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首页 » 经典英文小说 » The Five Knots » CHAPTER XXVIII BEYOND SURGERY
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Wilfrid had to repeat his command more than once before Beatrice seemed to understand what he was saying. The girl was dazed with the horror of the thing. She stood looking at the white, still figure on the bed, marvelling1 what was going to happen next. And yet, at the back of her mind there was a glimmering2 of the truth. This was a vendetta3 and these relentless4 foes5 would never slack their efforts until Samuel Flower had paid the debt to the last penny. Many of these things Beatrice had read about in the pages of fiction. She had forgotten, perhaps, that there are stranger things in every-day life.
As for Wilfrid he was calm enough. His professional instincts came to his aid. Laying his hand gently upon Beatrice's shoulder he led her from the room.
"I want you to be brave and silent," he whispered. "I want you to help me all you can. It is possibly a selfish reflection, but your life is safe. If you would save your uncle, you must do what I tell you."
"I will try," Beatrice murmured. "What do you want me to do? Oh, I remember."
She departed without another word, leaving Wilfrid to do what he could with her uncle. This second attack was much more serious than the first, for Samuel Flower lay to all appearance dead. It was not difficult for Wilfrid to make an examination, for Flower had undressed and gone to bed before the attack. He lay on his back with his arms inert7 by his side, the deep purple of his cheeks had given way to a ghastly whiteness. Wilfrid could detect not the slightest trace of violence anywhere, nothing but one or two small indentations on the forehead and at the back of the head. Try as he would Wilfrid could make nothing of the case. And if he could trust to his trained knowledge, he felt sure that no explanation would ever come from Flower's lips, for surely the man was dead.
He could hear no murmur6 from the heart. By laying the glass of his watch on the murdered man's lips he could distinguish no moisture. He could only wait patiently until assistance came, and then tell the story as best he could. With almost a sensation of shame Wilfrid realized that Flower was harmless to do him further injury. He tried to put the matter out of his mind, but it recurred8 more than once, until he was fain to walk up and down the room in the growing light. He pulled up the blinds by and by and let in the flood of day. Even in the strong light he could detect no motion and no change in that awful figure on the bed. Inured9 as he was to these kind of tragedies, it was with a thrill of thankfulness that he heard steps coming up the stairs and saw a stranger enter the room. There was no reason for Wilfrid to ask if the new-comer were a doctor, for he carried his profession in every crease10 of his well-fitting frock-coat, in every line of his well-groomed hair.
"My name is Dr. Shelton," he said. "I am sorry to be so late, but I have only just got back to town. So this is your patient? What do you think he is suffering from? You have made an examination?"
"I haven't the remotest idea," Wilfrid said frankly11. "I have never seen a case like it before. Mr. Flower lies there to all appearances dead. He does not breathe. There is not the slightest motion of the heart, and yet, rigor12 mortis has not set in. I should say it is some brain trouble."
Dr. Shelton stripped off his coat and turned up his shirt sleeves. For a long time he bent13 over the bed, but at last he stood upright drawing a long breath.
"Most extraordinary," he murmured. "Everything points to severe concussion14 of the brain, and yet there is not the slightest trace of violence; there is no suggestion of a blow, or fall, or anything of that kind. We must wait till the patient comes to himself as he will before long."
"He is not dead, then?" Wilfrid asked.
"No. It is a case of suspended animation15. That the brain is seriously injured the congestion16 of the eyes proves beyond demonstration17. But, surely, you can throw some light on this mystery. How came you to be called in?"
Wilfrid had been dreading18 the question for some time. He hardly knew how to explain matters to this polished man of the world whose lines had probably always fallen in conventional places.
"Well, it was like this," he began. "I have lately started a practice in Oldborough and Mr. Flower has a country house close by. I was called in to attend him for a trifling19 injury, and when I got to the house I discovered that Miss Galloway, Mr. Flower's niece, was an old friend; in fact, we had met in London some months ago. Miss Galloway had been under the impression that some one was trying to get into the house, but perhaps I had better tell you at length what really happened."
Wilfrid proceeded with his statement, purposely, however, saying nothing as to the mysteriously-knotted string, or the strange incantations which he had watched on the part of the Malays. These matters seemed to have nothing to do with the case, nor could they influence the opinion of Dr. Shelton. He told his story straightforwardly20, how he had got into this house and what sort of reception had met him. Shelton raised his eyebrows22 incredulously.
"So you think this is a case of burglary?" he asked. "Mr. Flower has something in the house which these villains23 were after. You say you saw them in this room when you entered by the balcony?"
"I did," Wilfrid replied. He was feeling on safer ground now. "I suppose my presence frightened them and, you see, I had other things to think of. It is very singular that these fellows did Mr. Flower no violence."
