A. GROTESQUE TRAGEDY 121
the spokes of the hind wheel. Half erected thus, it stood with its back to the other, both hands holding one of its knee-joints. With little less difficulty and not a few contortions, the kneeling one rose next, and addressed its companion.
'Have you hurt yourself, my lord?' it said, in a voice that sounded far-off, and ill-articulated as if blown aside by some spectral wind.
I Yes, I have,' answered the other, in like but rougher tone. 'You would do nothing to help me, and this cursed knee is out!'
'I did my best, my lord.'
' No doubt, my lady, for it was bad! I thought I should never find my feet again!—But, bless my soul, madam ! are you out in your bones?'
She cast a look at herself.
'I have nothing else to be out in,' she returned; '—and you at least cannot complain ! But what on earth does it mean ? Am I dreaming ?'
'You may be dreaming, madam—I cannot tell; but this knee of mine forbids me the grateful illusion. —Ha ! I too, I perceive, have nothing to walk in but bones !—Not so unbecoming to a man, however ! I trust to goodness they are not my bones! every one aches worse than another, and this loose knee worst of all! The bed must have been damp—and I too drunk to know it!'
' Probably, my lord of Cokayne !'
' "What! what!—You make me think I too am dreaming—aches and all! How do you know the title my roistering bullies give me ? I don't remember you !— Anyhow, you have no right to take liberties ! My name is—I am lord-----tut, tut! What do you call me when