And now, hosts of bewildering and confused ideas came crowding on his mind. He seemed to be still walking between Sikes and Crackit, who were angrily disputing, for the very words they said sounded in his ears: and when he caught his own attention, as it were, by making some violent effort to save himself from falling, he found that he was talking to them. Then he was alone with Sikes plodding on as they had done the previous day, and as shadowy people passed them by, he felt the robber's grasp upon his wrist. Suddenly he started back at the report of fire-arms, and there rose into the air loud cries and shouts; lights gleamed before his eyes, and all was noise and tumult as some unseen hand bore him hurriedly away. Through all these rapid visions there ran an undefined, uneasy, consciousness of pain which wearied and tormented him incessantly.
Thus he staggered on, creeping almost mechanically between the bars of gates, or through hedge-gaps as they came in his way, until he