on him. She was one of those people who are infatuated with patent medicines
and all new-fangled methods of producing health or mending it. She was an
inveterate experimenter in these things. When something fresh in this line came
out she was in a fever, right away, to try it; not on herself, for she was never
ailing, but on anybody else that came handy. She was a subscriber for all the
"Health " periodicals and phreneological frauds; and the solemn ignorance they
were inflated with was breath to her nostrils. All the " rot " they contained about
ventilation, and how to go to bed, and how
to get up, and what to eat, and what to drink, and how much exercise to take, and what frame of mind to keep one's self in, and what sort of clothing to wear, was all gospel to her, and she never observed that her health-journals of the current month customarily upset everything they had recommended the month before. She was as simple-hearted and honest as the day was long, and so she was an easy victim. She gathered together her quack periodicals and her quack medicines, and thus armed with death, went about on her pale horse, metaphorically speaking, with "hell following after." But she never suspected that aunt polly seeks information. she was not an angel of healing and the
balm of Gilead in disguise, to the suffering neighbors.
The water treatment was new, now, and Tom's low condition was a windfall to her. She had him out at daylight every morning, stood him up in the woodshed and drowned him with a deluge of cold water; then she scrubbed him down with a towel like a file, and so brought him to; then she rolled him up in a wet sheet and put him away under blankets till she sweated his soul clean and " the yellow stains of it came through his pores "—as Tom said.
Yet notwithstanding all this, the boy grew more and more melancholy and pale