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The Quack Doctors
by [?]

Kennedy’s first move was to go downtown to the old building opposite the City Hall and visit the post-office inspectors.

“I’ve heard of the government’s campaign against the medical quacks who are using the mails,” he introduced when we at last found the proper inspector. “I wonder whether you know a Dr. Adam Loeb?”

“Loeb?” repeated the inspector, O’Hanlon, who was in charge of the investigation which was then in progress. “Of course we know Loeb–a very slippery customer, too, with just enough science at his command to make the case against him difficult.

“I suppose,” went on O’Hanlon, “you know that in Europe the popular furore about radium and its applications appeared earlier than it did here. But now we have great numbers of dishonest and fake radium cure establishments. Usually they have neither radium nor knowledge. They promise a cure, but they can’t even palliate the trouble. Loeb has some radium, I guess, but that’s about all.”

“I think I’d like to visit the ‘doctor’ and his ‘medical museum,'” ventured Kennedy when O’Hanlon had finished describing the case to us.

“Very well,” agreed O’Hanlon. “Our cases against the quacks are just about completed. I’ve heard a great deal about you, Mr. Kennedy. I think I may trust you.”

The inspector paused. “Tomorrow,” he added, looking at us significantly, “we have planned a simultaneous raid of all of them in the city. However, there’s no objection to your seeing Dr. Loeb, if you’ll be careful to give no hint that something is about to be pulled off. I’m sure any new evidence we may get against him will be quite welcome.”

“I’d like to see him in action before the raid,” hastened Craig.

“Well, I think the best way, then, for you to get at him,” advised the inspector, “would be to adopt the method my investigators use with these fakers. I mean for one or the other of you to pose as a prospective patient. Only don’t let him treat you too much with any of those electrical things of his.”

Craig glanced over at me whimsically.

“Oh,” I said good-humoredly, “I’ll be the goat, if that’s what you’re going to ask me.”

Craig laughed.

“Come in tomorrow,” called the inspector as we left. “I’d like to hear what happens and I may be able to add something to what you find out.”

We found Dr. Loeb established in a palatial suite of offices in an ultra-modern office building. Outside was what he called his “medical museum.” It was a grewsome collection of wax figures and colored charts well calculated to prepare one for the worst. At the end of the room was a huge sign bearing his name and the words, “Positive Cure for Cancer Without Cautery or the Knife.”

There were no cappers or steerers about the place, though I have no doubt he had them working for him outside to bring in business. Instead, we were met by a very pretty, fluffy-haired girl, evidently the doctor’s secretary. She, I gathered, was the Miss Golder whom Lionel had mentioned. In fact, I felt that she was really much above the level of such a position.

Loeb’s office was elaborately equipped. There were static machines, electric coils, high frequency appliances, X-ray outfits, galvanic and faradic cabinets, electric light reflectors of high power, light bath cabinets, electric vibrators, high pressure nebulizers and ozonizers–everything, as Craig expressed it later, to impress the patient that Loeb could cure any disease the flesh was heir to. I know that it impressed me.

The doctor himself was a pompous man of middle age, with a very formidable beard and a deep voice that forbade contradiction.

“I’ve come to you on the recommendation of a patient of yours,” began Craig, adding hastily, “not for myself, but for my friend here, whom I’m afraid isn’t very well.”

The doctor eyed me through his gold-rimmed spectacles. Already I began to feel shaky.

“Who recommended you?” he asked casually.