“But I have heard my birds sing,” cried the little creature, “and I have smelt my flowers. Yes, indeed I have! And both were most beautiful and most Divine!”

“Stay and help to nurse me,” said Eugene, quietly. “I should like you to have the fancy here, before I die.”

She touched his lips with her hand, and shaded her eyes with that same hand as she went back to her work and her little low song. He heard the song with evident pleasure, until she allowed it gradually to sink away into silence.


“My dear Eugene.”

“If you can give me anything to keep me here for only a few minutes—”

“To keep you here, Eugene?”

“To prevent my wandering away I don’t know where — for I begin to be sensible that I have just come back, and that I shall lose myself again — do so, dear boy!”

Mortimer gave him such stimulants as could be given him with safety (they were always at hand, ready), and bending over him once more, was about to caution him, when he said:

“Don’t tell me not to speak, for I must speak. If you knew the harassing anxiety that gnaws and wears me when I am wandering in those places — where are those endless places, Mortimer? They must be at an immense distance!”

He saw in his friend’s face that he was losing himself; for he added after a moment: “Don’t be afraid — I am not gone yet. What was it?”

“You wanted to tell me something, Eugene. My poor dear fellow, you wanted to say something to your old friend — to the friend who has always loved you, admired you, imitated you, founded himself upon you, been nothing without you, and who, God knows, would be here in your place if he could!”

“Tut, tut!” said Eugene with a tender glance as the other put his hand before his face. “I am not worth it. I acknowledge that I like it, dear boy, but I am not worth it. This attack, my dear Mortimer; this murder—”

His friend leaned over him with renewed attention, saying: “You and I suspect some one.”

“More than suspect. But, Mortimer, while I lie here, and when I lie here no longer, I trust to you that the perpetrator is never brought to justice.”


“Her innocent reputation would be ruined, my friend. She would be punished, not he. I have wronged her enough in fact; I have wronged her still more in intention. You recollect what pavement is said to be made of good intentions. It is made of bad intentions too. Mortimer, I am lying on it, and I know!”

“Be comforted, my dear Eugene.”

“I will, when you have promised me. Dear Mortimer, the man must never be pursued. If he should be accused, you must keep him silent and save him. Don’t think of avenging me; think only of hushing the story and protecting her. You can confuse the case, and turn aside the circumstances. Listen to what I say to you. It was not the schoolmaster, Bradley Headstone. Do you hear me? Twice; it was not the

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