The Adventures Harry Richmond — Volume 7 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 108 pages of information about The Adventures Harry Richmond — Volume 7.

I cried out for a pause, offered to take a couple of them at a time:  I challenged three-the fourth to bide.  I was now the dancer:  left, right, and roundabout I had to swing, half-stunned, half-strangled with gorge.  Those terrible blows in the back did the mischief.  Sickness threatened to undermine me.  Boxers have breathing-time:  I had none.  Stiff and sick, I tried to run; I tottered, I stood to be knocked down, I dropped like a log-careless of life.  But I smelt earth keenly, and the damp grass and the devil’s play of their feet on my chin, chest, and thighs, revived a fit of wrath enough to set me staggering on my legs again.  They permitted it, for the purpose of battering me further.  I passed from down to up mechanically, and enjoyed the chestful of air given me in the interval of rising:  thought of Germany and my father, and Janet at her window, complacently; raised a child’s voice in my throat for mercy, quite inaudible, and accepted my punishment.  One idea I had was, that I could not possibly fail as a speaker after this—­I wanted but a minute’s grace to fetch breath for an oration, beginning, ‘You fools!’ for I guessed that they had fallen upon the wrong man.  Not a second was allowed.  Soon the shrewd physical bracing, acting momentarily on my brain, relaxed; the fitful illumination ceased:  all ideas faded out-clung about my beaten body-fled.  The body might have been tossed into its grave, for aught I knew.



I cannot say how long it was after my senses had gone when I began to grope for them on the warmest of heaving soft pillows, and lost the slight hold I had on them with the effort.  Then came a series of climbings and fallings, risings to the surface and sinkings fathoms below.  Any attempt to speculate pitched me back into darkness.  Gifted with a pair of enormous eyes, which threw surrounding objects to a distance of a mile away, I could not induce the diminutive things to approach; and shutting eyes led to such a rolling of mountains in my brain, that, terrified by the gigantic revolution, I lay determinedly staring; clothed, it seemed positive, in a tight-fitting suit of sheet-lead; but why?  I wondered why, and immediately received an extinguishing blow.  My pillow was heavenly; I was constantly being cooled on it, and grew used to hear a croon no more musical than the unstopped reed above my head; a sound as of a breeze about a cavern’s mouth, more soothing than a melody.  Conjecture of my state, after hovering timidly in dread of relapses, settled and assured me I was lying baked, half-buried in an old river-bed; moss at my cheek, my body inextricable; water now and then feebly striving to float me out, with horrid pain, with infinite refreshingness.  A shady light, like the light through leafage, I could see; the water I felt.  Why did it keep trying to move me?  I questioned and sank to the depths again.

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The Adventures Harry Richmond — Volume 7 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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