There is a lot of entertainment and also a great deal
of truth in this story. We recommend it highly.
Professor Carbonic was
diligently at work in his
spacious laboratory, analyzing,
mixing and experimenting. He
had been employed for more than
fifteen years in the same pursuit
of happiness, in the same house,
same laboratory, and attended
by the same servant woman, who
in her long period of service had
attained the plumpness and respectability
of two hundred and
[ Illustration The electric current lighted up everything in sight!
"Mag Nesia," called the professor.
The servant's name was
Maggie Nesia—Professor Carbonic
had contracted the title to
save time, for in fifteen years he
had not mounted the heights of
greatness; he must work harder
and faster as life is short, and
eliminate such shameful waste of
time as putting the "gie" on
"Mag Nesia!" the professor
The old woman rolled slowly
into the room.
"Get rid of these and bring
the one the boy brought today."
He handed her a tray containing
three dead rats, whose
brains had been subjected to
"Yes, Marse," answered Mag
Nesia in a tone like citrate.
The professor busied himself
with a new preparation of zinc
oxide and copper sulphate and sal ammoniac, his latest concoction,
which was about to be
used and, like its predecessors,
to be abandoned.
Mag Nesia appeared bringing
another rat, dead. The professor
made no experiments on live
animals. He had hired a boy in
the neighborhood to bring him
fresh dead rats at twenty-five
cents per head.
Taking the tray he prepared a
hypodermic filled with the new
preparation. Carefully he made
an incision above the right eye of
the carcass through the bone.
He lifted the hypodermic, half
hopelessly, half expectantly. The
old woman watched him, as she
had done many times before,
with always the same pitiful expression.
Pitiful, either for the
man himself or for the dead rat.
Mag Nesia seldom expressed her
Inserting the hypodermic
needle and injecting the contents
of the syringe, Professor Carbonic
Prof. Carbonic Makes a Great
"Great Saints!" His voice
could have been heard a
mile. Slowly the rat's tail began
to point skyward; and as slowly
Mag Nesia began to turn
white. Professor Carbonic stood
as paralyzed. The rat trembled
and moved his feet. The man of
sixty years made one jump with
the alacrity of a boy of sixteen,
he grabbed the enlivened animal,
and held it high above his head
as he jumped about the room.
Spying the servant, who until
now had seemed unable to move,
he threw both arms around her,
bringing the rat close to her
face. Around the laboratory they
danced to the tune of the woman's
shrieks. The professor held
on, and the woman yelled. Up
and down spasmodically on the
laboratory floor came the two
hundred and ninety pounds with
the professor thrown in.
Bottles tumbled from the
shelves. Furniture was upset.
Precious liquids flowed unrestrained
and unnoticed. Finally
the professor dropped with exhaustion
and the rat and Mag
Nesia made a dash for freedom.
Early in the morning pedestrians
on Arlington Avenue were
attracted by a sign in brilliant
Professor Carbonic early in
the morning betook himself to
the nearest hardware store and
purchased the tools necessary for
his new profession. He was an
M.D. and his recently acquired
knowledge put him in a position
to startle the world. Having procured
what he needed he returned
Things were developing fast.
Mag Nesia met him at the door
and told him that Sally Soda,
who was known to the neighborhood
as Sal or Sal Soda generally,
had fallen down two flights of
stairs, and to use her own words
was "Putty bad." Sal Soda's
mother, in sending for a doctor,
had read the elaborate sign of
the new enemy of death, and
begged that he come to see Sal
as soon as he returned.
Bidding Mag Nesia to accompany
him, he went to the laboratory
and secured his precious
preparation. Professor Carbonic
and the unwilling Mag Nesia
started out to put new life into
a little Sal Soda who lived in the
Reaching the house they met
the family physician then attendant
on little Sal. Doctor X.
Ray had also read the sign of
the professor and his greeting
was very chilly.
"How is the child?" asked the
"Fatally hurt and can live but
an hour." Then he added, "I
have done all that can be done."
"All that you can do," corrected
With a withering glance, Doctor
X. Ray left the room and the
house. His reputation was such
as to admit of no intrusion.
"I am sorry she is not dead, it
would be easier to work, and also
a more reasonable charge." Giving
Mag Nesia his instruments
he administered a local anesthetic;
this done he selected a brace
and bit that he had procured
that morning. With these instruments
he bored a small hole into
the child's head. Inserting his
hypodermic needle, he injected
the immortal fluid, then cutting
the end off a dowel, which he had
also procured that morning, he
hammered it into the hole until
it wedged itself tight.
Professor Carbonic seated
himself comfortably and awaited
the action of his injection, while
the plump Mag Nesia paced or
rather waddled the floor with a
bag of carpenter's tools under
The fluid worked. The child
came to and sat up. Sal Soda had
regained her pep.
"It will be one dollar and twenty-five
cents, Mrs. Soda," apologized
the professor. "I have to
make that charge as it is so inconvenient
to work on them
when they are still alive."
Having collected his fee, the
professor and Mag Nesia departed,
amid the ever rising blessings
of the Soda family.
At 3:30 P.M. Mag Nesia
sought her employer, who was
asleep in the sitting room.
"Marse Paul, a gentleman to
The professor awoke and had
her send the man in.
The man entered hurriedly,
hat in hand. "Are you Professor
"I am, what can I do for you?"
"Can you——?" the man hesitated.
"My friend has just been
killed in an accident. You
couldn't——" he hesitated again.
