This little story comes from "The Funny Side of Physicians."©1880 At first when I read "slippers and boots" I thought I had run across another odd expression but I found the tidbit so enjoyable, I thought I'd add it here for your enjoyment as well.
Quite as odd a fee was that presented to a celebrated New York surgeon about the year 1845. An ecceutric old merchant, a descendant of one of the early Dutch families of Manhattan Island, was sick at his summer residence on the Hudson, where his family physician attended him. The doctor gave him no encouragement that he ever would recover. A most celebrated surgeon, since deceased, was called as counsel, who, after careful examination of the case, and considering the merchant's age, coincided with the opinion of the family physician, and so expressed himself to the SLIPPERS AND BOOTS.
"Well, if that is all the good you can do, you may return to New York," said the doomed man. But as the astonished surgeon was going out of the house, the invalid seut a servant after him, in haste, saying, —
"Here, throw this old shoe after him, telling him that I wish him better luck on the next patient;" and drawing off" his embroidered slipper, he gave it to the servant, who, well used to his master's whims, as well as confident of his generosity, ran after the doctor, flinging the shoe, and giving the message, as directed. The surgeon felt sure of his fee, well knowing the ability of the eccentric merchant; but he picked up the shoe, and placing it in his coat pocket, said to his brother physician, who accompanied him, " I'll keep it, and I may get something, to boot."
It contained, stuffed into the toe, a draft for five hundred dollars.