Medicine: Fatal Gases

The septuagenarian's silky grey beard, spread over his hospital blanket, jerked each time he gasped the oxygen which an electric motor blew upon his face. Another midnight passed, and attendants of Brooklyn's Jewish Hospital left Aaron Handler, dying of heart disease, alone for a while. Then a dull boom from his room recalled nurses and internes on a dead run. They found Aaron Handler's beard a shriveling, stinking torch fanned by the breeze of oxygen. Whether the electric pump emitted a combustive spark, or whether his beard generated a spark by rubbing...

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