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Armadale

Midwinter rose and steadied himself for a moment against the sofa. "I will bring
my own message to-morrow," he said. "I must see her before she leaves your
house."
The surgeon accompanied his patient into the street. "Can I see you home?" he
said, kindly. "You had better not walk, if it is far. You mustn't overexert yourself;
you mustn't catch a chill this cold night."
Midwinter took his hand and thanked him. "I have been used to hard walking and
cold nights, sir," he said; "and I am not easily worn out, even when I look so
broken as I do now. If you will tell me the nearest way out of these streets, I think
the quiet of the country and the quiet of the night will help me. I have something
serious to do to-morrow," he added, in a lower tone; "and I can't rest or sleep till I
have thought over it to-night."
The surgeon understood that he had no common man to deal with. He gave the
necessary directions without any further remark, and parted with his patient at his
own door.
Left by himself, Midwinter paused, and looked up at the heavens in silence. The
night had cleared, and the stars were out--the stars which he had first learned to
know from his gypsy master on the hillside. For the first time his mind went back
regretfully to his boyish days. "Oh, for the old life!" he thought, longingly. "I
never knew till now how happy the old life was!"
He roused himself, and went on toward the open country. His face darkened as he
left the streets behind him and advanced into the solitude and obscurity that lay
beyond.
"She has denied her husband to-night," he said. "She shall know her master to-
morrow."
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