Now it happened that Kasturba, who had a brief respite, after her operation, had again begun getting haemorrhage, and the malady seemed to be obstinate. Hydropathic treatment by itself did not answer. She had not much faith in my remedies, though she did not resist them. She certainly did not ask for outside help. So when all my remedies had failed, I entreated her to give up salt and pulse. She would not agree, however much I pleaded with her, supporting myself with authorities. At last she challenged me, saying that even I could not give up these articles if I was advised to do so. I was pained and equally delighted, —delighted in that I got an opportunity to shower my love on her. I said to her: 'You are mistaken. If I was ailing and the doctor advised me to give up these or any other articles, I should unhesitatingly do so. But there! Without any medical advice, I give up salt and pulses for one year, whether you do so or not.'
She was rudely shocked
and exclaimed, in deep sorrow: 'Pray forgive me. Knowing you, I should
not have provoked you. I promise to abstain from these things, but for
heaven's sake take back your vow. This is too hard on me.'
'It is very good for
you to forego these articles. I have not the slightest doubt that you
will be all the better without them. As for me, I cannot retract a vow
seriously taken. And it is sure to benefit me, for all restraint,
whatever prompts it, is wholesome for men. You will therefore leave me
alone. It will be a test for me, and moral support to you in carrying
out your resolve.'
So she gave me up.
'You are obstinate. You will listen to none', she said, and sought
relief in tears.
After this Kasturba
began to pick up quickly—whether as a result of the saltless and
pulseless diet or of the other consequent changes in her food, I cannot
say. But she rallied quickly, haemorrhage completely stopped, and I
added somewhat to my reputation as a quack.