THE ARM-CHAIR AT THE INN
and lips with a napkin and finger-bowl he had caught up from the table.
There was an anxious hush; the men standing in a half-circle awaiting the decision; the doctor feeling for broken limbs, listening to his breathing, his hand on the boy’s heart. Then there came a convulsive movement and the wounded man lifted his head and gazed about him.
The doctor bent closer, studied Gaston’s eyes for a moment, rose to his feet, tucked his spectacles into a black leather case which he took from his pocket, and said calmly:
“I think there’s no fracture of the skull. I’ll know definitely later on. He is, as I at first supposed, suffering from shock and has swallowed a lot of dust. He must have complete rest; get him to bed somewhere and send for a woman in the village to take care of him. I’ll come to-morrow. Who carried him in here?”
Louis nodded his head.
“Then pick him up again and, if Monsieur Lemois is willing, put him in the room on the ground floor at the end of the court. I can get at him then from the outside without disturbing anybody. You, gentlemen, so I hear, are down here for your pleasure and not to