He went to bed himself, turning out the gas, but leaving the window-curtains up so that he could see the tooth the last thing before he went to sleep and the first thing as he arose in the morning. But he was restless during the night. Every now and then he was awakened by noises to which he had long since become accustomed.
I saw the grimace, suppressed as soon as begun, but not less patent to my preternaturally keen eyes. No one deceived me by being suddenly seized with admiration of a view. I knew it was only to relieve his nerves by making faces behind the window-curtains. I grew to take a fiendish delight in watching the conflict, and the fierce desperation which marked its violence.
He lifted heavy articles of furniture as easily as he would have lifted a feather; he moved each chair and sofa from its place, he explored each cupboard and wardrobe, and drew back in turns all the wall-hangings, window-curtains, and portieres. A more complete search would have been impossible.
And behold, on the first floor, at the court-end of the house, in a room with all the window-curtains drawn, a fire piled half-way up the chimney, plates warming before it, wax candles gleaming everywhere, and a table spread for three, with silver and glass enough for thirty John Westlock; not the old John of Pecksniff's, but a proper gentleman; looking another and a grander person, with the consciousness of being his own master and having money in the bank; and yet in some respects the old John too, for he seized Tom Pinch by both his hands the instant he appeared, and fairly hugged him, in his cordial welcome.
The peculiar dress in which he had been attired in better days showed only miserable rags of its whimsical finery, the lack of which was oddly supplied by the remnants of tapestried hangings, window-curtains, and shreds of pictures with which he had bedizened his tatters.
They stood in the shadow of the window-curtains, talking together in low tones: and by their attitudes she was vehemently pleading for a favour which he as vehemently rejected. But when she caught him by both hands he yielded, and they faced us together she with her beautiful face irradiated.
The Czar entered her chamber, pulled back the window-curtains upon arriving, then the bed-curtains, took a good long stare at her, said not a word to her, nor did she open her lips, and, without making her any kind of reverence, went his way. I knew afterwards that she was much astonished, and still more mortified at this; but the King was no more.
A little bedstead, of painted wood and old-fashioned shape, was hung with yellow cotton printed with red stars, one armchair and two small chairs, also of painted wood, and covered with the same cotton print of which the window-curtains were also made; a gray wall-paper sprigged with flowers blackened and greasy with age; a fireplace full of kitchen utensils of the vilest kind, two bundles of fire-logs; a stone shelf, on which lay some jewelry false and real, a pair of scissors, a dirty pincushion, and some white scented gloves; an exquisite hat perched on the water-jug, a Ternaux shawl stopping a hole in the window, a handsome gown hanging from a nail; a little hard sofa, with no cushions; broken clogs and dainty slippers, boots that a queen might have coveted; cheap china plates, cracked or chipped, with fragments of a past meal, and nickel forks the plate of the Paris poor; a basket full of potatoes and dirty linen, with a smart gauze cap on the top; a rickety wardrobe, with a glass door, open and empty, and on the shelves sundry pawn-tickets, this was the medley of things, dismal or pleasing, abject and handsome, that fell on his eye.
It had the graveyard, originally Isaac Johnson's home-field, on one side, and so was well adapted to call up serious reflections, suited to their respective employments, in both minister and man of physic. The motherly care of the good widow assigned to Mr. Dimmesdale a front apartment, with a sunny exposure, and heavy window-curtains, to create a noontide shadow, when desirable.
That was why I stopped you from throwing aside the window-curtains. The light of the burning city it might have brought back the memory of that night at the keep." "And for the same reason you have kept yourself out of sight," said Constans, coldly. The man trembled. "Yes; I am afraid," he answered, and Constans, for all his bitterness of heart, was fain to pity him.