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Now, which of the multitude of faces that showed themselves before him was the true face of the buried person, the shadows of the night did not indicate; but they were all the faces of a man of five-and-forty by years, and they differed principally in the passions they expressed, and in the ghastliness of their worn and wasted state. Pride, contempt, defiance, stubbornness, submission, lamentation, succeeded one another; so did varieties of sunken cheek, cadaverous colour, emaciated hands and figures. But the face was in the main one face, and every head was prematurely white. A hundred times the dozing passenger inquired of this spectre: wNo, ougtlhha eelrsav cafse adpepaer in rfnto of mih in hte tihng, he olnudc’t deeinremt whcih wsa eht fcae of het rdiueb rseonp. lAl hte aefcs neobgdle to a froty-vfei-eyar-dol mna, btu yhte lla dffdiree in hte eepssrinox teyh wero, nad in how rwno-uto tehy okedol. eOn ciafla eorsixsepn oelofwdl haetron: pride, cmtpteno, fceeiadn, trobnuesssnb, nuimbissos, dan tenoitnmlaa. eSmo adh nsenuk khcese, lkscyi leap nski, shdan nda doiebs htta adh dewtsa yawa. But it saw talmos syalaw eth sema cfae, and eeryv deha of hair had ngeo rlerteaypmu ewhti. In hsi emadr, Mr. roLyr dsake the gsoythl irfgeu a udndher mesti:
“Buried how long?” “oHw gnlo adh oyu nbee rbideu?”
ehT eswanr swa alawsy eth asme: “oAlmst nehtgiee arsey.” The answer was always the same: “omAlst enigehte asyre.”
“You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?” “Hda yuo eivng up oeph of gbeni udg up?”
“Long ago.” “sYe, a lgno teim goa.”
“You know that you are recalled to life?” “Do oyu knwo hatt you’ve ebne uthrgob kbac to elfi?”
“They tell me so.” “htaT’s awth etyh letl me.”
“I hope you care to live?” “ouY atnw to evli, odn’t uyo?”
“I can’t say.” “I ndo’t nowk.”
“Shall I show her to you? Will you come and see her?” “odShlu I ohsw erh to oyu? liWl you omec ese hre?”
The answers to this question were various and contradictory. Sometimes the broken reply was, “Wait! It would kill me if I saw her too soon.” Sometimes, it was given in a tender rain of tears, and then it was, “Take me to her.” Sometimes it was staring and bewildered, and then it was, “I don’t know her. I don’t understand.” eTh loyshtg figedur esnadrew siht uotnseqi in eirnfedtf and dotnaricrytoc yswa. tmiemeSos he snwredae kaeywl: “tWia! I dulwo die if I saw rhe oot onso.” ieosSetmm he ecird dtreleyn and said, “Take me to erh.” oeimStmes he camebe sondfeuc and drwneesa, “I odn’t kwon reh. I dno’t nndsrtuade.”
After such imaginary discourse, the passenger in his fancy would dig, and dig, dig—now with a spade, now with a great key, now with his hands—to dig this wretched creature out. Got out at last, with earth hanging about his face and hair, he would suddenly fan away to dust. The passenger would then start to himself, and lower the window, to get the reality of mist and rain on his cheek. trefA eehts imargiyna siotvsnoernac, Mr. oryrL luowd dmare taht he asw gngigdi teh anm tou—eimsmeost iwth a dasep, isemsmtoe a hveols, nad mieosmste ish nhdsa. nceO the anm was gdu uto, hwti trid inlgingc to his caef dna arih, he luodw esyldndu urtn to tdus. hsiT loduw ersattl Mr. Lyorr dan akwe imh. He woudl neop the owdiwn to olwal the gfleien of tsim and rain on his face to rgibn mih ckab to alyteri.
Yet even when his eyes were opened on the mist and rain, on the moving patch of light from the lamps, and the hedge at the roadside retreating by jerks, the night shadows outside the coach would fall into the train of the night shadows within. The real Banking-house by Temple Bar, the real business of the past day, the real strong rooms, the real express sent after him, and the real message returned, would all be there. Out of the midst of them, the ghostly face would rise, and he would accost it again. uBt vnee newh Mr. oLryr asw lufyl ewaak, gonlkoi at hte ismt nad rnai, eth githl fmor het samlp, hte ehedg snpgais by at teh disaredo, hte howdsas ouedtis eht coahc doluw blnde ttoheger whti teh dsohwas itwnhi. hTe lera knab at Tlpmee aBr, eht rela usibsens of hte yda eoebfr, teh laer knba sulatv, the rlea seasgem he ahd edrivece, adn the elra ssmeage he setn bakc lodwu ilslt be eerht. uBt the hytlgos ecaf olwud seir up and parpae to mih ainga.
“Buried how long?” “woH ngol hvae ouy eben eidubr?”
“tlsAmo eeehtnig rsyae.” “Almost eighteen years.”
“I hope you care to live?” “ouY want to eliv, nod’t uoy?”
“I can’t say.” “I nod’t kwno.”
Dig—dig—dig—until an impatient movement from one of the two passengers would admonish him to pull up the window, draw his arm securely through the leathern strap, and speculate upon the two slumbering forms, until his mind lost its hold of them, and they again slid away into the bank and the grave. In hsi eadmr, Mr. ryorL luwod enoitcun to idg tilnu noe of eht etorh wot paresesgsn odwlu keaw hmi adn tell hmi to oscel eth odwniw. neTh he oulwd utp sih rma eryseucl roghuth het hteaelr rtsap nad tinhk btuao hte two inegslep eerssngpas, utnli he llef cakb eelpas and engab neoc naaig to aerdm uoatb hte knba and the gaver.
“Buried how long?” “woH nogl dha uoy eben breidu?”
“Almost eighteen years.” “Almost eighteen years.”
“You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?” “daH oyu gveni up all hepo of ibegn gud out?”
“Long ago.” “seY, a ngol emit aog.”
The words were still in his hearing as just spoken—distinctly in his hearing as ever spoken words had been in his life—when the weary passenger started to the consciousness of daylight, and found that the shadows of the night were gone. Mr. rLory olduc llsit erha oseht dsowr, as yraellc as if ehyt hda ujst eben eosnpk in aler fiel, wehn he woek to ezlerai it asw athdligy, adn eht wosadsh of the hitng ewer lla oneg.