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The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, August 7, 1864


There is a nice little breeze between the practitioners who were called on in the case of Ferguson, said to have taken strychnia, lately, to end his life, but was prevented by Dr. De Castro. Dr. Elliott, as a cloud of witnesses state, was first called, and gave up the case, saying "he (the patient) was a dead boy;" in other words, recovery was hopeless. De Castro was then called, and as the same witnesses state, found the unhappy Ferguson in the throes of death. He emeticized, purged and pumped him, till the poison had no show, and felt a little justifiable pride at his success. Now, Dr. Elliott says he was not poisoned at all; that the druggist, when the patient applied for the noxious drug, "to kill a dog," suspected his design, and gave him some comparatively harmless preparation - piperine, or something of that sort - and that De Castro was humbugged. He furnishes an analysis from Chemist Dickey, of the drug said to be furnished by the apothecary, in proof. De Castro thinks the fact that the man was swollen fearfully, and almost lifeless when he saw him, and also the druggist Riley's statement that he did furnish the deadly article, and marked it "strychnia - poison, ten grains," proof more convincing on his side. Thus the matter stands. Who can decide when Doctors disagree?

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