I had loosened the golden muffer that he always wore.
I had moistened his temples, and had given him some water to drink.
And now I did not dare ask him any more questions.
He looked at me very gravely, and put his arms around my neck.
I felt his heart beating like the heart of a dying bird, shot with someone's rifle.
"I am glad that you have found what was the matter with your engine," he said. "Now you can go back home–"
How do you know about that?
I was just coming to tell him that my work had been successful, beyond anything that I had dared to hope.
He made no answer to my question, but he added: "I, too, am going back home today. "
Then, sadly– It is much farther. it is much more difficult...
I realized clearly that something extraordinary was happening.
I was holding him close in my arms as if he were a little child;
and yet it seemed to me that he was rushing headlong toward an abyss from which I could do nothing to restrain him...
His look was very serious, like some one lost far away.
"I have your sheep. And I have the sheep's box. And I have the muzzle... "
And he gave me a sad smile. I waited a long time. I could see that he was revivinglittle by little.
"Dear little man," I said to him, "you are afraid... "
He was afraid, there was no doubt about that.
But he laughed lightly. "I shall be much more afraid this evening... "
Once again I felt myself frozen by the sense of something irreparable.