The Death Bed

A physician was called to a city state to provide his services to a tyrant. One evening, he was summoned to the torture chamber of the prison, where an interrogation was taking place. He was to keep the prisoner alive as long as possible. The device on which the captive lay was an adjustable iron bed that could stretch until the victim’s limbs were dislocated or torn from the body. The physician recognized the design, for he had invented it to aid patients suffering from bone and muscle pains. And he himself had gotten the idea from a myth about a man who tortured visitors with a similar iron bed. The physician wanted to laugh, but thought the timing was inappropriate.