"When in the hospital, a very hot day in the summer of 1846, clad in my shirt sleeves, and white cadet pants, I was on the front porch. I saw a cadet coming down the walk; he stopped under an apple tree loaded with green apples, and took a seat on the grass. I went into the passage leading to my ward, and threw myself into a rocking chair and was soon enjoying a delightful siesta. I was awakened by footsteps in the hall. The hall intruder was the same short plebe I had seen take his seat under the apple tree, and he had both hands pressed on his abdomen. I at once saw a chance for fun. He had mistaken me for the doctor. I started from my chair, assuming the most ferocious look I could put on, and said, 'What is your name?' 'Brown,' he answered. 'Plebe Brown,' I said, 'have you studied the Academic regulations?' He answered, 'Not much.' 'So, I supposed,' I replied; 'if you had done your duty you would have informed yourself that it is a dismissable offense to awaken the chief surgeon of this post when taking his evening nap. What is the matter with you, sir?' 'Oh, doctor, my belly! my belly!' "Let me see your tongue; let me feel your pulse.'
"Starting back, I said, 'Plebe Brown, you have been eating green apples.' This he denied. I said, 'Don't tell a falsehood; every beat of your pulse to the skilful surgeon says, 'Green apples! Green apples! Now, sir, tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; how many green apples did you eat?' After some hesitation he said, 'I suppose about my cap full.' I started back, exclaiming, 'About a cap full! Plebe Brown, the only way I can save your life is to cut your abdomen open and take out those green apples. Come with me to the dispersary. Sit on that chair.'"
...to be continued.
In our next installment, you'll find out what devious things the "surgeon" did to Plebe Brown. I'll also divulge the culprit and his place in history.