Out came his medical books, and a feverish reference to index began: “What poison did you say, sir?” “Barium carbonate”. “Ah yes—B—Ba—Barium Salts—Ah! Barium carbonate! Symptoms — paralysis—treatment—injections of .. Just a minute, sir. I’ll bring my syringe and the medicine.” A dash back to the car. Bruno still floundering about on his stumps, but clearly weakening rapidly; some vomiting, heavy breathing, with heaving flanks and gaping mouth.

     Hold him, everybody! In goes the hypodermic—Bruno squeals — 10 c.c. of the antidote enters his system without a drop being wasted. Ten minutes later: condition unchanged! Another 10 c.c. injected! Ten minutes later: breathing less stertorous— Bruno can move his arms and legs a little although he cannot stand yet. Thirty minutes later: Bruno gets up and has a great feed! He looks at us disdainfully, as much as to say, ‘What’s barium carbonate to a big black bear like me?’ Bruno is still eating.
     Another time he found nearly one gallon of old engine oil which I had drained from the sump of the Studebaker and was keeping as a weapon against the inroads of termites. He promptly drank the lot. But it had no ill effects whatever.
The doctor takes up his old medical books, probably because he had only been treating dogs, cats and other usual pet animals. It was an unexpected situation to treat a bear that had consumed poison. The doctor consults the index of the medical book to find out the appropriate injection for Bruno. An index is a list of names or topics that are to be found in a book. It is a list arranged in alphabetical order at the end of a book, which is why he repeats the letter B to himself in an effort to trace the chemical's name and antidote easily. He comes across other words like barium salts and finally finds it, upon which he skims through the symptoms, effects and treatment and comes across the injection that he has to use to cure him. He rushes to get it, whilst Bruno's condition keeps worsening showing symptoms like vomiting, heavy breathing, his body becoming heavy and his mouth opening wide.
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A vet treating a dog
As people held on to him, the injection is filled with medicine and is given to him. First, he is injected 10cc of the medicine. The cc refers to cubic centimetre in which the medicine is measured. But since he does not respond to it, another 10cc is injected. After ten minutes, his breathing becomes normal, and he could move his hands in a considerably better way. After thirty minutes, he wakes up, stands and walks with his legs, as though nothing bad had happened. He gives a casual look to the narrator, showing he was very brave to face through the hardships. He does not refrain from eating as he is not threatened by the fact that he was put in this condition, only because of not thinking before eating. He has a lavish meal, returning back to normalcy.
He recounts another incident where Bruno had gulped down one gallon of engine oil. The narrator had drained it from the engine of his Studebaker car. He had kept it aside for the purpose of escaping the termites that were attacking him. Termites generally attack the basement or other wooden areas in the house that are mostly untouched. The author wanted to use engine oil, because the oil would reduce the taste of the wood for the termites, thereby reducing their attack. Bruno had the least effect after drinking it. He casually walked and played and was his normal self, making him a cute little bear who loved to eat, drink and make merry.
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Studebaker car
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Termites attacking wood
Meaning of difficult words:
FlounderingFinding it difficult to do a task
FlanksThe side of an animal's body
HypodermicAn instrument with a long needle use to inject medicine into the skin
AntidoteThe remedy to poison
DisdainfullyRefusing with hatred
RefrainPreventing from doing a thing
ProfoundA strong feeling
GapingBecome wide open
SquealTo make a loud noise with pain or excitement
StertorousNoisy and strained breathing
ccCubic Centimeters, in which the medicine is measured
LavishIn large amount
StudebakerA car company
GallonUsed to measure liquid
SumpThe oil pan in the bottom of the car, which holds the oil when the car is not working
TermitesInsects that dwell on wood and make them rot
GulpTo drink in large amount
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Beehive. The Bond of Love - Kenneth Anderson (pp.113-118). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.