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|Book The Third - Garnering||Charles Dickens|
Chapter V - Found
|Page 2 of 7||
'You don't mistrust her now, Rachael?'
'Now that you have brought us more together, no. But I can't at all times keep out of my mind - '
Her voice so sunk into a low and slow communing with herself, that Sissy, sitting by her side, was obliged to listen with attention.
'I can't at all times keep out of my mind, mistrustings of some one. I can't think who 'tis, I can't think how or why it may be done, but I mistrust that some one has put Stephen out of the way. I mistrust that by his coming back of his own accord, and showing himself innocent before them all, some one would be confounded, who - to prevent that - has stopped him, and put him out of the way.'
'That is a dreadful thought,' said Sissy, turning pale.
'It is a dreadful thought to think he may be murdered.'
Sissy shuddered, and turned paler yet.
'When it makes its way into my mind, dear,' said Rachael, 'and it will come sometimes, though I do all I can to keep it out, wi' counting on to high numbers as I work, and saying over and over again pieces that I knew when I were a child - I fall into such a wild, hot hurry, that, however tired I am, I want to walk fast, miles and miles. I must get the better of this before bed-time. I'll walk home wi' you.'
'He might fall ill upon the journey back,' said Sissy, faintly offering a worn-out scrap of hope; 'and in such a case, there are many places on the road where he might stop.'
'But he is in none of them. He has been sought for in all, and he's not there.'
'True,' was Sissy's reluctant admission.
'He'd walk the journey in two days. If he was footsore and couldn't walk, I sent him, in the letter he got, the money to ride, lest he should have none of his own to spare.'
'Let us hope that to-morrow will bring something better, Rachael. Come into the air!'
Her gentle hand adjusted Rachael's shawl upon her shining black hair in the usual manner of her wearing it, and they went out. The night being fine, little knots of Hands were here and there lingering at street corners; but it was supper-time with the greater part of them, and there were but few people in the streets.
'You're not so hurried now, Rachael, and your hand is cooler.'
'I get better, dear, if I can only walk, and breathe a little fresh. 'Times when I can't, I turn weak and confused.'
'But you must not begin to fail, Rachael, for you may be wanted at any time to stand by Stephen. To-morrow is Saturday. If no news comes to-morrow, let us walk in the country on Sunday morning, and strengthen you for another week. Will you go?'
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