Book: Ask the Right Question

Previous: 24
Next: 26

25

At eleven the next morning I was in the library. Looking up artificial insemination and sterility.

Britannica: “This is insemination of a breeding female by other than natural mating.… It was used long ago by the Arabs in horse breeding. Fowls, rabbits, dogs and other animals have been bred by artificial insemination. Beginning in 1940 the practice, became widespread in the United States particularly with dairy cattle.… The semen may be collected in a number of ways.… In most stud bulls, the artificial vagina method … is preferred.”

And on sterility: “Involuntary failure to reproduce (infertility) occurs in 10 percent of married couples in most populations that have been studied.…

“‘He whose testicles are crushed or whose male member is cut off shall not enter the assembly of the Lord.’ (Deuteronomy 23:1).…

“Correction of female infertility is more successful [than correction of male infertility]; mechanical problems can sometimes be corrected surgically and it is even possible to induce ovulation by giving human gonadotrophin.…”

Americana: “… A wife may be inseminated artifically with semen from a donor selected by a physician. This may be done when the husband is sterile or has an inheritable defect that he does not want to transmit to his children. The United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. in 1962 approved artificial insemination for couples with ‘intelligence and emotional stability’ and urged uniform state laws to protect the legal rights of ‘test tube babies.’”

Stedman’s Medical Dictionary: Nothing.

Collier’s Encyclopedia: “Since about 1920 artificial insemination has been resorted to in many cases of sterility.… The practice is not universally adoptable because of emotional and religious objections.”

Which proved? The thing could have taken place exactly as advertised with regard to artificial insemination. I had hoped to find that nobody thought of artificial insemination for people till about 1956. Only thirty-five years out.

I wanted to prove I was being lied to. Because I don’t like being lied to. Which would be incentive enough to go on with it all. Despite the respect I’d acquired for Leander Crystal I felt he must be lying to me. Basically because I didn’t think what I knew was worth fifty thousand dollars, not even in scandal. I would have been more like Eloise. I might have settled for five thousand dollars.

What I would do was go on long enough to prove whether or not I had been lied to.

I would explore no new avenues. Go over notes, OK. Make visits to people I was already committed to visit. Check the records I had solicited from Miller and tell him what I had. Read my mail. And maybe have a look over the pictures I got from Crystal.

And if nothing came up, in a week, I would deposit my check and make a withdrawal and …

I went off for lunch at Joe’s. In the middle of my second burger I nearly drowned in an urge to run to my nearest bank. What matter that it was Saturday. I would bang on the door until someone let me in. When I was going down for the third time, I ordered lemon meringue pie, chocolate ice cream, black coffee and decided to give it three days, max.

Previous: 24
Next: 26