Japhet, in Search of a Father eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 546 pages of information about Japhet, in Search of a Father.

“Tim,” said I, “if I should be unlucky to-morrow, you are my executor and residuary legatee.  My will was made when in Dublin, and is in the charge of Mr Cophagus.”

“Japhet, I hope you will allow me one favour, which is, to go to the ground with you.  I had rather be there than remain here in suspense.”

“Of course, my dear fellow, if you wish it,” replied I; “but I must go to bed, as I am to be called at four o’clock—­so let’s have no sentimentalising or sermonising.  Good-night, God bless you.”

I was, at that time, in a state of mind which made me reckless of life or of consequences; stung by the treatment which I received, mad with the world’s contumely, I was desperate.  True it was, as Mr Masterton said, I had not courage to buffet against an adverse gale.  Timothy did not go to bed, and at four o’clock was at my side.  I rose, dressed myself with the greatest care, and was soon joined by Captain Atkinson.  We then set off in a hackney-coach to the same spot to which I had, but a few months before, driven with poor Carbonnell.  His memory and his death came like a cloud over my mind, but it was but for a moment.  I cared little for life.  Harcourt and his second were on the ground a few minutes before us.  Each party saluted politely, and the seconds proceeded to business.  We fired, and Harcourt fell, with a bullet above his knee.  I went up to him, and he extended his hand.  “Newland,” said he, “I have deserved this.  I was a coward, in the first place, to desert you as I did—­and a coward, in the second, to fire at a man whom I had injured.  Gentlemen,” continued he, appealing to the seconds, “recollect, I, before you, acquit Mr Newland of all blame, and desire, if any further accident should happen to me, that my relations will take no steps whatever against him.”

Harcourt was very pale, and bleeding fast.  Without any answer I examined the wound, and found, by the colour of the blood, and its gushing, that an artery had been divided.  My professional knowledge saved his life.  I compressed the artery, while I gave directions to the others.  A handkerchief was tied tight round his thigh, above the wound—­a round stone selected, and placed under the handkerchief, in the femoral groove, and the ramrod of one of the pistols then made use of as a winch, until the whole acted as a tourniquet.  I removed my thumbs, found that the hemorrhage was stopped, and then directed that he should be taken home on a door, and surgical assistance immediately sent for.

“You appear to understand these things, sir,” said Mr Cotgrave.  “Tell me, is there any danger?”

“He must suffer amputation,” replied I, in a low voice, so that Harcourt could not hear me.  “Pray watch the tourniquet carefully as he is taken home, for should it slip it will be fatal.”

I then bowed to Mr Cotgrave, and, followed by Captain Atkinson, stepped into the hackney-coach and drove home.  “I will leave you now, Newland,” said Captain Atkinson; “it is necessary that I talk this matter over, so that it is properly explained.”

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Japhet, in Search of a Father from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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