Madelaine and the people joined in thanking and blessing this benevolent man, who went directly to do as he had promised. In the meantime, a litter had been brought, Madelaine helped to place her brother upon it, then kissing him tenderly, she returned weeping to her work.
Madame Tube had already shed many bitter tears for her daughter—she shed many more when she heard of Raphael’s misfortune. When the unknown gentlemen told her of it, anguish prevented her speaking; but looking about the room she at last found the handle of an old broom, which she held as a support between her trembling hands, and set off for the hospital.
Thus, the stranger was obliged to feed the bird, and shutting up the house, he gave the key to the landlord; then he ran after Madame Tube, who could get on but slowly with her swelled feet. The people who passed saluted this gentleman, and named him the king’s minister. Notwithstanding, he did not appear the least ashamed to give his arm to this poor woman, and to accompany her to the hospital, where, thanks to his presence, admittance was soon granted to her. Raphael was already there, waiting for the surgeon, who had not yet arrived, and looked delighted to hear his mother’s voice, and receive her tender caresses.
When the surgeon came, he cut away the sleeve of Raphael’s jacket and shirt, and then called some men to assist him while he set the bone. The pain was dreadful—every cry of her child pierced the heart of Madame Tube, who fainted during these cruel moments. At last the arm was set and bandaged; the severest pain was over, and Raphael was laid upon a bed, where his mother watched him through the night. He soon became restless—the fever was very high, and he was with difficulty prevented from turning and injuring his broken arm again. Towards morning the fever abated a little. Madame Tube had not slept for an instant—she had not thought of eating or drinking—and now feeling quite exhausted, she determined to return home and take a few hours repose. On her way thither she remembered having left her door open, and feared that all her little property might have been stolen. She was re-assured on finding the door locked, and thinking the landlord had done her this kindness, she went to him for the key.
On seeing her, he appeared astonished, and said, that as she had stayed away so long, he had let the room to a fruiterer, who wanted to put fruit there, and had already taken possession, he added, that he had seized her goods to be sold by auction for the rent she owed him.
Madame Tube clasped her hands in despair, praying to be supported under this new trial, she turned from the hard-hearted man, and with difficulty retraced her steps to the hospital. There she found Madelaine released, and nursing her brother. Madame Tube obtained permission to occupy one of the beds until her son could be removed; and Madelaine felt thankful to be able to go out and purchase a little food for her mother with the money she had earned at Master Teuzer’s; she also hired a little room instead of their former one, but she was obliged to pay a month’s rent in advance, which left her but a few pence.