The Heir of Redclyffe
There is a Rock, and nigh at hand,
A shadow in a weary land,
Who in that stricken Rock hath rest,
Finds water gushing from its breast.--NEALE
In the meantime the days passed at Recoara without much change for the better or worse.
After the first week, Guy's fever had diminished; his pulse was lower, the drowsiness
ceased, and it seemed as if there was nothing to prevent absolute recovery. But though
each morning seemed to bring improvement, it never lasted; the fever, though not high,
could never be entirely reduced, and strength was perceptibly wasting, in spite of every
means of keeping it up.
There was not much positive suffering, very little even of headache, and he was cheerful,
though speaking little, because he was told not to excite or exhaust himself. Languor and
lassitude were the chief causes of discomfort; and as his strength failed, there came fits of
exhaustion and oppression that tried him severely. At first, these were easily removed by
stimulants; but remedies seemed to lose their effect, and the sinking was almost death-
'I think I could bear acute pain better!' he said one day; and more than once the sigh broke
from him almost unconsciously,--'Oh for one breath of Redclyffe sea-wind!' Indeed, it
seemed as if the close air of the shut-in-valley, at the end of a long hot day was almost
enough to overwhelm him, weak as he had become. Every morning, when Amabel let in
the fresh breeze at the window, she predicted it would be a cool day, and do him good;
every afternoon the wind abated, the sun shone full in, the room was stifling, the faintness
came on, and after a few vain attempts at relieving it, Guy sighed that there was nothing
for it but quiet, and Amy was obliged to acquiesce. As the sun set, the breeze sprung up,
it became cooler, he fell asleep, awoke revived, was comfortable all the evening, and
Amy left him at eleven or twelve, with hopes of his having a good night.
It seemed to her as if ages had passed in this way, when one evening two letters were
'From mamma!' said she; 'and this one,' holding it up, 'is for you. It must have been
hunting us everywhere. How many different directions!'
'From Markham,' said Guy. 'It must be the letter we were waiting for.'
The letter to tell them Redclyffe was ready to receive them! Amabel put it down with a
strange sensation, and opened her mother's. With a start of joy she exclaimed--
'They are coming--mamma and papa!'