|Chapter Number||BOOK II. III - Continued|
|Newspaper Title||Liverpool Herald (NSW : 1897 - 1907)|
|Trove Title||Marian Gonisby|
[ATTI RIGHTS RBSKBVKD,]
By E. DOIDGE,
Author of * Father and Son,'1 The Daughter i
of Eve,* ' MjBtery of Merveillieu/ &o.
What they saw waa a smashed boat and a man straggling for dear life in the eddying waters. To resoue Phillips waB the work of perhaps a minute and a half. Half-dazedjhe watt dragged aboard ; but his first thought, as his first word was, ' Where is the lady my companion ?' They oould not see any- thing of her. In terrible distraotion he oalled for grappling irons, for divers ; and almost beside himself oriod, * She must be saveà 1* Divesting himself of his coat and vest, he made as if to spring again into the water, bat was withheld. A moment later, after straining his eya? to right and left, he caught sight of a hat, and-nothing oould hold him then-he sprang into the river, and, with a fo«v swift strokes, was soon where the straw hat was floating, crown down ; but, alas, it waa only the hat 1 He sworn frantically round, oalling upon othors to
render assistance. But none ventured forth. A moment later he heard a ory from the steamer that a hand had appeared above the water. Thither Phillips swam. If she were alive, he thought, suroly sho must ooma to the surf noe. She did for porhpps tbe second or third timo, no ono oould rightly say. With a superhuman ofl'ort-ho was a strong Bwimmer-Phillips dived in tho direotion of his drowning companion, and, gru&ping bor arm, bor^l her to tho surface. Other small boats worV^by this time OIOBO at hand, and Phillips and tho apparently lifeless body of Harlan wero hauled on board. With all
possible dispatch Murían waB laid upon the, deok, htc light tummer dress dinging to her slim figure, and her limp limbs roating lifelessly as they were plaoed.
It is fortunate that what are termed * first-aids' are now so generally known and and praotised. Immediately her face was turned down, tbe lightly-fitting dreBS was relieved at the neck, and one of her arms waa plaoed under her forehead. Doubling up his coat and vest, Phillips placed them under her ohest ; then the body was turned rapidly onto one side and baok again, and the right arm worked freely. They stooped down to see if any indication of respiration had returned ; but it looked, so far, a hopeless
In the meantime a dootor had been sent tor. Phillips knelt by her Bide, using all the handkerchiefs he oould lay hands upon to
olean her mouth and face.
* Tour sister, 1 presume ?' said the skipper. ' No, sir, not my sister ; but never mind
who she ÍB-what shall we do? I do not believe she is dead ! Are we doing the right thing P Is this turning frequent enough ?'
* Once every five seconds, the directions say. Turn the body gently on the bide and briskly baok again. I know the method by heart, I assure you. Has any one of you ladies,' addressing some distracted by- standers, * suoh a thing as smelling salts ? Ah, thank you ; this may fetch her round, if life still lingers,' and the skipper applied a small Bilver bottle to Marian's noBtrils, while the prescribed movements were still persevered with.
' I'm afraid she was too long in the water,' said a sympathetic onlooker.*
' How long was it-does anybody know ?' asked Phillips.
' Not three minutes, I should think,' said the captain. * Let us keep on at it. Resuscitation has been known after half an hour.'
Phillips needed no such exhortation, for had it indeed been the oase of his own sister he oould not have worked with greater energy and anxiety. His faoe was blanched with a terrifio fear. What should he bay to the father whose daughter may hare met with her death through his carelessness ?
' I think I have heard of burnt feathers,' he hurriedly exolaimed as the thought occurred to him. .
' Feathers are certainly used, but in a different way. One might be useful, if we had suoh a thing, to tiokle her throat ; but we don't keep such things on board.'
One of the young ladies, who was by thia time kneeling by her unknown sister, in mute sympathy turned and soanned her companions : * Miss S-, see you have the very thing in your hat-a single white feather ! W ill you kindly part with ic ?'
* Certainly,' said the girl, and she took the
feather from her hat.
The kind skipper managed to open poor Marian's' mouth, and Phillips cautiously thrust the feather as far down as he thought proper. But the skipper suggested that he was overdoing it and took the feather, as he said, to rather tiokle the palate. Still there was no movement-not a Bigh of returning animation.
