The wounds of which she had spoken, seemed to be about the neck of the self-made outcast. She dressed them now, still without showing her. She steeped a piece of linen in a basin, into which she poured some liquid from a bottle, and laid it with a gentle hand upon the sore. The three-legged table had been drawn close to the bedside, and on it there were two bottles. This was one.
It was not so far off, but that Stephen, following her hands with his eyes, could read what was printed on it in large letters. He turned of a deadly hue, and a sudden horror seemed to fall upon him.
I will stay here, Stephen, said Rachael, quietly resuming her seat, till the bells go Three. Tis to be done again at three, and then she may be left till morning.
But thy rest agen tomorrows work, my dear.
I slept sound last night. I can wake many nights, when I am put to it. Tis thou who art in need of rest so white and tired. Try to sleep in the chair there, while I watch. Thou hadst no sleep last night, I can well believe. Tomorrows work is far harder for thee than for me.
He heard the thundering and surging out of doors, and it seemed to him as if his late angry mood were going about trying to get at him. She had cast it out; she would keep it out; he trusted to her to defend him from himself.
She dont know me, Stephen; she just drowsily mutters and stares. I have spoken to her times and again, but she dont notice! Tis as well so. When she comes to her right mind once more, I shall have done what I can, and she never the wiser.
How long, Rachael, ist looked for, that shell be so?
Doctor said she would haply come to her mind tomorrow.
His eyes fell again on the bottle, and a tremble passed over him causing him to shiver in every limb. She thought he was chilled with the wet. No, he said, it was not that. He had had a fright.
Ay, ay! coming in. When I were walking. When I were thinking. When I It seized him again; and he stood up, holding by the mantel-shelf, as he pressed his dank cold hair down with a hand that shook as if it were palsied.
She was coming to him, but he stretched out his arm to stop her.
No! Dont, please; dont. Let me see thee setten by the bed. Let me see thee, a so good, and so forgiving. Let me see thee as I see thee when I coom in. I can never see thee better than so. Never, never, never!
He had a violent fit of trembling, and then sunk into his chair. After a time he controlled himself, and, resting with an elbow on one knee, and his head upon that hand, could look towards Rachael. Seen across the dim candle with his moistened eyes, she looked as if she had a glory shining round her head. He could have believed she had. He did believe it, as the noise without shook the window, rattled at the door below, and went about the house clamouring and lamenting.
When she gets better, Stephen, tis to be hoped shell leave thee to thyself again, and do thee no more hurt. Anyways we will hope so now. And now I shall keep silence, for I want thee to sleep.
He closed his eyes, more to please her than to rest his weary head; but, by slow degrees as he listened to the great noise of the wind, he ceased to hear it, or it changed into the working of his loom, or even
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