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This book is made up of several stories, medical interest lying in the first, the chief character of which, Mortmain, has the title rôle. A surgeon, having perfected the separate technics of uniting severed bones, blood vessels, nerves, etc., combines them all in one operation on a cat, with success. Then, the opportunity to try this on a human subject presents itself when Mortmain's hand requires amputation because of an injury. A man is found to supply the member to be substituted. Success results; but the grafter hand is a strange one to the new owner, and the former owner of the hand dies as the result of the operation. The plot hinges on the fact that the former owner of the hand had committed a crime which relieved its new owner from imminent bankruptcy, but the grafted hand involves its new owner by reason of the thumb print. The
Mortmain.. JAMA. 1908;L(18):1444. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02530440054030