The death rate goes down when doctors strike

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 07.46.46This is the view of Enid Crumwallis, a character in a crime novel Dalrymple is enjoying, Robert Barnard’s Little Victims (1983), also published under the title School for Murder.

Enid, Dalrymple explains, is the wife of the headmaster of

a seventh-rate, down-at-heel private school

who acts as matron. She

enunciates — to detectives investigating the death by poison of one of the boys — the medical principles on which she doles out medicine.

These are as follows.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 08.03.56Cold tea and aniseed. I put it in old bottles. Mostly these boys are putting it on, you know, or just imagining things. The cold tea does as good as anything, and the aniseed makes it taste nasty, as they expect. It’s well known people take too much medicine. Did you know that when doctors go on strike the death rate always goes down? People these days are just soft, running along for a packet of pills every time they think they’ve got an ache.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 07.57.43

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