。， Oliver's ailings were neither slight nor few. In addition to thepain and delay attendant on a broken limb, his exposure to thewet and cold had brought on fever and ague: which hung about himfor many weeks, and reduced him sadly. But, at length, he began,by slow degrees, to get better, and to be able to say sometimes,in a few tearful words, how deeply he felt the goodness of thetwo sweet ladies, and how ardently he hoped that when he grewstrong and well again, he could do something to show hisgratitude; only something, which would let them see the love andduty with which his breast was full; something, however slight,which would prove to them that their gentle kindness had not beencast away; but that the poor boy whom their charity had rescuedfrom misery, or death, was eager to serve them with his wholeheart and soul.
'You are as great a boy as poor Brittles himself,' returned Rose,blushing.。， The doctor, who was universally considered one of thebest-tempered creatures on earth, made this demand in such adreadful tone of anger, that Giles and Brittles, who wereconsiderably muddled by ale and excitement, stared at each otherin a state of stupefaction.
'Jem Spyers,' resumed the officer, 'for a long time said nothingat all, and listened to everything without seeming to, whichshowed he understood his business. But, one morning, he walkedinto the bar, and taking out his snuffbox, says "Chickweed, I'vefound out who done this here robbery." "Have you?" saidChickweed. "Oh, my dear Spyers, only let me have wengeance, andI shall die contented! Oh, my dear Spyers, where is thevillain!" "Come!" said Spyers, offering him a pinch of snuff,"none of that gammon! You did it yourself." So he had; and agood bit of money he had made by it, too; and nobody would neverhave found it out, if he hadn't been so precious anxious to keepup appearances!' said Mr. Blathers, putting down his wine-glass,and clinking the handcuffs together.。， 'Not coldly,' rejoined the old lady; 'far from it.'
'This,' said Mr. Losberne, speaking softly, but with greatvehemence notwithstanding, 'this is the lad, who, beingaccidently wounded by a spring-gun in some boyish trespass on Mr.What-d' ye-call-him's grounds, at the back here, comes to thehouse for assistance this morning, and is immediately laid holdof and maltreated, by that ingenious gentleman with the candle inhis hand: who has placed his life in considerable danger, as Ican professionally certify.'。，
'No,' replied the old lady, giving it to him mechanically.Oliver glanced at it, and saw that it was directed to HarryMaylie, Esquire, at some great lord's house in the country;where, he could not make out.。，
'I hope,' said Oliver, when Mrs. Maylie returned, 'that nothingis the matter? She don't look well to-night, but--'。， Messrs. Blathers and Duff looked at Mr. Giles, as he was thusrecommended to their notice. The bewildered butler gazed fromthem towards Oliver, and from Oliver towards Mr. Losberne, with amost ludicrous mixture of fear and perplexity.
'One word more, Rose. Dearest Rose! one more!' cried Harry,throwing himself before her. 'If I had been less--lessfortunate, the world would call it--if some obscure and peacefullife had been my destiny--if I had been poor, sick,helpless--would you have turned from me then? Or has my probableadvancement to riches and honour, given this scruple birth?'。，
'He gets worse instead of better, I think,' said the elder lady.。， Rose had been very pale from the moment of his entrance; but thatmight have been the effect of her recent illness. She merelybowed; and bending over some plants that stood near, waited insilence for him to proceed.