Phillips onoe again took the salts and pressed the opened bottle olo¿e to the nostril. Watching the dosed eyes as he did so, he gave a start and an exclamation of joyful surprise : ' They move ; Iswear'they moved ! We shall save her yet.'
By the time the dootor came it was known, at least, that Miss Gonisby still lived.
Fifteen minnies after the aooideat, and just as the medical gentleman was ooming on board, a slight moan escaped her lips. Phillips afterwards said he thought no moan had ever been so gladly heard before. The dootor, duly warned of tho oase, bent his head down to Marian's faoe, felt her pulse, and said he thought she would do, but it had boen a touoh and go oase. He managed to get a couple of spoonsful of brandy down her throat, and even this slight amount of stimulant oaused a rousing of Nature's forces. Yet poor Marian showed no return to nousoiousness. The dootor said there was no use staying there, and ordered his oharge to he landed and conveyed either to her home or the hospital.
The steamar then made for tho first land- ing available and a oab wan oalled, into which the dootor and Phillipa managed to Hf I, Marian. Very tenderly did Phillips hold tht. drooping head in bis arms ; the dootor was following in his own conveyance, and they wore driving to Dingley Hall. Arriving there, with tho asBiatauce of the housekeeper, Marian was takon to her room, where her still wot clothing was removed aud she was laid in her bed. A half-struggling, semi-consoiouB effort like a slight moan wero all that marked the patio nfs hold of life«
The dootor was engaged in a more oaref ul examination to aeoertain if there were any hodily injuries. Phillips could not leave till he was assured on this point. \.t length tho dootor came out of the room and informed him that, so far as he oould see, there wis no phyBioal injury, but there had evidently been great shook to the uyatem, in addition to the almost fatal aephyxia. Ho would oall again in an hour or two.
In the meantime Phillips deoided to return to the river and bring baok the rest of the party, which he did, and by the time they returned the dootor was again with his patient.
Ever sinoe the moment that Phillips, driving up in a cab from a totally different direction to any from which he might have been expected, and with anxiety written on every line of his face, addressed Mr Josiah Gonisby with the startling news-' There has been an accident ! Marian has been taken home ! Will you come at once ?' Marian's father had been thrown into a pitiable state of dreadful anxiety and dismal foreboding.
Phillips (as may readily be imagined, seeing that he had not changed his attire) himself presented u sorry enough appearance at this time. He left the party, saying he must go home and ohange and would be with them in the evening.
In answer to a last and almost agonised enquiry he had but time to say that Marian was unconscious, but the dootor had found no external injuries.
Arriving at Dingley Hall, the whole party repaired with all haste to Marian's room. The dootor, who had brought a nurse with him, was by the bedside.
* What has happened to my daughter P* Mr G-onisby breathlessly enquired, advanoing to the bedside, and taking tho unconscious
hand in his.
'Their boat was upset in the river,' answered the medioal man. ' She waa rescued, after some little delay, by your young friend, I understand. It was almost too late, but, luokily, they adopted methods of restoration, and I think we shall pull her through. The shook, however, has been a
' She has been injured'-in the. collision, I fear,'said Mr Gonisby..
'I find no trace pf direct injury on head or body.*
4 Does she sleep ?' aeked Mrs Gonisby.
' Well, it's Bimply a ease of unconsciousness so far. In less than an hour, probably, she
will reoover from thia.1
* Would you like to have another dootor in consultation?' enquired the distracted father.
' At present I think it unnecessary, but 1 will bo able to tell very shortly. I have applied an emetic, which should operate at any moment.'
They spoke in subdued whispers, only the dootor spoke distinctly. And there, only breathing, lay the fair form of the one human being that the elder Gonisby realised was more to him than all the world beside. So helpless she looked, and so near the mysterious borderland that separates the living from the dead, what wonder if some new feeling of parental oompunotion, of heart-stirring contrition, moved in the breaBt of the lonely old man, whose only ohild had been so nearly snatohed for ever from himP Possibly there was a thought in his mind that, if it pleased Heaven to restore his daughter to him once again in health and sunshine and vigor, he would cease to thwart the one set, strong purpose of her life. Illness, danger and suffering sometimes bring suoh thoughts or reflections
to even the most obdurate.