"Child's play"

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This article was published in the 17 February, 1816 edition of the "Caledonian Mercury" of Edinburgh;

      ULLAPOOL, January 8. --- On the 21st October last, Thomas Craig, son of George Craig, pensioner here, a school-boy about fourteen years of age, while climbing for amusement, and unluckily exerting himself beyond his ability, slipt from near the top-gallant mast of the sloop Friendship of this place, struck in his way the cross trees and gunwale, and fell, with an awful crash on the gravelly shore beneath, a height, as has since been ascertained, of fully 60 feet, the vessel lying at that time lying dry in the harbour.

At this moment, Mr Alexander Macdonald, merchant in Ullapool, was standing on the quay ; he sprang instantly to the unhappy youth, and, with much feeling, took him up in his arms, and carried him into his shop, and laid him down gently on the counter. The boy, at first, appeared to be quite dead, but after lying a short time, he began to exhibit some weak symptoms of life, upon which he was placed on a large plaid, and conveyed, by four men, to his father's house. Mr Alexander Pollock, surgeon of this place, was immediately called, who, on removing the clotted blood, and minutely examining the body, found that, besides a number of smaller injuries, the boy had received a shocking transverse cut, or gash, directly under the chin, from jaw to jaw, and another, of nearly the same horrid size, on the right knee, that the left thigh bone was broken about the middle, and that the right thigh bone was also broken in two distinct places, three divisions being made of it of similar lengths.

The wounds were then stitched, and the bones set, by Mr Pollock, with great tenderness and skill, and all possible means were adopted and continued by him to promote ease, obviate irritation, and prevent fever. Mr Pollock's exertions succeded to his wish, and, to the amazement of the whole district, no fever ensued ; as early as the 3d of December, the wounds were perfectly closed, the thigh bones were so perfectly cemented, and had acquired such strength, that he felt himself at liberty to permit his patient to be shifted from a bed daily to a chair by the fire, and, since that time, the recovery has been so uniform and rapid, that on Wednesday last, the 3d instant, the boy, by the help of a small rod in his hand, walked with considerabe facility through the streets of Ullapool, to the surprize and delight of all the inhabitants!

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