The Bundle of Letters
Mór Jókai (1825-1904), also known as Maurus Jokai, was a Hungarian dramatist and novelist. A celebrated doctor receives a visit from a new patient with a most peculiar ailment. He has an excruciatingly painful spot on his hand. But on examination, he can find nothing wrong with the patient at all. He assumes it is a psychosomatic illness, but the patient is insistant that the area of his hand be surgically removed. When the doctor declines this, the patient attempts to cut out the area himself, and the doctor is obliged to complete the operation after all. Apparently cured, and endlessly grateful, the patient leaves. But a few weeks later the condition has recurred, and the doctor must operate on the healthy hand again. A few weeks later, a letter arrives from the patient. The condition has recurred again... but this time the patient is unwilling to try to cure it through surgery again. He explains the background of his strange malady.... and a very peculiar and gripping tale it is....