“Give me another kiss, then!”—from which it was apparent that he knew very well what kind of medicine was best adapted to his ailments.
The Doctor came down to see him the very first thing every morning, and now he came quietly in, just as Nance had been administering her latest dose.
“Ah—ha, nurse! What are you doing to my patient!”
“I’m only keeping him quiet, sir, as you told me to,” said Nance, with a rosy face.
“It’s the doctor you ought to pay, not the patient. Well, my boy, how are we this morning? Head aching yet?”
“It does feel a bit queer. Tell me all about last night, Doctor!”
“Ah—ha, yes—last night! Well, you caught the murderer with a vengeance, my boy—or he caught you,”—and then, seeing the puzzlement in the tired eyes, he briefly explained the whole matter.
“And do you mean it was that awful beast killed the others?”
“Without a doubt—and would have killed you in exactly the same way, and exactly the same place, but for my pads and the Senechal’s bullets. Queer thing—they found the brute lying all in a heap in Coupee Bay on the very spot where Tom Hamon and Peter Mauger were found.”
“Ay-y-y-y-y!” breathed Gard, with a long sigh of relief and a shiver. “I shall never forget him.”
“Oh yes, you will—in time. Think of little Nance here. She’s a sight better worth thinking of. And now, Miss Nancy, how much good news can you stand all at once, if you try your very hardest?” he asked, with a sparkle in his eyes that somehow seemed to set hers sparkling too.
“Oh made, Doctor!” and the little hands clasped up on her breast, as was her way when greatly moved. “Not——?”
She dared not hope for so much—the wish of her heart—just an inch or so behind the desire for Gard’s recovery.
“The cutter this morning brought over one we had feared was lost——”
“Yes, my child, Bernel, by God’s good mercy! He was picked up by a Granville trawler, and lay there ill for some days, and could only get back by Jersey and Guernsey. He was to come along with the Senechal in a quarter of an hour—”
But Nance had fallen on her knees and buried her face in the bed-clothes, lest any but God should see it in the rapture of its breaking.
“Dieu merci! Dieu merci! Dieu merci!” she was crying, though none of them heard it.
And “Thank God!” said Stephen Gard with fervour—for Bernel, and for himself, but most of all for Nance.
Note.—The names used in this book are necessarily the names still current in Sark. None of the characters presented, however, are in any way connected with any persons now living in the Island.
***End of the project gutenberg EBOOK A maid of the silver sea***
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