“He is alive!” she cried. “His eyes have opened. A knife! Cut these cords!”
That was soon accomplished, but Waymark lay motionless; he showed that he understood what was going on, but he was quite blind, his voice had all but gone, and a dead man could as soon have risen. Ida still knelt by him, chafing one of his hands; when he tried to speak, she gently raised his head and let it rest upon her lap. In a few minutes Abraham had procured a glass of spirits, and, after drinking this, Waymark was able to make himself understood.
“Who is touching me?” he asked in a hoarse whisper. “It is all dark. Whose hand is this?”
“It’s Ida,” Abraham said, when she herself remained silent. “She and I have had a rare hunt for you.”
He endeavoured to raise himself, but in vain. All he could do was to press her hand to his heart. In the meantime the policeman had come up, and with his help Waymark was carried downstairs, out into the court, and thence to the end of Litany Lane, where the cab still waited.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Four days after this the following paragraph appeared in the morning papers:—
“The man wanted on a charge of robbery with violence in the East End, and who appears to be known only by the nickname of Slimy, was yesterday afternoon discovered by the police in a cellar in Limehouse. He seems to have been in hiding there since the perpetration of the crime, only going out from time to time to purchase liquor at public-houses in the neighbourhood. Information given by the landlord of one of these houses led to his arrest. He was found lying on the stone floor, with empty bottles about him, also a quantity of gold and silver coins, which appeared to have rolled out of his pocket. He was carried to the police-station in an insensible state, but on being taken to the cell, came to himself, and exhibited symptoms of delirium tremens. Two officers remained with him, but the assistance of a third shortly became necessary, owing to the violence of his struggles. Towards midnight his fury lessened, and. after a very brief interval of unconsciousness, the wretched creature expired.”
Mr. Woodstock’s house at Tottenham was a cheerful abode when the months of early summer came round, and there was thick leafage within the shelter of the old brick wall which shut it off from the road.
For the first time in his life he understood the attractions of domesticity. During the early months of the year, slippers and the fireside after dinner; now that the sunset-time was growing warm and fragrant, a musing saunter about the garden walks; these were the things to which his imagination grew fond of turning. Nor to these only; blended with such visions of bodily comfort, perchance lending to them their chief attraction, was the light of a young face, grave always, often sad, speaking with its beautiful eyes to those simpler and tenderer instincts of his nature which had hitherto slept. In the presence of Ida (who was now known, by his wish, as Miss Woodstock) Abraham’s hard voice found for itself a more modest and musical key.