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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 664 pages of information about Magnum Bonum.

“It’s awful!”

“What is?”

“Brownlow’s pain.  I never saw anything like it!”

“Rheumatism?  If that is from the exposure, I hope it will not last long.”

“No.  They’ve sent for some opiates to Leukerbad, and the doctor says that is sure to put him to sleep.”

“Medlicott stays there?”

“Yes.  He says if little Armine is any way fit, he must move him away to-morrow at all risks from the night-cold up there, and he wants Reeves to see about men to carry him, that is if—-if to-night does not—-”

Cecil could not finish.

“Then it is as bad as we heard?”

“Quite,” said Cecil, “or worse.  That dear little chap, just fancy!” and his eyes filled with tears.  “He tried to thank me for having been good to him-—as if I had.”

“He was your fag?”

“Yes; Skipjack asked me to choose him because he’s that sort of little fellow that won’t give into anything that goes against his conscience, and if one of those fellows had him that say lower boys have no business with consciences, he might be licked within an inch of his life and he’d never give in.  He did let himself be put under a pump once at some beastly hole in the country, for not choosing to use bad language, and he has never been so strong since.”

“Mother would be glad that at least you allowed him the use of his conscience.”

“I’m glad I did now,” said Cecil, with a sigh, “though it was a great nuisance sometimes.”

“Was the Monk, as you call him, one of that set?”

“Bless you, no, he’s a regular sap, as steady as old time.”

“I wonder if he is the son of the doctor whom Medlicott talks of.”

“No; his father is alive.  He is a colonel, living near their place.  The other two are the doctor’s sons; their mother came into the property after his death.  Their Maximus was in college at first, and between ourselves, he was a bit of a snob, who couldn’t bear to recollect it.”

“Not your friend?”

“No, indeed.  The eldest one, who has left these two years, and is at Christchurch.”

“I am sure the one who came down here was a gentleman.”

“So they are, all three of them,” said Cecil, who had never found his brother so ready to hear anything about his Eton life, since in general accounts of the world, from which he was debarred, so jarred on his feelings that he silenced it with apparent indifference, contempt, or petulance.  Now, however, Cecil, with his heart full of the Brownlows, could not say more of them than Fordham was willing to hear; nay, he even found an amused listener to some of his good stories of courageous pranks.

Fordham was not yet up the next morning when there was a knock at his door, and the doctor came in, answering his eager question with—-

“Yes, he has got through this night, but another up in that place would be fatal.  We must get them down to Leukerbad.”

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