As he sat in that vapour-bath of hurried and discontented humanity, a carriage of the underground railway, he, like others, stewed discontentedly, while in self-reproachful mood he turned over the many excellent and conclusive arguments which, though they lay at his fingers' ends, he had forgotten in the just past discussion.
The invasion of an army of jungle rats, behind the walls and above the ceiling of a room sodden and dripping with the afternoon's flood, completes the disillusion, and compels a hasty descent to the warmer damp of the lowlands, for the Equatorial climate, and the general absence of bed-coverings, causes a rheumatic stiffness on rising, which has to be steamed out by the atmospheric vapour-bath of the tropical island.
These burning hills in the Aveyron have been turned to one good purpose. The hot air that escapes from crevices where there is neither smoke nor fire is used for heating little cabins which have been constructed for the treatment of persons suffering from rheumatic disorders. There they can obtain a natural vapour-bath that is both cheap and effectual.
"All right, Bob," I replied; "I'm going," and saturated with the moisture of my strange vapour-bath, I went along the narrow passage by the bulwarks, to find to my astonishment that I had walked out of a dense fog into the clear sunshine; and when I looked back, it was to see the white vapour towering up as if to reach the skies.
On the first attack of a fever, when the patient complains of cold, he is frequently placed in a sort of vapour-bath. This is done by spreading branches of the nauclea orientalis upon hot wood embers, and laying the patient upon them, wrapped up in a large cotton cloth.
And among the topics from the Académie, there is one important to the naval service M. Normandy's apparatus for converting sea-water into fresh water. Briefly described, it is a series of disks, placed one above the other, communicating by concentric galleries, and placed in a vapour-bath at a pressure a little above that of the atmosphere.
And now the haunch of mutton vapour-bath having received a gamey infusion, and a few last touches of sweets and coffee, was quite ready, and the bathers came; but not before the discreet automaton had got behind the bars of the piano music-desk, and there presented the appearance of a captive languishing in a rose-wood jail.
Wolley proposed to us another luxury, in the shape of a vapour-bath, as Herr Forström had one of those bathing-houses which are universal in Finland. It was a little wooden building without windows. A Finnish servant-girl who had been for some time engaged in getting it in readiness, opened the door for us. The interior was very hot and moist, like an Oriental bathing-hall.
Whether they effect a cure or not, they are sure to be well recompensed for their expenditure of wind, an article of which they are not sparing: they, in fact, exert themselves so much that the perspiration pours from every pore. The only real remedy they use, in common with other Indians, is the vapour-bath, or sweating-house.
The rains cease early in September, after which we are to expect a complete vapour-bath until the end of October, by which time the fiery sun will have evaporated the moisture from the sodden earth; that interval will be the most unhealthy season.