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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 638 pages of information about The Adventures Harry Richmond Complete.
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.

CHAPTER XLVI

AMONG GIPSY WOMEN

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.

The excruciated patient was having his wet bandages folded across his bruises, and could not bear a motion of the mind.

The mind’s total apathy was the sign of recovering health.  Kind nature put that district to sleep while she operated on the disquieted lower functions.  I looked on my later self as one observes the mossy bearded substances travelling blind along the undercurrent of the stream, clinging to this and that, twirling absurdly.

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