Chapter 24: The Lady Anne, or a Runaway Horse
Motionless among the heather, with her face to the earth,
lay my poor young mistress. Blantyre kneeled down and called her name:
there was no sound. Gently he turned her face upward: it was ghastly white
and the eyes were closed. "Annie, dear Annie, do speak!"
But there was no answer. He unbuttoned her habit, loosened her collar,
felt her hands and wrist, then started up and looked wildly round him
At no great distance there were two men cutting turf, who,
seeing Lizzie running wild without a rider, had left their work to catch her.
Blantyre's halloo soon brought them to the spot. The foremost man
seemed much troubled at the sight, and asked what he could do.
"Can you ride?"
"Well, sir, I bean't much of a horseman, but I'd risk my neck
for the Lady Anne; she was uncommon good to my wife in the winter."
"Then mount this horse, my friend -- your neck will be quite safe --
and ride to the doctor's and ask him to come instantly; then on to the hall;
tell them all that you know, and bid them send me the carriage,
with Lady Anne's maid and help. I shall stay here."
"All right, sir, I'll do my best, and I pray God the dear young lady
may open her eyes soon." Then, seeing the other man, he called out,
"Here, Joe, run for some water, and tell my missis to come
as quick as she can to the Lady Anne."
He then somehow scrambled into the saddle, and with a "Gee up"
and a clap on my sides with both his legs, he started on his journey,
making a little circuit to avoid the dike. He had no whip,
which seemed to trouble him; but my pace soon cured that difficulty,
and he found the best thing he could do was to stick to the saddle
and hold me in, which he did manfully. I shook him as little
as I could help, but once or twice on the rough ground he called out,
"Steady! Woah! Steady!" On the highroad we were all right;
and at the doctor's and the hall he did his errand like a good man and true.
They asked him in to take a drop of something. "No, no," he said;
"I'll be back to 'em again by a short cut through the fields,
and be there afore the carriage."