The Story Resumed by Franklin Blake
But few words are needed, on my part, to complete the narrative that has been
presented in the Journal of Ezra Jennings.
Of myself, I have only to say that I awoke on the morning of the twenty-sixth,
perfectly ignorant of all that I had said and done under the influence of the opium-
-from the time when the drug first laid its hold on me, to the time when I opened
my eyes, in Rachel's sitting-room.
Of what happened after my waking, I do not feel called upon to render an
account in detail. Confining myself merely to results, I have to report that Rachel
and I thoroughly understood each other, before a single word of explanation had
passed on either side. I decline to account, and Rachel declines to account, for
the extraordinary rapidity of our reconciliation. Sir and Madam, look back at the
time when you were passionately attached to each other-- and you will know
what happened, after Ezra Jennings had shut the door of the sitting-room, as well
as I know it myself.
I have, however, no objection to add, that we should have been certainly
discovered by Mrs. Merridew, but for Rachel's presence of mind. She heard the
sound of the old lady's dress in the corridor, and instantly ran out to meet her; I
heard Mrs. Merridew say, "What is the matter?" and I heard Rachel answer, "The
explosion!" Mrs. Merridew instantly permitted herself to be taken by the arm, and
led into the garden, out of the way of the impending shock. On her return to the
house, she met me in the hall, and expressed herself as greatly struck by the
vast improvement in Science, since the time when she was a girl at school.
"Explosions, Mr. Blake, are infinitely milder than they were. I assure you, I barely
heard Mr. Jennings's explosion from the garden. And no smell afterwards, that I
can detect, now we have come back to the house! I must really apologise to your
medical friend. It is only due to him to say that he has managed it beautifully!"
So, after vanquishing Betteredge and Mr. Bruff, Ezra Jennings vanquished Mrs.
Merridew herself. There is a great deal of undeveloped liberal feeling in the
world, after all!
At breakfast, Mr. Bruff made no secret of his reasons for wishing that I should
accompany him to London by the morning train. The watch kept at the bank, and
the result which might yet come of it, appealed so irresistibly to Rachel's
curiosity, that she at once decided (if Mrs. Merridew had no objection) on
accompanying us back to town--so as to be within reach of the earliest news of
Mrs. Merridew proved to be all pliability and indulgence, after the truly
considerate manner in which the explosion had conducted itself; and Betteredge
was accordingly informed that we were all four to travel back together by the
morning train. I fully expected that he would have asked leave to accompany us.