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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesWhat Will He Do With It - Book 11 - Chapter 6
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What Will He Do With It - Book 11 - Chapter 6 Post by :SwingWinger Category :Long Stories Author :Edward Bulwer-lytton Date :May 2012 Read :1394

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What Will He Do With It - Book 11 - Chapter 6

BOOK XI CHAPTER VI

INDIVIDUAL CONCESSIONS ARE LIKE POLITICAL; WHEN YOU ONCE BEGIN, THERE IS NO SAYING WHERE YOU WILL STOP.

Waife's first words on recovering consciousness were given to thoughts of Sophy. He had promised her to return, at farthest, the next day; she would be so uneasy he must get up--he must go at once. When he found his strength would not suffer him to rise, he shed tears. It was only very gradually and at intervals that he became acquainted with the length and severity of his attack, or fully sensible that he was in Darrell's house; that that form, of which he had retained vague dreamy reminiscences, hanging over his pillow, wiping his brow, and soothing him with the sweetest tones of the sweet human voice--that that form, so genial, so brotherlike, was the man who had once commanded him not to sully with his presence a stainless home.

All that had passed within the last few days was finally made clear to him in a short, unwitnessed, touching conversation with his host; after which, however, he became gradually worse; his mind remaining clear, but extremely dejected; his bodily strength evidently sinking. Dr. F------ was again summoned in haste. That great physician was, as every great physician should be, a profound philosopher, though with a familiar ease of manner, and a light off-hand vein of talk, which made the philosophy less sensible to the taste than any other ingredient in his pharmacopoeia. Turning everybody else out of the room, he examined his patient alone--sounded the old man's vital organs, with ear and with stethoscope--talked to him now on his feelings, now on the news of the day, and then stepped out to Darrell.

"Something on the heart, my dear sir; I can't get at it; perhaps you can. Take off that something, and the springs will react, and my patient will soon recover. All about him sound as a rock--but the heart; that has been horribly worried; something worries it now. His heart may be seen in his eye. Watch his eye; it is missing some face it is accustomed to see."

Darrell changed colour. He stole back into Waife's room, and took the old man's hand. Waife returned the pressure, and said: "I was just praying for you--and--and--I am sinking fast. Do not let me die, sir, without wishing poor Sophy a last good-bye!"

Darrell passed back to the landing-place where George and Lionel were standing, while Dr. F------- was snatching a hasty refreshment in the library before his return to town. Darrell laid his hand on Lionel's shoulder. "Lionel, you must go back to London with Dr. F-------. I cannot keep you here longer. I want your room."

"Sir," said Lionel, aghast, "while Waife is still so ill! You cannot be thus unkind."

"Inconsiderate egotist! would you deprive the old man of a presence dearer to him than yours? George, you will go too, but you will return. You told me, yesterday, that your wife was in London for a few days; entreat her to accompany you hither; entreat her to bring with her the poor young lady whom my guest pines to see at his bedside--the face that his eye misses."

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BOOK XI CHAPTER VIISOPHY, DARRELL, AND THE FLUTE-PLAYER. DARRELL. PREPARES A SURPRISE FOR WAIFE. Sophy is come. She has crossed that inexorable threshold. She is a guest in the house which rejects her as a daughter. She has been there some days. Waife revived at the first sight of her tender face. He has left his bed; can move for some hours a day into an adjoining chamber, which has been hastily arranged for his private sitting-room; and can walk its floors with a step that grows daily firmer in the delight of leaning on Sophy's arm. Since the girl's arrival,
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BOOK XI CHAPTER VTHE VAGABOND RECEIVED IN THE MANOR-HOUSE AT FAWLEY. Very lamely, very feebly, declining Lionel's arm, and leaning heavily on his crutch-stick, Waife crossed the threshold of the Manor-house. George sprang forward to welcome him. The old man looked on the preacher's face with a kind of wandering uncertainty in his eye, and George saw that his cheek was very much flushed. He limped on through the hall, still leaning on his staff, George and Lionel at either side. A pace or two, and there stood Darrell! Did he, the host, not spring forward to offer an arm, to
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