Old Saint Paul's eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 571 pages of information about Old Saint Paul's.
of this rash attempt would be, and yet unable to tear himself away, he lingered on the wharf till he saw Leonard reach the opposite bank, where an attempt was made by a party of persons to seize him.  But instead of quietly surrendering himself, the apprentice instantly leapt into the river again, and began to swim back towards the point whence he had started.  Amazed at what he saw, the doctor ordered his servant, who by this time had joined the group, to bring a blanket, and descending to the edge of the river, awaited the swimmer’s arrival.  In less than ten minutes he had reached the shore, and clambering on the bank, fell from exhaustion.

“This is a violent effort of nature, which has accomplished more than science or skill could do,” said Hodges, as he gazed on the body, and saw that the pestilential tumour had wholly disappeared—­“he is completely cured of the plague.”

And throwing the blanket over him, he ordered him to be conveyed to his own house.

X.

THE PEST-HOUSE IN FINSBURY FIELDS.

Not a word passed between the grocer and his daughter, as he took her home from Saint Paul’s.  Amabel, in fact, was so overpowered by conflicting emotions that she could not speak; while her father, who could not help reproaching himself for the harshness he had displayed towards Leonard Holt, felt no disposition to break silence.  They found Mrs. Bloundel at the shop-door, drowned in tears, and almost in a state of distraction.  On seeing them, she rushed towards her daughter, and straining her to her bosom, gave free vent to the impulses of her affection.  Allowing the first transports of joy to subside, Mr. Bloundel begged, her to retire to her own room with Amabel, and not to leave it till they had both regained their composure, when he wished to have some serious conversation with them.

His request complied with, the grocer then retraced his steps to the cathedral with the intention of seeking an explanation from Leonard, and, if he saw occasion to do so, of revoking his severe mandate.  But long before he reached the southern transept, the apprentice had disappeared, nor could he learn what had become of him.  While anxiously pursuing his search among the crowd, and addressing inquiries to all whom he thought likely to afford him information, he perceived a man pushing his way towards him.  As this person drew near, he recognised Pillichody, and would have got out of his way had it been possible.

“You are looking for your apprentice, I understand, Mr. Bloundel,” said the bully, raising his hat—­“if you desire, it, I will lead you to him.”

Unwilling as he was to be obliged to one whom he knew to be leagued with the Earl of Rochester, the grocer’s anxiety overcame his scruples, and, signifying his acquiescence, Pillichody shouldered his way through the crowd, and did not stop till they reached the northern aisle, where they were comparatively alone.

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Old Saint Paul's from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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