It is not an illness of any serious consequence, Sir Leicester. You will be much better to-morrow, Sir Leicester. All the gentlemen say so. This, with the tears coursing down her fair old face.
After making a survey of the room, and looking with particular attention all round the bed where the doctors stand, he writes, My Lady.
My Lady went out, Sir Leicester, before you were taken ill, and dont know of your illness yet.
He points again, in great agitation, at the two words. They all try to quiet him, but he points again with increased agitation. On their looking at one another, not knowing what to say, he takes the slate once more and writes My Lady. For Gods sake, where? And makes an imploring moan.
It is thought better that his old housekeeper should give him Lady Dedlocks letter, the contents of which no one knows or can surmise. She opens it for him, and puts it out for his perusal. Having read it twice by a great effort, he turns it down so that it shall not be seen, and lies moaning. He passes into a kind of relapse, or into a swoon; and it is an hour before he opens his eyes, reclining on his faithful and attached old servants arm. The doctors know that he is best with her; and when not actively engaged about him, stand aloof.
The slate comes into requisition again; but the word he wants to write he cannot remember. His anxiety, his eagerness, and affliction, at this pass, are pitiable to behold. It seems as if he must go mad, in the necessity he feels for haste, and the inability under which he labours of expressing to do what, or to fetch whom. He has written the letter B, and there stopped. Of a sudden, in the height of his misery, he puts Mr before it. The old housekeeper suggests Bucket. Thank Heaven! Thats his meaning.
Mr Bucket is found to be down-stairs, by appointment. Shall he come up?
There is no possibility of misconstruing Sir Leicesters burning wish to see him, or the desire he signifies to have the room cleared of every one but the housekeeper. It is speedily done; and Mr Bucket appears. Of all men upon earth, Sir Leicester seems fallen from his high estate to place his sole trust and reliance upon this man.
Sir Leicester Dedlock, Baronet, Im sorry to see you like this. I hope youll cheer up. Im sure you will, on account of the family credit.
Leicester puts her letter in his hands, and looks intently in his face while he reads it. A new intelligence comes into Mr Buckets eye, as he reads on; with one hook of his finger, while that eye is still glancing over the words, he indicates, Sir Leicester Dedlock, Baronet, I understand you.
Sir Leicester writes upon the slate. Full forgiveness. Find Mr Bucket stops his hand.
Sir Leicester Dedlock, Baronet, Ill find her. But my search after her must be begun out of hand. Not a minute must be lost.
With the quickness of thought, he follows Sir Leicester Dedlocks look towards a little box upon a table.
Bring it here, Sir Leicester Dedlock, Baronet? Certainly. Open it with one of these here keys? Certainly. The littlest key? To be sure. Take the notes out? So I will. Count em? Thats soon done. Twenty and thirtys fifty, and twentys seventy, and fiftys one twenty, and fortys one sixty. Take em for expenses? That Ill do, and render an account of course. Dont spare money? No I wont.
The velocity and certainty of Mr Buckets interpretation on all these heads is little short of miraculous. Mrs Rouncewell, who holds the light, is giddy with the swiftness of his eyes and hands, as he starts up, furnished for his journey.
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