“Can’t I get it, too?” Aladdin cried. “Have I got to be little and mean always? So help me, Manners, I don’t love any one but you and her.”
“You ’re not fit to talk,” said Manners, with great gentleness. “You go to sleep.” He arose, and going to the door of the house, opened it a little way and looked out.
“It’s warm as toast out, Aladdin,” he called. “There’s going to be a big thaw.” He closed the door and went into the next room, and Aladdin could hear him talking to the horse. After a little he came back.
“Greener says that she never was better stalled,” he said.
“Manners,” said Aladdin, “have I been raving?”
“Not been riding quite straight,” said Manners.
“How soon are we going to start?” said Aladdin.
“We’ve got to wait till the snow’s pretty well melted,” said Manners. “About noon, I think.”
Then, because he was very tired and sick and weak, and perhaps a trifle delirious, Aladdin asked Manners if he would mind holding his hand. Manners took the hand in his, and a thrill ran up Aladdin’s arm and all over him, till it settled deliciously about his heart, and he slept.
The sun rose, and dazzling beams of light filled the room.
“In this combat no man can imagine, unless he had seen and heard as I did, what yelling and hideous roaring Apollyon made all the time of the fight, he spake like a Dragon; and on the other side, what sighs and groans burst from Christian’s heart. I never saw him all the while give so much as one pleasant look, till he perceived he had wounded Apollyon with his two-edged sword: then indeed he did smile and look upward.”
Senator St. John, attended by Margaret, her maid, and a physician, had made the arduous journey from Washington to Portland without too much fatigue, and it seemed reasonable to suppose that a long rest in his comfortable house, far from the turmoil of public affairs, would do much to reinstate his body after the savage attack of gout with complications to which it had been subjected during six long weeks. Arrived at Portland, he was driven to the house of his old friend Mr. Blankinship, and helped to bed. Next morning he was seized with acute pains in the region of the heart, and though his valiant mind refused for a single moment to tolerate the thought that the end might be near, was persuaded to send for his daughter and his sons.
Margaret was in the parlor with Aladdin. It was April, and the whole land dripped. Through the open window, for the day was warm, the moisture of the soaked ground and trees was almost audible. Margaret had much to say to Aladdin, and he to her; they had not met for several months.
“I want to hear about Peter,” said Aladdin—“all about him. He met you, of course, and got you across the city?”