The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

The author does not claim to know anything about the virtue of the so called mad stone. Many people believe that It possesses the power to neutralize the poison introduced into the system when bitten by a mad dog if properly applied to the wounds. It is possible that if the stone is applied immediately after the wound was inflicted some of the poison might be sucked out but it is not reasonable to think that a case affected with genuine hydrophobia can be cured by means of an application of the mad stone after the poison had absorbed into the circulation. But we did not start out to discuss the curative properties of the mad stone if it had any but to state how one was found once, the story of which was told me by Ira J. David, who said that Sam Baty, while hunting one day in a hollow that leads into the Eleven Points Creek in Oregon County, Mo., 5 miles above Thomasville, he saw a large deer that was between 1 and 2 years old and of the common color which he shot at 8 times with a rifle that carried a half ounce ball before he killed it. He carried the deer home and after removing the hide he cut the meat into chunks and his wife cooked some of it in a big pot without cutting up the venison any finer. After it was cooked his wife placed the meat on a big dish on the table and while they were at supper Mr. Baty found a hard substance in one of the chunks of meat that was 2 ½ inches in length and near an inch thick. There were small pimples or cells all over it. Not understanding the nature of it Mr. Baty carried it to Thomasville and showed it to three physicians there of the name of Lorants, Griffy and Cantrel and they all pronounced it a mad stone and offered him $200 for it. But Baty refused to sell it at that price and let Newel Baty have it and he carried it to the Indian Territory with him."

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