With a gentlemanly averting of the eyes, he pushed aside Miss Clermont's voluminous skirts, bleached and starched until they crackled. Miss Clermont parted her legs, encased in thick stockings of the finest silk. Turning aside to the wash-basin, he rinsed his hands one last time and soaked one in warm water and with the other, gently laid his palm on Artemis' ample Mound of Venus. Pulling his hand from the basin, he gently felt around the triangle around her inner thighs, and with tender strokes, gradually made his way in with two fingers. Miss Clermont gasped in surprise and stiffened up a bit.

"Beg your pardon, Dr. Faucoeur. I had a bit of a nervous chill."

"No need to be startled, Artemis. I regret that I did not soak my hand long enough; it was likely a little cold."

"Oh, Orion, do go on," she giggled.

He slid his fingers in knuckle-deep and felt around with his practiced fingertips. Finding his prize, he began to gently massage Miss Clermont's womb. Science would later name the specific point of Dr. Faucoeur's interest after another Teutonic madman named Grafenberg. Miss Clermont — Artemis, rather — contorted her face in a most unusual manner.

Orion knew the cure was nigh, and stepped up the tempo of his massagings, causing audible sloshings from her womb and audible moans from Artemis. She began to stiffen and rock back and forth, all but imperceptible to any but Orion's delicate pianist's fingers.

Orion bore down on Artemis' pelvis and stimulated with all his might. Artemis stiffened, gasped loudly and arched her back so sharply that Orion was afraid that he might have another medical emergency on his hands. For interminable seconds, she flopped about on the examination table, but the thrashing slowly subsided, and after about a minute, she lay there, flushed and panting, but with a glowing look of relief on her face. Orion washed his hands as Artemis regathered her composure.

"Well, Dr. Faucoeur, I do believe you have cured me."

"For now. This, I'm afraid, is a chronic condition, and you may need to come back here for follow-up examinations."

"It is not too great an onus."

"Do not fret, Miss Clermont. Most women outgrow this condition when they marry and bear children. You will not die from this ailment, rest assured."

"That is a relief. Do you really think I ought to marry?"

"Now, now, I'm only a young doctor, barely established in the world. I can hardly offer you advice on anything but medicine."

Miss Clermont stood up, still shaky from her treatment, and stood before Dr. Faucoeur, tall and straight-backed in her patent leather boots that clicked hollowly on the wooden floor.

"You are far more skilled than you think you are, Dr. Faucoeur. You really are far too humble."

"I do not know what to say to that."

A moment of silence. Miss Clermont looked a little disappointed.

"Well now, Dr. Faucoeur, I feel my symptoms are much alleviated. I must make my leave, as I imagine my father has other pressing engagements. Do not hesitate to call on me whenever you're around; I shall certainly take the liberty of calling on you when my symptoms swell up again."

"Indeed, Miss Clermont. Adieu."

She strode out on strengthening ankles, and Orion stood there in the examination room for a minute, wiping his hands off with another clean towel and marvelling at just how thankful Miss Clermont was of being cured of such a commonplace ailment. Truly, it was not as his father would like to think it was, that the world was stacked to the rafters with ungrateful wretches. Miss Clermont stepped light-footedly into the waiting carriage, her breathing still warm and ragged from her treatment, and secretly hoped that it wouldn't be the last time her hysteria proved symptomatic — then caught herself snickering at the silliness of it all.

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