Time wore away; I finished the book of Saul, and, closing the volume, returned it to its place. I then returned to my seat on the stone, and thought of what I had read, and what I had lately undergone. All at once I thought I felt well-known sensations—a cramping of the breast, and a tingling of the soles of the feet—they were what I had felt on the preceding day; they were the forerunners of the fear. I sat motionless on my stone; the sensations passed away, and the fear came not. Darkness was now coming again over the earth; the dingle was again in deep shade. I roused the fire with the breath of the bellows, and sat looking at the cheerful glow; it was cheering and comforting. My little horse came now and lay down on the ground beside the forge; I was not quite deserted. I again ate some of the coarse food, and drank plentifully of the water which I had fetched in the morning. I then put fresh fuel on the fire, and sat for a long time looking on the blaze; I then went into my tent.
I awoke, on my own calculation, about midnight—it was pitch dark, and there was much fear upon me.
CHAPTER IV.—A CLASSICAL ENCOUNTER—LONG MELFORD TO THE RESCUE.
Two mornings after the period to which I have brought the reader in the preceding chapter, I sat by my fire at the bottom of the dingle. I had just breakfasted, and had finished the last morsel of food which I had brought with me to that solitude.
“What shall I now do?” said I to myself: “shall I continue here, or decamp? This is a sad lonely spot—perhaps I had better quit it; but whither should I go? the wide world is before me, but what can I do therein? I have been in the world already without much success. No, I had better remain here; the place is lonely, it is true, but here I am free and independent, and can do what I please; but I can’t remain here without food. Well, I will find my way to the nearest town, lay in a fresh supply of provision, and come back, turning my back upon the world, which has turned its back upon me. I don’t see why I should not write a little sometimes; I have pens and an ink-horn, and for a writing-desk I can place the Bible on my knee. I shouldn’t wonder if I could write a capital satire on the world on the back of that Bible; but first of all I must think of supplying myself with food.”