Medicine: Bicycle Thief

Herbert Hewlett, a 39-year-old laborer of Hull, England, had served almost three years of a five-year sentence for stealing 20 bicycles; then he suddenly went blind. Under Britain's "prerogative of mercy," the rest of his sentence was remitted. The governor of Lincoln Prison gave Howlett a white cane and advised him to take training for the blind.

Two days later, Howlett raced, stickless, into his parents' house shouting, "I can see!" He explained: "When I awoke this morning there was a white film in front of my eyes. Soon afterwards I could see clearly." Although the authorities were suspicious about Hewlett's sudden...

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