"No violence whatever," Shelton said emphatically. "They hadn't gone as far as that, though their intentions might have been murderous. It seems to me, Dr. Mercer, that this is a case as much for the police as for the medical man. At any rate, I frankly own that I am as puzzled as yourself. It will be a great favour to me if you will remain here while I go to Harley Street, as I should like another opinion besides my own. If you stay in the house it will be sufficient. It will be some time before Mr. Flower regains24 consciousness."
Wilfrid expressed his willingness to do whatever was necessary and Dr. Shelton bustled25 away. The servants were moving about the house now. Wilfrid heard the clock strike the hour of eight, then; presently, an appetizing odour of cooking stole over the room. It was nearly an hour later before Beatrice came and asked the latest news. There was no change, for Flower lay as he had done three hours before.
"I have told the servants nothing," Beatrice whispered. "They have merely been informed that my uncle has had a slight seizure26 and that the house must be kept very quiet. But won't you come downstairs and have breakfast? It is ready in the dining-room. And if you could manage to stay here till Dr. Shelton returns——"
Wilfrid explained that he had already promised to do so. Despite the thrilling adventure of the night before, he was hungry and did ample justice to his meal. At the same time he could not forget his own affairs. It might be a security to feel that Flower lay upstairs beyond the reach of mischief27, but Flower was not alone in this business. Beyond doubt the man Cotter had received his instructions. Beyond doubt the law was already in motion which was to deprive Wilfrid of his good name and his means of living. It was hard he should have to stay there doing nothing and keep watch and ward21 over a man who was intending to ruin him through another; but of this he could say nothing to Beatrice.
She sat at the foot of the table playing with a cup of tea and some toast; recent events had shaken her terribly. For some time she kept silent.
"I must speak to you, Wilfrid," she said presently. "I want to know if you have found out anything. I want to know if you have discovered anything that has been hidden from me. Tell me truthfully, is this the first attack of the kind which has been made upon my uncle? Didn't a very similar thing happen the night you were at Maldon Grange?"
"I am sorry you asked me that," Wilfrid said quietly, "because I cannot look you in the face and tell you a lie. Of course I can't say yet whether I was successful last night, but under Providence28 I most assuredly saved Samuel Flower's life on the occasion you speak of. Please don't ask me more. Try to be brave and patient, and all will be well."
Beatrice said no more, but it was evident she was putting a great strain upon her curiosity.


1 marvelling 160899abf9cc48b1dc923a29d59d28b1     
v.惊奇,对…感到惊奇( marvel的现在分词 )
  • \"Yes,'said the clerk, marvelling at such ignorance of a common fact. “是的,\"那人说,很奇怪她竟会不知道这么一件普通的事情。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
  • Chueh-hui watched, marvelling at how easy it was for people to forget. 觉慧默默地旁观着这一切,他也忍不住笑了。 来自汉英文学 - 家(1-26) - 家(1-26)
2 glimmering 7f887db7600ddd9ce546ca918a89536a     
n.微光,隐约的一瞥adj.薄弱地发光的v.发闪光,发微光( glimmer的现在分词 )
  • I got some glimmering of what he was driving at. 他这么说是什么意思,我有点明白了。 来自辞典例句
  • Now that darkness was falling, only their silhouettes were outlined against the faintly glimmering sky. 这时节两山只剩余一抹深黑,赖天空微明为画出一个轮廓。 来自汉英文学 - 散文英译
3 vendetta IL5zx     
  • For years he pursued a vendetta against the Morris family.多年来他一直在寻求向莫里斯家族报世仇。
  • She conducted a personal vendetta against me.她对我有宿仇。
4 relentless VBjzv     
  • The traffic noise is relentless.交通车辆的噪音一刻也不停止。
  • Their training has to be relentless.他们的训练必须是无情的。
5 foes 4bc278ea3ab43d15b718ac742dc96914     
敌人,仇敌( foe的名词复数 )
  • They steadily pushed their foes before them. 他们不停地追击敌人。
  • She had fought many battles, vanquished many foes. 她身经百战,挫败过很多对手。
6 murmur EjtyD     
  • They paid the extra taxes without a murmur.他们毫无怨言地交了附加税。
  • There was a low murmur of conversation in the hall.大厅里有窃窃私语声。
7 inert JbXzh     
  • Inert gas studies are providing valuable information about other planets,too.对惰性气体的研究,也提供了有关其它行星的有价值的资料。
  • Elemental nitrogen is a very unreactive and inert material.元素氮是一个十分不活跃的惰性物质。
8 recurred c940028155f925521a46b08674bc2f8a     
再发生,复发( recur的过去式和过去分词 ); 治愈
  • Old memories constantly recurred to him. 往事经常浮现在他的脑海里。
  • She always winced when he recurred to the subject of his poems. 每逢他一提到他的诗作的时候,她总是有点畏缩。
9 inured inured     
  • The prisoners quickly became inured to the harsh conditions.囚犯们很快就适应了苛刻的条件。
  • He has inured himself to accept misfortune.他锻练了自己,使自己能承受不幸。
10 crease qo5zK     
  • Does artificial silk crease more easily than natural silk?人造丝比天然丝更易起皱吗?
