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Strange Story, a — Volume 04 by Baron Edward Bulwer Lytton Lytton
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CHAPTER XXXV.

On reaching my own home, I found my servant sitting up for me with the
information that my attendance was immediately required. The little boy
whom Margrave's carelessness had so injured, and for whose injury he had
shown so little feeling, had been weakened by the confinement which the
nature of the injury required, and for the last few days had been
generally ailing. The father had come to my house a few minutes before I
reached it, in great distress of mind, saying that his child had been
seized with fever, and had become delirious. Hearing that I was at the
mayor's house, he had hurried thither in search of me.

I felt as if it were almost a relief to the troubled and haunting thoughts
which tormented me, to be summoned to the exercise of a familiar
knowledge. I hastened to the bedside of the little sufferer, and soon
forgot all else in the anxious struggle for a human life. The struggle
promised to be successful; the worst symptoms began to yield to remedies
prompt and energetic, if simple. I remained at the house, rather to
comfort and support the parents, than because my continued attendance was
absolutely needed, till the night was well-nigh gone; and all cause of
immediate danger having subsided, I then found myself once more in the
streets. An atmosphere palely clear in the gray of dawn had succeeded to
the thunder-clouds of the stormy night; the streetlamps, here and there,
burned wan and still. I was walking slowly and wearily, so tired out that
I was scarcely conscious of my own thoughts, when, in a narrow lane, my
feet stopped almost mechanically before a human form stretched at full
length in the centre of the road right in my path. The form was dark in
the shadow thrown from the neighbouring houses. "Some poor drunkard,"
thought I, and the humanity inseparable from my calling not allowing me to
leave a fellow-creature thus exposed to the risk of being run over by the