They greeted him with affection, Julia especially: the boisterous controversialist had come out a gentle, zealous artist in presence of a real danger.
Dr. Sampson knew nothing of what had happened in his absence. He stepped to the bedside cheerfully, and the ladies' eyes were bent keenly on his face in silence.
He had no sooner cast eyes on David than his countenance fell, and his hard but expressive features filled with concern.
That was enough for Mrs. Dodd. "And he does not know me," she cried: "he does not know my voice. _His_ voice would call me back from the grave itself. He is dying. He will never speak to me again. Oh, my poor orphan girl!"
"No! no!" said Samson, "you are quite mistaken: he will not die. But----"
His tongue said no more. His grave and sombre face spoke volumes.
To return to the bank. Skinner came back from the Dodds' that miserable afternoon in a state of genuine agitation and regret. He was human, and therefore mixed, and their desolation had shocked him.
The footman told him Mr. Hardie was not at home; gone to London, he believed. Skinner walked away dejected. What did this mean? Had he left the country?