ゴディバと虫 [日記]



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by トックン (2013-10-05 22:52) 


by きつねおやぢ (2013-10-06 01:01) 


back to his books.

“You may safely trust my man Peter to wait on you, Mr. Germaine, while you are so unfortunate as to be confined to this room. He has the advantage (in cases of illness) of being a very silent, undemonstrative person. At the same time he is careful and considerate, in his own reserved way. As to what I may term the lighter duties at your bedside such as reading to you, writing your letters for you while your right hand is still disabled, regulating the temperature in the room, and so on though I cannot speak positively, I think it likely that these little services may be rendered to you by another person whom I have not mentioned yet. We shall see what happens in a few hours’ time. In the meanwhile, sir, I ask permission to leave you to your rest.”

With those words, he walks out of the room as quietly as he walked into it, and leaves his two guests to meditate gratefully on Shetland hospitality. We both wonder what those last mysterious words of our host mean; and we exchange more or less ingenious guesses on the subject of that nameless “other person” who may possibly attend on me — until the arrival of dinner turns our thoughts into a new course.

The dishes are few in number, but cooked to perfection and admirably served. I am too weary to eat much: a glass of the fine old Madeira revives me. We arrange our future plans while we are engaged over the meal. Our return to the yacht in Lerwick harbor is expected on the next day at the latest. As things are, I can only leave my companion to go back to the vessel, and relieve the minds of our friends of any needless alarm about me. On the day after, I engage to send on board a written report of the state of my health, by a messenger who can bring my portmanteau back with him.

These arrangements decided on, my friend goes away (at my own request) to try his skill as an angler in the lake. Assisted by the silent Peter and the well-stocked medicine-chest, I apply the necessary dressings to my wound, wrap myself in the comfortable morning-gown which is always kept ready in the Guests’ Chamber, and lie down again on the bed to try the restorative virtues of sleep.

Before he leaves the room, silent Peter goes to the window, and asks in fewest possible words if he shall draw the curtains. In fewer words still — for I am feeling drowsy already — I answer No. I dislike shutting out the cheering light of day. To my morbid fancy, at that moment, it looks like resigning myself deliberately to the horrors of a long illness. The hand-bell is on my bedside table; and I can always ring for Peter if the light keeps me from sleeping. On this understanding, Peter mutely nods his head, and goes out.

For some minutes I lie in lazy contemplation of the companionable fire. Meanwhile the dressings on my wound and the embrocation on my sprained wrist steadily subdue the pains which I have felt so far. Little by little, the bright fire seems to be fading. Little by little, sleep steals on me, and all my troubles are forgotten.

I wake, after what seems to have been a long
by wlp (2016-01-21 16:42) 

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