I felt an inexpressible relief, a soothing conviction of protection and
security, when I knew that there was a stranger in the room, an
individual not belonging to Gateshead, and not related to Mrs. Reed.
Turning from Bessie (though her presence was far less obnoxious to me
than that of Abbot, for instance, would have been), I scrutinised the
face of the gentleman: I knew him; it was Mr. Lloyd, an apothecary,
sometimes called in by Mrs. Reed when the servants were ailing: for
herself and the children she employed a physician.
"Well, who am I?" he asked.
I pronounced his name, offering him at the same time my hand: he took it,
smiling and saying, "We shall do very well by-and-by." Then he laid me
down, and addressing Bessie, charged her to be very careful that I was
not disturbed during the night. Having given some further directions,
and intimates that he should call again the next day, he departed; to my
grief: I felt so sheltered and befriended while he sat in the chair near
my pillow; and as he closed the door after him, all the room darkened and
my heart again sank: inexpressible sadness weighed it down.
"Do you feel as if you should sleep, Miss?" asked Bessie, rather softly.