When it makes its way into my mind, dear, said Rachael, and it will come sometimes, though I do all I can to keep it out, wi counting on to high numbers as I work, and saying over and over again pieces that I knew when I were a child I fall into such a wild, hot hurry, that, however tired I am, I want to walk fast, miles and miles. I must get the better of this before bedtime. Ill walk home wi you.
He might fall ill upon the journey back, said Sissy, faintly offering a worn-out scrap of hope; and in such a case, there are many places on the road where he might stop.
But he is in none of them. He has been sought for in all, and hes not there.
True, was Sissys reluctant admission.
Hed walk the journey in two days. If he was footsore and couldnt walk, I sent him, in the letter he got, the money to ride, lest he should have none of his own to spare.
Let us hope that tomorrow will bring something better, Rachael. Come into the air!
Her gentle hand adjusted Rachaels shawl upon her shining black hair in the usual manner of her wearing it, and they went out. The night being fine, little knots of Hands were here and there lingering at street corners; but it was supper-time with the greater part of them, and there were but few people in the streets.
Youre not so hurried now, Rachael, and your hand is cooler.
I get better, dear, if I can only walk, and breathe a little fresh. Times when I cant, I turn weak and confused.
But you must not begin to fail, Rachael, for you may be wanted at any time to stand by Stephen. Tomorrow is Saturday. If no news comes tomorrow, let us walk in the country on Sunday morning, and strengthen you for another week. Will you go?
They were by this time in the street where Mr Bounderbys house stood. The way to Sissys destination led them past the door, and they were going straight towards it. Some train had newly arrived in Coketown, which had put a number of vehicles in motion, and scattered a considerable bustle about the town. Several coaches were rattling before them and behind them as they approached Mr Bounderbys, and one of the latter drew up with such briskness as they were in the act of passing the house, that they looked round involuntarily. The bright gaslight over Mr Bounderbys steps showed them Mrs Sparsit in the coach, in an ecstasy of excitement, struggling to open the door; Mrs Sparsit seeing them at the same moment, called to them to stop.
Its a coincidence, exclaimed Mrs Sparsit, as she was released by the coachman. Its a Providence! Come out, maam! then said Mrs Sparsit, to some one inside, come out, or well have you dragged out!
Hereupon, no other than the mysterious old woman descended. Whom Mrs Sparsit incontinently collared.
Leave her alone, everybody! cried Mrs Sparsit, with great energy. Let nobody touch her. She belongs to me. Come in, maam! then said Mrs Sparsit, reversing her former word of command. Come in, maam, or well have you dragged in!
The spectacle of a matron of classical deportment, seizing an ancient woman by the throat, and hauling her into a dwelling-house, would have been under any circumstances, sufficient temptation to all true English stragglers so blest as to witness it, to force a way into that dwelling-house and see the matter out. But when the phenomenon was enhanced by the notoriety and mystery by this time associated all over the town with the Bank robbery, it would have lured the stragglers in, with an irresistible attraction, though the roof had been expected to fall upon their heads. Accordingly, the chance witnesses on the
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