The following item is from More of Paul Harvey’s The Rest of the Story. It was written by Paul Aurandt.
The Missing Bullet
You want excitement? Visit the first-aid station at one of those big public functions–a county fair, or something like that. Among the child patients you’ll find the ones who got sick on the candy, the ones who fell off the rides and even the ones about to be born.
It gets pretty dramatic sometimes. Like that time at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, when they brought in the victim of a shooting.
The victim’s name was Bill.
Fortunately for this fellow the first-aid station was a large one, sort of an emergency hospital. They even had an operating room.
And Bill was going to need it! He had taken two bullets at close range.
It was about four-thirty in the afternoon when Bill, conscious yet in severe shock, was taken inside and hoisted to the table and undressed.
It looked bad. The first shot had grazed a rib, had obviously deflected. The second wound was right in the stomach, and there was no exit wound. The bullet was still inside.
The doctors, realizing there was no time to waste, decided to operate. Anesthesia was administered. Bill did not count backward from one hundred. Instead he began, “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. . . .”
In moments he was under.
An incision was made, the abdomen opened. Indeed the bullet had slashed right through the stomach, front and rear walls. The lacerations were sutured–but where was the bullet? Lodged somewhere in the muscles of the back? It was as though the projectile had vanished.
Cleansing a wound of this kind was imperative, and obviously more than the peritoneal cavity was involved. The doctors really wanted to find that missing bullet, if only to trace its path. Yet this patient, dangerously weakened, might not survive a prolonged probing.
They closed him up–no drainage–and hoped for the best.
Bill was taken to a private residence in Buffalo to recuperate. He did not. A week later, he was dead.
Bill had had a few things going against him–overweight, nearly sixty. Mainly it was that wound, insufficiently cleansed and untraced.
“If” is a big question here, but if the doctors had been able to locate and remove the missing bullet–Bill might have lived.
And this is THE REST OF THE STORY. . .
Bill was shot at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, in 1901. On exhibition at the exposition–apparently unknown to the doctors, and not far from the scene of the shooting–was a new invention, a revolutionary device that could have helped–called the X-ray machine.
That machine–so near yet so far–was operable, and would most certainly have located the fatal bullet.
Instead, Bill–President William McKinley–died with that assassin’s bullet inside.