" XXIV My sense of how he received this suffered for a minute from something that I can describe only as a fierce split of my attention-- a stroke that at first, as I sprang straight up, reduced me to the mere blind movement of getting hold of him, drawing him close, and, while I just fell for support against the nearest piece of furniture, instinctively keeping him with his back to the window. Welcome to our trusty friend! This welcome ended in a soft peal of mirthless laughter as Heron salaamed and then began to poke the ground with his cane. I figure, finally, that the white curtain draping, in the fashion of those days, the head of Flora's little bed, shrouded, as I had assured myself long before, the perfection of childish rest. Stephen pointed to a basket which a butcher's boy had slung inverted on his head.