When Brillon arrived for a follow-up appointment three weeks later, Wolcott entered the room with a dropper in one hand and a vial of liquid that looked suspiciously like pond water in the other. The liquid, it turned out, was Wolcott's "anything": a murky concoction filled with bacteria-eating viruses known as bacteriophages. Physicians in Eastern Europe, Wolcott had explained to Brillon earlier, have been using phages safely since the 1920s to treat conditions that defy conventional antibiotics, from strep and tuberculosis to infected sores like his. Even U.S. drug companies sold them until the early 1940s, when penicillin came along and proved easier to use, generally more effective and, in the end, more lucrative than phages. The viruses might not help, he admitted, but if they didn't hurt, what was the harm in trying?