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31. CHAPTER XXXI: THE BISHOP'S LIBRARY (continued)
'Well I certainly thought it was fifteen,' said the minor canon.
'Pooh!' said the burly chancellor. At this moment the door opened, and in came Dr Fillgrave.
'How is he?' 'Is he conscious?' 'Can he speak?' 'I hope, I trust, something better, doctor?' said half a dozen voices all at once, each in a tone of extremest anxiety. It was pleasant to see how popular the good old dean was among his clergy.
'No change, gentlemen; not the slightest change--but a telegraphic message has arrived,--Sir Omicron Pie will be here by the 9.15pm train. If any man can do anything Sir Omicron will do it. But all that skill can do has been done.'
'We are sure of that, Dr Fillgrave,' said the archdeacon; 'we are quite sure of that. But yet you know--'
'Oh, quite right,' said the doctor, 'quite right--I should have done just the same--I advised it at once. I said to Rerechild at once that with such a life and such a man, Sir Omicron should be summoned--of course I knew that the expense was nothing--so distinguished, you know, and so popular. Nevertheless, all that human skill can do has been done.'
Just at this period Mrs Grantly's carriage drove into the close, and the archdeacon went down to confirm the news which she had heard before.
By the 9.15pm train Sir Omicron Pie did arrive. And in the course of the night a sort of consciousness returned to the poor old dean. Whether this was due to Sir Omicron Pie is a question on which it may be well not to offer an opinion. Dr Fillgrave was very clear in his own mind, but Sir Omicron himself is thought to have differed from that learned doctor.
At any rate, Sir Omicron expressed an opinion that the dean had yet some days to live.
For the eight or ten next days, accordingly, the poor dean remained in the same state, half conscious and half comatose, and the attendant clergy began to think that no new appointment would be necessary for some few months to come.
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