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opiate) was always with him, there was another current of
impression that never ceased to run, all through the night. He was
on his way to dig some one out of a grave.

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: “Buried how long?” The answer was always the same:
“Almost eighteen years.” “You had abandoned all hope of being
dug out?” “Long ago.” “You know that you are recalled to life?”
“They tell me so.” “I hope you care to live?” “I can’t say.” “Shall I
show her to you? Will you come and see her?” 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.” 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 fall 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.

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 re-turned, would all be there. Out of the midst of them,
the ghostly face would rise, and he would accost it again.

“Buried how long?” “Almost eighteen years.” “I hope you care to
live?” “I can’t say.” 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
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