Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment, Part 3

By Nathaniel Hawthorne

Adapted to chat story format by Captivated Chat

Me
To begin with, you all need to remember your pledge to recall the lessons of a lifetime.
Mr. Gascoigne
Yes, but what would make the most difference for us is stricter immigration laws to preserve our supply of this water. Patriotism demands that we prevent hordes of foreigners pouring in and taking our cure.
Colonel Killigrew
Due to mere water you are intoxicated enough to talk divisive politics again, eh? Then I am drunk enough to sing a drinking song: Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall, Ninety-nine bottles of beer!…
Mr. Medbourne
Be still, because in my Intoxication of youth I am involved in a calculation of dollars and cents.
Me
Not about that project for supplying the East Indies with ice? What was it? Harnessing a team of whales to transport polar icebergs?
Medbourne
Yes. But really the idea is simply to supply that which is in most need.
The Widow Wycherly
Such as this water for us, then, eh? Look! My long wrinkles and crow’s-feet have indeed vanished. Look at my face! My dear old doctor, pray favor me with another glass.
Me
Certainly, my dear madam—certainly. See! I have already filled the glasses.
Colonel Killigrew
We are young!
Me
Certainly, it gratifying to see this.
Medbourne
Yes, amazingly, we are young!
Mr. Gascoigne
After all these years, what a joyful day!
The Widow Wycherly
Whee! Above all, time to dance again!
Medbourne
To jump!
Mr. Gascoigne
To run!
The Widow Wycherly
Doctor, you dear old soul, get up and dance with me!

Running into trouble

(the four young people laugh loudly at the idea of the old doctor dancing)

Me
Pray excuse me. I am old and rheumatic, and my dancing-days were over long ago. But one of these gay young gentlemen will be glad of so pretty a partner.
Colonel Killigrew
Dance with me, Clara.
Medbourne
No, I…
Mr. Gascoigne
Certainly not! I will be her partner.
Colonel Killigrew
Pardon me for running into you, Gascoigne!
Me
That appeared to be deliberate! You fellows are not starting up that old rivalry again, I hope!
Mr. Gascoigne
You knocked me down! Above all, I demand satisfaction: a duel!