suddenly stricken, as it were, while in the very attitude of rising, into a deep and heavy sleep. The grasp of his hand relaxed, the upraised arm fell languidly by his side, and he lay like one in a profound trance.
"The laudanum has taken effect at last," murmured the girl as she rose from the bedside. "I may be too late even now."
She hastily dressed herself in her bonnet and shawl, looking fearfully round from time to time as if, despite the sleeping draught, she expected every moment to feel the pressure of Sikes's heavy hand upon her shoulder; then stooping softly over the bed, she kissed the robber's lips, and opening and closing the room-door with noiseless touch, hurried from the house.
A watchman was crying half-past nine down a dark passage through which she had to pass in gaining the main thoroughfare.
"Has it long gone the half-hour?" asked the girl.
"It'll strike the hour in another quarter," said, the man, raising his lantern to her face.