Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/154

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dead—the blood trickling from his head and spattering his rescuers.

The crowd shouted in unison as they caught sight of Lemois’ gray head, all the whiter from the grime of powdered plaster. Then came another and louder shout, followed by another piercing shriek from Gaston’s mother as her boy’s sagging, insensible body was brought clear of the wreck. None of his bones were broken, none that Lemois could find; something had struck the boy—some falling weight—perhaps a bust from one of the bookcases over his head. That was the last the lad had known until he found his mother kneeling beside him in the rain and mud, where the cold wind and rain revived him.

But our work was not yet over. The miscellaneous assortment of precious things housed in the garage must be rearranged before nightfall and protected against breakage and leakage. Watchmen must be selected and made comfortable in the garage, a telegram despatched to madame at her apartment in Paris, with details of the catastrophe and salvage, and another to her estate at Rouen, and, more important still, Gaston must be carried home, put to bed, and a doctor sent for.