“Yes, thank God!” called Dr. Rowlands; “so now, boys, shut the windows, and get to sleep.”
Russell was carefully undressed, and put to bed in the Doctor’s own house, and the wound in his head was dressed. Eric and Montagu had beds provided them in another room by themselves, away from the dormitory: the room was bright and cheerful, with a blazing fire, and looked like home and when the two boys had drank some warm wine, and cried for weariness and joy, they sank to sleep after their dangers and fatigues, and slept the deep, calm, dreamless sleep of tired children.
So ended the perilous adventure of that eventful night of the Easter holidays.
THE SILVER CORD BROKEN
“Calm on the bosom
of thy God,
Fair spirit, rest thee now!
E’en while with us thy footsteps trod,
His seal was on thy brow.”—MRS. HEMANS.
They did not awake till noon. Montagu opened his eyes, and at first could not collect his thoughts, as he saw the carpeted little room, the bright fire, and the housekeeper seated in her arm-chair before it. But turning his head, he caught a glimpse of Eric, who was still asleep, and he then remembered all. He sprang out of bed, refreshed and perfectly well, and the sound of his voice woke Eric; but Eric was still languid and weak, and did not get up that day, nor was he able to go to work again for some days; but he was young and strong, and his vigorous constitution soon threw off the effects of his fast and exposure.
Their first inquiry was for Edwin. The nurse shook her head sadly. “He is very dangerously ill.”
“Is he?” said they both, anxiously. And then they preserved a deep silence; and when Montagu, who immediately began to dress, knelt down to say his prayers, Eric, though unable to get up, knelt also over his pillow, and the two felt that their young earnest prayers were mingling for the one who seemed to have been taken while they were left.
The reports grew darker and darker about Edwin, At first it was thought that the blow on his head was dangerous, and that the exposure to wet, cold, fear, and hunger, had permanently weakened his constitution; and when his youth seemed to be triumphing over these dangers, another became more threatening. His leg never mended; he had both sprained the knee badly, and given the tibia an awkward twist, so that the least motion was agony to him.