They stooped to look at the earl, and felt his pulse, and touched his heart, and exchanged a few murmured words with Mr. Wainwright. Isabel had stood back to give them place, but her anxious eyes followed their every movement. They did not seem to notice her, and she stepped forward.
"Can you do anything for him? Will he recover?
They all turned at the address, and looked at her. One spoke; it was an evasive answer.
"Tell me the truth!" she implored, with feverish impatience: "you must not trifle with me. Do you not know me? I am his only child, and I am here alone."
The first thing was to get her away from the room, for the great change was approaching, and the parting struggle between the body and the spirit might be one of warfare--no sight for her. But in answer to their suggestion that she should go, she only leaned her head upon the pillow by her father and moaned in despair.
"She must be got out of the room," cried one of the physicians, almost angrily. "Ma'am," turning suddenly upon Mrs. Mason, "are there no reserves in the house--no one who can exert influence over the young lady?"
"She has scarcely any relatives in the world," replied the housekeeper; "no near ones; and we happen to be, just now, quite alone."
But Mr. Carlyle, seeing the urgency of the case, for the earl, with every minute, grew more excited, approached and whispered her: "You are as anxious as we can be for your father's recovery?"