"I am from Kiev. Learned to read and write at the Kiev-Bratsk college, and then I became a doctor. Until now, I offered myself to the Cossacks of the Kurenevskoe community. Healed them from hang-overs, offered bloodletting, dressed their wounds. And what a life it would have been, have I not met that French cartographer... what was his name... Guillaume de Beauplan. He fell ill as he was passing through Kiev, and I was summoned to apply leeches..."
"The Frenchman was certainly talkative. While I was treating him... my what stories he told! About cherry-trees under Pereyaslav which would grow only up to the waist, and of the crayfish in the Ukrainian rivers nigh the size of a cat! And that the Tatar children are born blind like puppies, and only open their eyes on the second week... Among other stories, Beauplan told me that the Sich Cossacks treat fever by mixing vodka with gunpowder..."
"The next day I was called to a sick Cossack colonel in Kurenevka, and I gave him that very treatment. The poor chap guzzled down the cure, and cried out like mad -- for the whole day, until he died in the evening. The nitre in the powder had burned his intestines. The people of Kurenevka learned of this, and sent almost a full regiment after me, threatening to put my skin on a drum."