  • Please don't crease the blouse when you pack it.包装时请不要将衬衫弄皱了。
11 frankly fsXzcf     
  • To speak frankly, I don't like the idea at all.老实说,我一点也不赞成这个主意。
  • Frankly speaking, I'm not opposed to reform.坦率地说,我不反对改革。
12 rigor as0yi     
  • Their analysis lacks rigor.他们的分析缺乏严谨性。||The crime will be treated with the full rigor of the law.这一罪行会严格依法审理。
13 bent QQ8yD     
  • He was fully bent upon the project.他一心扑在这项计划上。
  • We bent over backward to help them.我们尽了最大努力帮助他们。
14 concussion 5YDys     
  • He was carried off the field with slight concussion.他因轻微脑震荡给抬离了现场。
  • She suffers from brain concussion.她得了脑震荡。
15 animation UMdyv     
  • They are full of animation as they talked about their childhood.当他们谈及童年的往事时都非常兴奋。
  • The animation of China made a great progress.中国的卡通片制作取得很大发展。
16 congestion pYmy3     
  • The congestion in the city gets even worse during the summer.夏天城市交通阻塞尤为严重。
  • Parking near the school causes severe traffic congestion.在学校附近泊车会引起严重的交通堵塞。
17 demonstration 9waxo     
  • His new book is a demonstration of his patriotism.他写的新书是他的爱国精神的证明。
  • He gave a demonstration of the new technique then and there.他当场表演了这种新的操作方法。
18 dreading dreading     
v.害怕,恐惧,担心( dread的现在分词 )
  • She was dreading having to broach the subject of money to her father. 她正在为不得不向父亲提出钱的事犯愁。
  • This was the moment he had been dreading. 这是他一直最担心的时刻。
19 trifling SJwzX     
  • They quarreled over a trifling matter.他们为这种微不足道的事情争吵。
  • So far Europe has no doubt, gained a real conveniency,though surely a very trifling one.直到现在为止,欧洲无疑地已经获得了实在的便利,不过那确是一种微不足道的便利。
20 straightforwardly 01da8677c31671527eecbfe6c13f004f     
  • He hated her straightforwardly, making no effort to conceal it. 他十分坦率地恨她,从不设法加以掩饰。 来自辞典例句
  • Mardi, which followed hard on its heels, was another matter. Mardi begins straightforwardly. 紧跟着出版的《玛地》,却是另一回事。《玛地》开始时平铺直叙。 来自辞典例句
21 ward LhbwY     
  • The hospital has a medical ward and a surgical ward.这家医院有内科病房和外科病房。
  • During the evening picnic,I'll carry a torch to ward off the bugs.傍晚野餐时,我要点根火把,抵挡蚊虫。
22 eyebrows a0e6fb1330e9cfecfd1c7a4d00030ed5     
眉毛( eyebrow的名词复数 )
  • Eyebrows stop sweat from coming down into the eyes. 眉毛挡住汗水使其不能流进眼睛。
  • His eyebrows project noticeably. 他的眉毛特别突出。
23 villains ffdac080b5dbc5c53d28520b93dbf399     
n.恶棍( villain的名词复数 );罪犯;(小说、戏剧等中的)反面人物;淘气鬼
  • The impression of villains was inescapable. 留下恶棍的印象是不可避免的。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Some villains robbed the widow of the savings. 有几个歹徒将寡妇的积蓄劫走了。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
24 regains 2b9d32bd499682b7d47a7662f2ec18e8     
复得( regain的第三人称单数 ); 赢回; 重回; 复至某地
  • It will take a lot of repair work before the theatre regains its former splendour. 要想剧院重拾昔日的辉煌,必须进行大规模整修。
  • He lays down the book and regains the consciousness. 他惊悸初定,掩卷细思。
25 bustled 9467abd9ace0cff070d56f0196327c70     
闹哄哄地忙乱,奔忙( bustle的过去式和过去分词 ); 催促
  • She bustled around in the kitchen. 她在厨房里忙得团团转。
  • The hostress bustled about with an assumption of authority. 女主人摆出一副权威的样子忙来忙去。
26 seizure FsSyO     
  • The seizure of contraband is made by customs.那些走私品是被海关没收的。
  • The courts ordered the seizure of all her property.法院下令查封她所有的财产。
27 mischief jDgxH     
  • Nobody took notice of the mischief of the matter. 没有人注意到这件事情所带来的危害。
  • He seems to intend mischief.看来他想捣蛋。
28 providence 8tdyh     
  • It is tempting Providence to go in that old boat.乘那艘旧船前往是冒大险。
  • To act as you have done is to fly in the face of Providence.照你的所作所为那样去行事,是违背上帝的意志的。


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