Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XI: The Crisis >> Page 108

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Page 108

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription Io8JOSCELYN
"He sleeps! Let him sleep as long as he can. Everything will
depend on his sleeping. Do not wake him by any means. No noise.
Dr. Ford will be here by daylight, and it is now quite two o'clock."
He left her, but returned again at dawn. The patient still slept.
Martin took his seat beside him, while Annie and her aunt retired to
the adjoining room to make their toilet. Soon after daylight, Dr.
Ford arrived, and was ushered into the chamber. He did not venture
to feel the pulse of his patient. He stooped and listened to his breath-
ings, which had become slow and regular, broken only occasionally
by a sighing sound seemingly of a deeper-drawn respiration, rather
than any expression of pain or suffering. While the two thus sate
together, Walter opened his eyes, and murmured :
"Is it you, Martin?"
Consciousness had voluntarily returned from sleep. The crisis had
passed.
At this moment, the wheels of a carriage rolled up to the door and
stopped. Old Dunbar had arrived. He could no longer resist his
anxieties. The evening before Miss Janet had apprised him that the
crisis had arrived that a favorable change must take place that night,
or they might abandon hope. He had come accordingly; he had not
slept that night. The Nemesis had been at his pillow, with her scor-
pion wand, and his remorse of conscience aggravated every injustice
of which he had been guilty to his son every harsh utterance, into
the blow that had proved him mortal! For once the Baron was un-
manned; his fears had got the better of his pride and arrogance; he
was no longer ambitious of making himself felt by others, in the keen
feeling of his own apprehensions.
The doctor went below to meet him. He anticipated the question
which the father found himself unable to articulate.
"We have hopes of him now," he said. "He has had a good sleep;
he has awakened in his senses; the fever has entirely left him; he
raves no longer, and the circulation has become regular."
"Oh! thank you, thank you, doctor. Let me go to him now."
"That you cannot do."
"What! ´┐Żnot my own son ! "
"Were he twenty sons, you must not see him, nor he you."
"But, doctor, I will only look at him, and speak to him gently and
lovingly, as a father should."