BOOK THE THIRD - GARNERING
5. Chapter V - Found
DAY and night again, day and night again. No Stephen Blackpool.
Where was the man, and why did he not come back?
Every night, Sissy went to Rachael's lodging, and sat with her in
her small neat room. All day, Rachael toiled as such people must
toil, whatever their anxieties. The smoke-serpents were
indifferent who was lost or found, who turned out bad or good; the
melancholy mad elephants, like the Hard Fact men, abated nothing of
their set routine, whatever happened. Day and night again, day and
night again. The monotony was unbroken. Even Stephen Blackpool's
disappearance was falling into the general way, and becoming as
monotonous a wonder as any piece of machinery in Coketown.
'I misdoubt,' said Rachael, 'if there is as many as twenty left in
all this place, who have any trust in the poor dear lad now.'
She said it to Sissy, as they sat in her lodging, lighted only by
the lamp at the street corner. Sissy had come there when it was
already dark, to await her return from work; and they had since sat
at the window where Rachael had found her, wanting no brighter
light to shine on their sorrowful talk.
'If it hadn't been mercifully brought about, that I was to have you
to speak to,' pursued Rachael, 'times are, when I think my mind
would not have kept right. But I get hope and strength through
you; and you believe that though appearances may rise against him,
he will be proved clear?'
'I do believe so,' returned Sissy, 'with my whole heart. I feel so
certain, Rachael, that the confidence you hold in yours against all
discouragement, is not like to be wrong, that I have no more doubt
of him than if I had known him through as many years of trial as
'And I, my dear,' said Rachel, with a tremble in her voice, 'have
known him through them all, to be, according to his quiet ways, so
faithful to everything honest and good, that if he was never to be
heard of more, and I was to live to be a hundred years old, I could
say with my last breath, God knows my heart. I have never once
left trusting Stephen Blackpool!'