Poor Miss Finch HTML version

First Result of the Robbery
BETWEEN five and six weeks passed. Oscar was out of his bed-room, and was well of
his wound.
During this lapse of time, Lucilla steadily pursued that process of her own of curing him,
which was to end in marrying him. Never had I seen such nursing before--never do I
expect to see such nursing again. From morning to night, she interested him, and kept
him in good spirits. The charming creature actually made her blindness a means of
lightening the weary hours of the man she loved.
Sometimes, she would sit before Oscar's looking-glass, and imitate all the innumerable
tricks, artifices, and vanities of a coquette arraying herself for conquest--with such
wonderful truth and humour of mimicry, that you would have sworn she possessed the
use of her eyes. Sometimes, she would show him her extraordinary power of calculating
by the sound of a person's voice, the exact position which that person occupied towards
her in a room. Selecting me as the victim, she would first provide herself with one of the
nosegays always placed by her own hands at Oscar's bedside; and would then tell me to
take up my position noiselessly in any part of the room that I pleased, and to say
"Lucilla." The instant the words were out of my mouth, the nosegay flew from her hand,
and hit me on the face. She never once missed her aim, on any one of the occasions when
this experiment was tried--and she never once flagged in her childish enjoyment of the
exhibition of her own skill.
Nobody was allowed to pour out Oscar's medicine but herself. She knew when the spoon
into which it was to be measured was full, by the sound which the liquid made in falling
into it. When he was able to sit up in his bed, and when she was standing at the pillow-
side, she could tell him how near his head was to hers, by the change which he produced,
when he bent forward or when he drew back, in the action of the air on her face. In the
same way, she knew as well as he knew, when the sun was out and when it was behind a
cloud--judging by the differing effect of the air, at such times, on her forehead and on her
All the litter of little objects accumulating in a sick-room, she kept in perfect order on a
system of her own. She delighted in putting the room tidy late in the evening, when we
helpless people who could see were beginning to think of lighting the candles. The time
when we could just discern her, flitting to and fro in the dusk, in her bright summer dress-
-now visible as she passed the window, now lost in the shadows at the end of the room--
was the time when she began to clear the tables of the things that had been wanted in the
day, and to replace them by the things which would be wanted at night. We were only
allowed to light the candles when they showed us the room magically put in order during
the darkness as if the fairies had done it. She laughed scornfully at our surprise, and said
she sincerely pitied the poor useless people who could only see!
The same pleasure which she had in arranging the room in the dark she also felt in
wandering all over the house in the dark, and in making herself thoroughly acquainted
with every inch of it from top to bottom. As soon as Oscar was well enough to go down-
stairs, she insisted on leading him.
"You have been so long up in your bedroom," she said, "that you must have forgotten the
rest of the house. Take my arm--and come along. Now we are out in the passage. Mind!