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Chapter 3 (continued)
'Hush!' said Barnaby, laying his fingers upon his lips. 'He went out to-day a wooing. I wouldn't for a light guinea that he should never go a wooing again, for, if he did, some eyes would grow dim that are now as bright as--see, when I talk of eyes, the stars come out! Whose eyes are they? If they are angels' eyes, why do they look down here and see good men hurt, and only wink and sparkle all the night?'
'Now Heaven help this silly fellow,' murmured the perplexed locksmith; 'can he know this gentleman? His mother's house is not far off; I had better see if she can tell me who he is. Barnaby, my man, help me to put him in the chaise, and we'll ride home together.'
'I can't touch him!' cried the idiot falling back, and shuddering as with a strong spasm; he's bloody!'
'It's in his nature, I know,' muttered the locksmith, 'it's cruel to ask him, but I must have help. Barnaby--good Barnaby--dear Barnaby--if you know this gentleman, for the sake of his life and everybody's life that loves him, help me to raise him and lay him down.'
'Cover him then, wrap him close--don't let me see it--smell it-- hear the word. Don't speak the word--don't!'
'No, no, I'll not. There, you see he's covered now. Gently. Well done, well done!'
They placed him in the carriage with great ease, for Barnaby was strong and active, but all the time they were so occupied he shivered from head to foot, and evidently experienced an ecstasy of terror.
This accomplished, and the wounded man being covered with Varden's own greatcoat which he took off for the purpose, they proceeded onward at a brisk pace: Barnaby gaily counting the stars upon his fingers, and Gabriel inwardly congratulating himself upon having an adventure now, which would silence Mrs Varden on the subject of the Maypole, for that night, or there was no faith in woman.
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