Beckoning the old woman away from the bedroom door and into the far corner of the small hall, Harry unfolded to her as much of his plans for the next day as he thought she ought to know. Early in the morning —before his uncle was astir—he would betake himself to Kennedy Square; ascertain from Pawson whether his uncle’s rooms were still unoccupied, and if such were the case—and St. George be unable to walk—would pick him up bodily, wrap him in blankets, carry him in his own arms downstairs, place him in a carriage, and drive him to his former home where he would again pick him up and lay him in his own bed: This would be better than a hundred doctors—he had tried it himself when he was down with fever and knew. Aunt Jemima was to go ahead and see that these preparations were carried out. Should Alec be able to bring his mother to Kennedy Square in the morning, as he had instructed him to do, then there would indeed be somebody on hand who could nurse him even better than Jemima; should his mother not be there, Jemima would take her place. Nothing of all this, he charged her, was to be told St. George until the hour of departure. To dwell upon the intended move might overexcite him. Then, when everything was ready—his linen, etc., arranged—(Jemima was also to look after this)—he would whisk him off and make him comfortable in his own bed. He would, of course, now that his uncle wished it, keep secret his retreat; although why St. George Wilmot Temple, Esq., or any other gentleman of his standing, should object to being taken care of by his own servants was a thing he could not understand: Pawson, of course, need not know—nor should any outside person—not even Gadgem if he came nosing around. To these he would merely say that Mr. Temple had seen fit to leave home and that Mr. Temple had seen fit to return again: that was quite enough for attorneys and collectors. To all the others he would keep his counsel, until St. George himself made confession, which he was pretty sure he would do at the first opportunity.
This decided upon he bade Jemima good-night, gave her explicit directions to call him, should his uncle awake (her own room opened out of St. George’s) spread his blanket in the cramped hall outside the sick man’s door—he had not roughed it on shipboard and in the wilderness all these years without knowing something of the soft side of a plank—and throwing his heavy ship’s coat over him fell fast asleep.
When the first glimmer of the gray dawn stole through the small window at the end of the narrow hall, and laid its chilled fingers on Harry’s upturned face, it found him still asleep. His ride to Moorlands and back—his muscles unused for months to the exercise—had tired him. The trials of the day, too, those with his father and his Uncle George, had tired him the more—and so he had slept on as a child sleeps—as a perfectly healthy man sleeps—both mind and body drinking in the ozone of a new courage and a new hope.