So in an oblivious half-insensible way he shuffled out of the house. The young lady hurried after him, and presently came up with him. He must have begun his journey with some small bundle under his arm, and must have lost it or had it stolen, for he still carried his wretched fragment of a fur cap like a bundle, though he went bareheaded through the rain, which now fell fast.
"Then," replied Esmo calmly, "you have nothing now to say. Give to the brother accused before us the cup of rest." A small goblet was handed by one of the sentries to the miserable creature, now half-insensible, who awaited our judgment. In a very few moments he had sunk into a slumber in which his face was comparatively calm, and his limbs had ceased to tremble.
Without waiting to investigate whether the slope terminated in a drift or a precipice, they flung themselves over. Down they floundered, the two half-insensible men tangled together as if in a race for total oblivion, only to plunge through a thicket of willow tops that whipped and stung them.
Faster and faster! The spar spun round and round dizzily. I gripped it with all my strength, supporting Flora's half-insensible form with the other arm. For a minute we were held in a watery trough, and then a huge wave, overtaking us from behind, lifted us high on its curling, hissing crest. I had a brief, flashing vision of a murky strip of sand and bushes washed by milky foam.
The rain fell upon the noble face and floating, sunny hair, washing them free of soil, and dark and fearful stains; moistening the fevered, burning lips, and cooling the bruised and aching frame. How passed the long night with that half-insensible soul? God knoweth. The secrets of that are hidden in the eternity to which it now belongs.
He looked exactly what he was, a French musician, while initials on his boxes, and a number of letters on the dressing-table, all testified to his identity. Curtis, Devar, and the hotel clerk seemed to be more interested in the appearance of the half-insensible de Courtois than Steingall.
By this time the butler had locked the doors, and had rudely torn the vestments from the aged, half-insensible clergyman, and with these tied him hand and foot. All this took place in a very few moments, and I stood there as one paralysed, unable either to speak or scream, not that screaming would have done me any good in that horrible place of thick walls.
At the best of times it could not be a place of cheer. In the hour before daybreak, with the chill air of the morning almost suppressing the yellow gaslights, the errand on which I had come made it the abode of dread. Yet I hoped hoped in such an agony of fear that I became half-insensible to my surroundings. "Here it is," said Coogan, opening a door.
"No," was the discouraging reply, for Mark fully realised the fact that if he loosened his desperate hold for a moment he must fall. "Haul up!" shouted Ralph. "Quick!" The rope rattled and scraped again; and then, as Mark hung there, half-insensible, he heard what sounded like quarrelling. "You shan't go, Master Ralph. Who's to meet Sir Morton if you get a fall trying to save a thing like that?"
"Hold this shut," he said to a friend of his who was following him close. After they had passed through, the man shut the door and held it fast, keeping the crowd from getting out. "Now," said Rosenblatt, dragging the half-insensible boy around to the back of the house, "the time is come. The chance is too good. You try to kill me, but there will be one less Kalmar in the world to-night.