BEING THE REMARKABLE CONFESSIONS OF
ARCHIBALD MORE D'ESCOMBE, M.D., OF
KENSINGTON, LONDON, SELECTED
LAURENCE LANNER-BROWN. M.D.
WILLIAM LE QUEUX
HURST AND BLACKETT. Ltd.
PATERNOSTER HOUSE, E.C.
NOTE by Laurence Lanner-Brown, M.D.,
of Earl's Court Road, London
Some year and a half ago, my friend and erstwhile neighbour. Dr. Archibald More d'Escombe, died suddenly, and shortly after his decease I received from his solicitors a sealed packet addressed to me in his handwriting, with instructions that it was not to be opened until after his death.
Dr. More d'Escombe and I had been close friends for some years; first in the little Devonshire town of Okehampton, until he migrated to London, where I found him several years later, when I myself set up in practice in Earl's Court Road.
As I first remember him, he was a smart, slight, good-looking man—dark and clean-shaven, with an easy and taking manner—a favourite with all, especially the female sex, a clever medical, but at the same time excellent at bridge and at most games and sports, both indoor and out.
His wife was a pretty, well-meaning little woman, but entirely eclipsed by her smart, successful and fascinating husband.
In Okehampton, Dr. More d'Escombe was certainly the most popular figure, while in Kensington he was extremely well known and enjoyed a very wide and lucrative practice. Therefore it came as a great shock to me when I read the manuscript after his death and, to my horror, discovered what I should never have thought possible, yet, alas! only too plainly, how a clever, unscrupulous, and yet, in a way, plucky man of my own profession, possessed of deep knowledge and learning, can hoodwink, deceive and plunder the world in general, not even excluding his most intimate friends and acquaintances.
He having left it entirely at my discretion, I propose, with the assistance of my friend. Mr. William Le Queux, to publish a jew episodes of his varied and venturesome career because, he says in his MSS.: "I leave no one behind me, and therefore there is no reason why some of the fools in the world should not be shown how blind and credulous they may be, especially if one fully comprehends the power of flattery—a great power."
At the risk of condemnation by the whole medical profession and perhaps by the public at large, I have selected a few of the many striking and astounding incidents he records—the majority being entirely unsuited to the public eye—and wherever possible I quote his own words.
"Let my career serve as a warning to others," he urges, and mainly for that reason I have ventured to publish this remarkable record.
Earl's Court Road, IV.