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"It is not exactly a favour I ask, it is a prescription that I have great faith in for you, and that may have great results--I beg of you!"
"Why, of course, with pleasure," said Dora, allowing herself to be drawn towards the second easel.
"Now, mix your colours and prepare to do some painting."
"But what shall I mix?" demanded Dora; "I am only too willing to obey."
"Oh, never mind what--I am making a little experiment with you--that is all; I will tell you later on more about it--come, you can't refuse me.
"But, my dear doctor, the room is too dark; I cannot see; is it evening already?"
"You are right. I will give you some more light."
Little by little, the doctor raised the blind. Philip did not stir.
Faithful to his instructions, as soon as the light was let in, he began a.s.siduously using his brush.
Dora, languid and ignoring all that was taking place around her, was mechanically mixing her colours, while waiting for Dr. Templeton to tell her that he had finished his experiment, and that she might rise from her seat. The room was now quite light.
"Well, doctor," said she, "is it over?" She turned round, and saw Philip at work on the portrait, and absorbed in his occupation, as he had been in the dear old days gone by. Palette and pencils fell from her hands.
She gazed silent and breathless. She took her head in both hands, as if to a.s.sure herself that she was awake and not dreaming.
Philip turned with an imploring look in his eyes. Then, laying down his brush and palette, he rose slowly and stood with open arms.
Dora uttered one cry, "Philip!" and, sobbing with joy, she buried her face in her husband's breast.
"Dora, my Dora!" repeated Philip, caressing the beautiful head that lay once more in his embrace.
They remained for several minutes, oblivious of everything around, united in a new-found exquisite bliss.
Hobbs ran to hide her own tears and emotions in the bedroom of her beloved mistress.
"Well, my dear doctor," said Lorimer, "we have had an afternoon's work, but it has been successful, eh?"
"Yes," replied Dr. Templeton, "she is saved."
"And now I am going to wind up the old clock and set it going once more," said Lorimer.
This done, the two men softly stole out of the studio.
And the old clock, with its good, round, cheery face, seemed to smile at Philip and Dora, while its tick-tack said, as plainly as could be, "Here are the good days come again, and I will count their hours for you."