"I know that it is unbelievable,"
answered the professor.
"But I can."
Professor Carbonic for some
years had suffered from the effects
of a weak heart. His fears
on this score had recently been
entirely relieved. He now had the
prescription—Death no more!
The startling discovery, and the
happenings of the last twenty-four
hours had begun to take
effect on him, and he did not
wish to make another call until
he was feeling better.
"I'll go," said the professor
after a period of musing. "My
discoveries are for the benefit
of the human race, I must not
He satisfied himself that he
had all his tools. He had just
sufficient of the preparation for
one injection; this, he thought,
would be enough; however, he
placed in his case, two vials of
different solutions, which were
the basis of his discovery. These
fluids had but to be mixed, and
after the chemical reaction had
taken place the preparation was
ready for use.
He searched the house for
Mag Nesia, but the old servant
had made it certain that she did
not intend to act as nurse to
dead men on their journey back
to life. Reluctantly he decided
to go without her.
"How is it possible!" exclaimed
the stranger, as they climbed
into the waiting machine.
"I have worked for fifteen
years before I found the solution,"
answered the professor
"I cannot understand on what
you could have based a theory
for experimenting on something
that has been universally accepted
as impossible of solution."
"With electricity, all is possible;
as I have proved." Seeing
the skeptical look his companion
assumed, he continued, "Electricity
is the basis of every motive
power we have; it is the base
of every formation that we
know." The professor was warming
to the subject.
"Go on," said the stranger,
"I am extremely interested."
"Every sort of heat that is
known, whether dormant or active,
is only one arm of the gigantic
force electricity. The
most of our knowledge of electricity
has been gained through
its offspring, magnetism. A body
entirely devoid of electricity, is
a body dead. Magnetism is apparent
in many things including
the human race, and its presence
in many people is prominent."
"But how did this lead to your
"If magnetism or motive
force, is the offspring of electricity,
the human body must, and
does contain electricity. That we
use more electricity than the human
body will induce is a fact;
it is apparent therefore that a
certain amount of electricity
must be generated within the
human body, and without aid of
any outside forces. Science has
known for years that the body's
power is brought into action
through the brain. The brain is
our generator. The little cells
and the fluid that separate them,
have the same action as the liquid
of a wet battery; like a wet
battery this fluid wears out and
we must replace the fluid or the
sal ammoniac or we lose the
use of the battery or body. I have
discovered what fluid to use that
will produce the electricity in
the brain cells which the human
body is unable to induce."
"We are here," said the stranger
as he brought the car to a
stop at the curb.
"You are still a skeptic," noting
the voice of the man. "But
you shall see shortly."
The man led him into the
house and introduced him to
Mrs. Murray Attic, who conducted
him to the room where the
deceased Murray Attic was laid.
Without a word the professor
began his preparations. He was
ill, and would have preferred to
have been at rest in his own
comfortable house. He would do
the work quickly and get away.
Selecting a gimlet, he bored
a hole through the skull of the
dead man; inserting his hypodermic
he injected all the fluid
he had mixed. He had not calculated
on the size of the gimlet
and the dowels he carried would
not fit the hole. As a last resource
he drove in his lead pencil, broke
it off close, and carefully cut the
splinters smooth with the head.
"It will be seventy-five cents,
madam," said the professor as
he finished the work.
Mrs. Murray Attic paid the
money unconsciously; she did not
know whether he was embalming
her husband or just trying the
keenness of his new tools. The
death had been too much for her.
The minutes passed and still
the dead man showed no signs of
reviving. Professor Carbonic
paced the floor in an agitated
manner. He began to be doubtful
of his ability to bring the man
back. Worried, he continued his
tramp up and down the room.
His heart was affecting him. He
was tempted to return the seventy-five
cents to the prostrate
wife when—THE DEAD MAN
The professor clasped his
hands to his throat, and with his
head thrown back dropped to the
floor. A fatal attack of the heart.
He became conscious quickly.
"The bottles there," he whispered.
"Mix—, make injection." He
became unconscious again.
The stranger found the gimlet
and bored a hole in the professor's
head, hastily seizing one of
the vials, he poured the contents
into the deeply made hole. He
then realized that there was another
"Mix them!" shrieked the almost
It was too late, the one vial
was empty, and the professor's
body lay lifeless.
In mental agony the stranger
grasped the second vial and
emptied its contents also into the
professor's head, and stopped the
hole with the cork.
Miraculously Professor Carbonic
opened his eyes, and rose
to his feet. His eyes were like
balls of fire; his lips moved inaudibly,
and as they moved little
blue sparks were seen to pass
from one to another. His hair
stood out from his head. The
chemical reaction was going on
in the professor's brain, with a
dose powerful enough to restore
ten men. He tottered slightly.
Murray Attic, now thoroughly
alive, sat up straight in bed. He
grasped the brass bed post with
one hand and stretched out the
other to aid the staggering man.
He caught his hand; both
bodies stiffened; a slight crackling
sound was audible; a blue
flash shot from where Attic's
had made contact with the bed
post; then a dull thud as both
bodies struck the floor. Both men
were electrocuted, and the formula
is still a secret.
Produced by Greg Weeks, Stephen Blundell and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net
This etext was produced from Amazing Stories April 1956 and
was first published in Amazing Stories March 1927.
Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S.
copyright on this publication was renewed. Minor spelling and
typographical errors have been corrected without note.