Medicine: Black Death

Brahmin women with diamonds in their noses and caste marks on their brows hastened decorously into Calcutta's criminal court last week. Their tawny husbands and friends, in Indian pantaloons or European trousers, packed along the walls. There they heard the public prosecutor declare that the murder of rich Amarendra by his stepbrother Benoyendra Pande and three doctors was "an unparalleled act of diabolic ingenuity."

The 70-year-old aunt of Amarendra told what she had seen and heard of the murder. The stepbrothers, she said, were co-heirs to a large estate. But Benoyendra was envious...

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