Let Me Feel Your Pulse (Henry)

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Let Me Feel Your Pulse
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A man visits a doctor who performs various tests on him to determine his health condition, leading to a series of misadventures and ultimately finding solace in nature and companionship.

A man suffering from various ailments sought help from a young doctor. The doctor conducted several tests and concluded that the man needed rest and exercise. He took the man to a sanitarium in the Catskills, but the man found it unsuitable and returned to the city. The doctor then suggested sea air and companionship, so they went to a hotel on Long Island.

“What you need,” he decided, “is sea air and companionship.”

However, the man's condition did not improve, and he decided to consult another physician. The consulting physician conducted more tests and prescribed a strict diet, outdoor air, and exercise. The man followed the advice but still felt unwell. He then visited a country doctor in the mountains, who told him about a rare, flowering plant that could cure him. The man and the doctor spent a month searching for the plant in the mountains, during which the man's health gradually improved.

The Narrator — patient seeking medical advice; humorous, curious.
The Doctor — young doctor; wears heliotrope socks; resembles Napoleon; knowledgeable, cheerful.
The Consulting Physician — consulting physician; careful, attentive.

“Somewhere in these mountains,” said the doctor, “there’s a plant growing—a flowering plant that’ll cure you, and it’s about the only thing that will. It’s of a kind that’s as old as the world; but of late it’s powerful scarce and hard to find. You and I will have to hunt it up. I’m not engaged in active practice now: I’m getting along in years; but I’ll take your case. You’ll have to come every day in the afternoon and help me hunt for this plant till we find it. The city doctors may know a lot about new scientific things, but they don’t know much about the cures that nature carries around in her saddlebags.”

One evening, the man took a walk with a woman named Amaryllis and told her about his search for the plant. She revealed that she had known the old doctor since childhood and that he had taken the man on long walks to help him regain his health.

Amaryllis — woman who accompanies the narrator; caring, kind.

“I’m glad you’re well again,” she said. “When you first came you frightened me. I thought you were really ill.”

The old doctor later told Amaryllis to look up her name in an encyclopedia, which she discovered was the name of a genus of flowering plants and a country girl in Theocritus and Virgil.

Doctor Tatum — old doctor who lives on Black Oak Mountain; wise, knowledgeable.

The man realized that the old doctor's advice of rest and exercise was the key to his recovery. He found solace in spending time with Amaryllis and enjoying the beauty of the mountains. The story highlights the importance of finding a balance between rest and exercise in maintaining one's health.