A fortnight or so afterwards, when the public excitement occasioned by the Caresfoot tragedy had been partially eclipsed by a particularly thrilling child-murder and suicide, a change for the better took place in Angela’s condition. One night, after an unusually violent fit of raving, she suddenly went to sleep about twelve o’clock, and slept all that night and all the next day. About half-past nine on the following evening, the watchers in her room—namely, Pigott, Mr. Fraser, and Dr. Williamson, who was trying to make out what this deep sleep meant— were suddenly astonished at seeing her sit up in her bed in a listening attitude, as though she could hear something that interested her intensely, for the webbing that tied her down had been temporarily removed, and then cry, in a tone of the most living anguish, and yet with a world of passionate remonstrance in her voice,
Then she sank down again for a few minutes. It was the same night that Mildred and Arthur sat together on the deck of the Evening Star. Presently she opened her eyes, and the doctor saw that there was no longer any madness in them, only great trouble. Her glance first fell upon Pigott.
“Run,” she said, “run and stop him; he cannot have gone far. Bring him back to me; quick, or he will be gone.”
“Who do you mean, dear?”
“Arthur, of course—Arthur.”
“Hush, Angela!” said Mr. Fraser, “he has been gone a long time; you have been very ill.”
She did not say anything, but turned her face to the pillow and wept, apparently as much from exhaustion as from any other cause, and then dropped off to sleep again.
“Her reason is saved,” said Dr. Williamson, as soon as they were outside the door.
“Thanks be to Providence and you, doctor.”
“Thanks to Providence alone. It is a case in which I could do little or nothing. It is a most merciful deliverance. All that you have to do now is to keep her perfectly quiet, and, above all, do not let her father come near her at present. I will call in and tell him. Lady Bellamy? Oh! about the same. She is a strange woman; she never complains, and rarely speaks—though twice I have heard her break out shockingly. There will never be any alternation in her case till the last alteration. Good-bye; I will look round to-morrow.”
After this, Angela’s recovery was, comparatively speaking, rapid, though of course the effects of so severe a shock to the nervous system could not be shaken off in a day. Though she was no longer mad, she was still in a disturbed state of mind, and subject to strange dreams or visions. One in particular that visited her several nights in a succession, made a great impression upon her.