BOOK THE FIRST - SOWING
13. Chapter Xiii - Rachael (continued)
'I thought so. But 'tis too bad a night for that. The rain falls
very heavy, and the wind has risen.'
The wind? True. It was blowing hard. Hark to the thundering in
the chimney, and the surging noise! To have been out in such a
wind, and not to have known it was blowing!
'I have been here once before, to-day, Stephen. Landlady came
round for me at dinner-time. There was some one here that needed
looking to, she said. And 'deed she was right. All wandering and
lost, Stephen. Wounded too, and bruised.'
He slowly moved to a chair and sat down, drooping his head before
'I came to do what little I could, Stephen; first, for that she
worked with me when we were girls both, and for that you courted
her and married her when I was her friend - '
He laid his furrowed forehead on his hand, with a low groan.
'And next, for that I know your heart, and am right sure and
certain that 'tis far too merciful to let her die, or even so much
as suffer, for want of aid. Thou knowest who said, "Let him who is
without sin among you cast the first stone at her!" There have
been plenty to do that. Thou art not the man to cast the last
stone, Stephen, when she is brought so low.'
'O Rachael, Rachael!'
'Thou hast been a cruel sufferer, Heaven reward thee!' she said, in
compassionate accents. 'I am thy poor friend, with all my heart
The wounds of which she had spoken, seemed to be about the neck of
the self-made outcast. She dressed them now, still without showing
her. She steeped a piece of linen in a basin, into which she
poured some liquid from a bottle, and laid it with a gentle hand
upon the sore. The three-legged table had been drawn close to the
bedside, and on it there were two bottles. This was one.