up everything in sight!
"Mag Nesia," called the professor. The servant's name was Maggie Nesia—Professor Carbonic had contracted the title to save time, for in fifteen years he had not mounted the heights of greatness; he must work harder and faster as life is short, and eliminate such shameful waste of time as putting the "gie" on Maggie.
"Mag Nesia!" the professor repeated.
The old woman rolled slowly into the room.
"Get rid of these and bring the one the boy brought today."
He handed her a tray containing three dead rats, whose brains had been subjected to analysis.
"Yes, Marse," answered Mag Nesia in a tone like citrate.
The professor busied himself with a new preparation of zinc oxide and copper sulphate and sal ammoniac, his latest concoction, which was about to be used and, like its predecessors, to be abandoned.
Mag Nesia appeared bringing another rat, dead. The professor made no experiments on live animals. He had hired a boy in the neighborhood to bring him fresh dead rats at twenty-five cents per head.
Taking the tray he prepared a hypodermic filled with the new preparation. Carefully he made an incision above the right eye of the carcass through the bone. He lifted the hypodermic, half hopelessly, half expectantly. The old woman watched him, as she had done many times before, with always the same pitiful expression. Pitiful, either for the man himself or for the dead rat. Mag Nesia seldom expressed her views.
Inserting the hypodermic needle and injecting the contents of the syringe, Professor Carbonic stepped back.
Prof. Carbonic Makes a Great Discovery
"Great Saints!" His voice could have been heard a mile. Slowly the rat's tail began to point skyward; and as slowly Mag Nesia began to turn white. Professor Carbonic stood as paralyzed. The rat trembled and moved his feet. The man of sixty years made one jump with the alacrity of a boy of sixteen, he grabbed the enlivened animal, and held it high above his head as he jumped about the room.
Spying the servant, who until now had seemed unable to move, he threw both arms around her, bringing the rat close to her face. Around the laboratory they danced to the tune of the woman's shrieks. The professor held on, and the woman yelled. Up and down spasmodically on the laboratory floor came the two hundred and ninety pounds with the professor thrown in.
Bottles tumbled from the shelves. Furniture was upset. Precious liquids flowed unrestrained and unnoticed. Finally the professor dropped with exhaustion and the rat and Mag Nesia made a dash for freedom.
Early in the morning pedestrians on Arlington Avenue were attracted by a sign in brilliant letters....