11 Blue Men Essay Research Paper Eleven — страница 3

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up struck me as very significant. All of the men told him that the illness had come on with extraordinary suddenness. One minute they were feeling fine, and the next minute they were practically helpless. That was another point against the ordinary food-poisoning theory. Its onset is never that fast. Well, that suddenness began to look like a lead. It led me to suspect that some drug might be to blame. A quick and sudden reaction is characteristic of a great many drugs. So is the combination of cyanosis and shock.” “None of the men were on dope,” Dr. Pellitteri said. “I told Greenberg I was sure of that. Their pleasure was booze.” “That was O.K.,” Dr. Greenberg said. “They could have got a toxic dose of some drug by accident. In the oatmeal most likely. I

couldn’t help thinking that the oatmeal was relevant to our problem. At any rate, the drug idea was very persuasive.” “So was Greenberg,” Dr. Pellitteri remarked with a smile. “Actually, it was the only explanation in sight that seemed to account for everything we knew about the clinical and environmental picture.” “All we had to do now was prove it,” Dr. Greenberg went on mildly. “I asked Dr. Pellitteri to get a blood sample from each of the men before leaving the hospital for a look at the cafeteria. We agreed he would send the specimens to the city toxicologist, Dr. Alexander O. Gettler, for an overnight analysis. I wanted to know if the blood contained methemoglobin. Methemoglobin is a compound that’s formed when any one of several drugs enters the blood.

Gettler’s report would tell us if we were on the right track. That is, it would give us a yes- or-no answer on drugs. If the answer was yes, then we could go on from there to identify the particular drug. How we could go about that would depend on what Pellitteri was able to turn up at the cafeteria. In the meantime, there was nothing for me to do but wait for their report. I’d theorized myself hoarse.” Dr. Pellitteri, having attended to his bloodletting with reasonable dispatch, reached the Eclipse Cafeteria at around five o’clock. “It was about what I’d expected,” he told me. “Strictly a horse market, and dirtier than most. The sort of place where you can get a full meal for fifteen cents. There was a grind house on one side, a cigar store on the other, and the

‘L’ overhead. Incidentally, the Eclipse went out of business a year or so after I was there, but that had nothing to do with us. It was just a coincidence. Well, the place looked and the door was locked. I knocked, and a man came out of the back and let me in. He was one of our people, a health inspector for the Bureau of Food and Drugs named Weinberg. His bureau had stepped into the case as a matter of routine, because of the reference to a restaurant in the notification report. I was glad to see him and to have his help. For one thing, he had put a temporary embargo on everything in the cafeteria. That’s why it was closed up. His main job, though, was to check the place for violations of the sanitation code. He was finding plenty.” “Let me read you a few of

Weinberg’s findings,” Dr. Greenberg said, extracting a paper from the folder on his desk. “None of them had any direct bearing on our problem, but I think they’ll give you a good idea of what the Eclipse was like – what too many restaurants are like. This copy of his report lists fifteen specific violations. Here they are: `Premises heavily infested with roaches. Fly infestation throughout premises. Floor defective in rear part of dining room. Kitchen walls and ceiling encrusted with grease and soot. Kitchen floor encrusted with dirt. Refuse under kitchen fixtures. Sterilizing facilities inadequate. Sink defective. Floor and walls at serving tables and coffee urns encrusted with dirt. Kitchen utensils encrusted with dirt and grease. Storage-cellar walls, ceiling, and

floor encrusted with dirt. Floor and shelves in cellar covered with refuse and useless material. Cellar ceiling defective. Sewer pipe leaking. Open sewer line in cellar.’ Well…” He gave me a squeamish smile and stuck the paper back in the folder. “I can see it now,” Dr. Pellitteri said. “And smell it. Especially the kitchen, where I spent most of my time. Weinberg had the proprietor and the cook out there, and I talked to them while he prowled around. They were very cooperative. Naturally. They were scared to death. They knew nothing about gas in the place and there was no sign of any, so I went to work on the food. None of what had been prepared for breakfast that morning was left. That, of course would have been too much to hope for. But I was able to get together