Merchant's Gargling Oil
Researching a book during the writing phase is so much fun.
Young Gideon Hastings and his family figure prominently in the quartet of books that will complete the Biscuit McKee mysteries. Although his father dislikes the idea, Young Gideon is determined to be a veterinarian, so he apprentices himself to the elderly town vet and eventually takes over the practice when the old doctor dies.
One of the scenes I loved writing was one in which Young Gideon tries out a new liniment on one of the horses, while the mother of the horse’s owner watches him. Of course, I wanted to use an actual liniment that was popular in the late 1800s. Thanks to the Internet, I found Merchant’s Gargling Oil (really!)
Why the word "gargling" got into the title is a complete mystery, for it was not to be gargled, but to be applied externally.
As soon as I saw the monkey on the label and read the description of the oil’s long list of uses (everything from skin rashes to hemorrhoids), I knew I had to use it in my book.
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