He had gained his end, and taken the first step in the great road to fortune; and he doubted not his future relations with Jaspar would suggest a second.
The body of the deceased lady was claimed by Dalhousie, in behalf of Jaspar, and interred in Vicksburg.
In company with the new overseer and his wife, Jaspar returned the next day to Bellevue.
“Say quick! quoth
he; I bid thee say,
What manner of man art thou?
frame of mine was wrenched
With a woful agony,
Which forced me to begin my tale;
And then it left me free.” ANCIENT MARINER.
The morning advanced, and Henry Carroll, under the influence of the powerful opiate, still slept. By his side sat the misanthropic physician, who seemed to have learned a lesson of the dealing of the Creator with the creature such as he had never before acquired. He had rescued a fellow-creature from sure death, and the act seemed a part of the great duties of life which he had so long neglected. He reflected upon the numerous opportunities of doing good to his fellow-men from which his hermit-life debarred him. Again he thought of his daughter. Her image rose before him in the darkened chamber of the sick man, and seemed to reproach him for his want of faithfulness to her. The incident and reflections of the previous night had strangely influenced his mind, and changed the whole current of his impulses and hopes. The solitude of his lonely island no longer seemed desirable. The world, with all its vanities and vexations, was the true sphere of life.
The arrival of Jim now summoned him to the relief of Mrs. Swinger. Calling in the old negro, he gave him some directions in case the patient should awake, and, taking his case of surgical instruments, he proceeded to the landing. Unmooring the sail-boat, he took the two messengers on board, with their boat in tow. The wind was still fresh, and the yacht, with all her sails spread, bore the doctor rapidly on his errand of mercy. A strange impulse seemed to animate him,—an impulse of genuine, heart-felt sympathy towards the whole human family,—a feeling to which he had before been a stranger. His profession seemed to him now a boon of mercy to the suffering, and he saw how poorly he had performed his mission to the world. He felt a pleasure he had never before experienced, in being able to relieve the distressed, to heal the wounded heart, as well as the bruised limb.
Under the skilful pilotage of Dr. Vaudelier the more rapid currents were avoided, the boat pressed to her utmost speed; and in a short time the party landed at the wood-yard of Jerry Swinger.
During the absence of the messengers Emily, by the most assiduous attentions, had succeeded in restoring the wounded woman to a state of partial consciousness. The arrival of the doctor increased her hopes of a speedy restoration. The rough woodman, who had patiently watched Emily as she labored over his beloved partner, was melted into tears of joy when he heard her faintly articulate his name.