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Adam Bede

28.A Dilemma
IT was only a few minutes measured by the clock--though Adam always thought
it had been a long while--before he perceived a gleam of consciousness in
Arthur's face and a slight shiver through his frame. The intense joy that flooded
his soul brought back some of the old affection with it.
"Do you feel any pain, sir?" he said, tenderly, loosening Arthur's cravat.
Arthur turned his eyes on Adam with a vague stare which gave way to a slightly
startled motion as if from the shock of returning memory. But he only shivered
again and said nothing.
"Do you feel any hurt, sir?" Adam said again, with a trembling in his voice.
Arthur put his hand up to his waistcoat buttons, and when Adam had unbuttoned
it, he took a longer breath. "Lay my head down," he said, faintly, "and get me
some water if you can."
Adam laid the head down gently on the fern again, and emptying the tools out of
the flag-basket, hurried through the trees to the edge of the Grove bordering on
the Chase, where a brook ran below the bank.
When he returned with his basket leaking, but still half-full, Arthur looked at him
with a more thoroughly reawakened consciousness.
"Can you drink a drop out o' your hand, sir?" said Adam, kneeling down again to
lift up Arthur's head.
"No," said Arthur, "dip my cravat in and souse it on my head."
The water seemed to do him some good, for he presently raised himself a little
higher, resting on Adam's arm.
"Do you feel any hurt inside sir?" Adam asked again
"No--no hurt," said Arthur, still faintly, "but rather done up."
After a while he said, "I suppose I fainted away when you knocked me down."
"Yes, sir, thank God," said Adam. "I thought it was worse."
"What! You thought you'd done for me, eh? Come help me on my legs."
 
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