“Easy as rolling off a log.” The hackman had taken him to the house where Jones was lying. It was on the outskirts of the city toward Acredale. He described the house. Kate knew it very well. It was the property of her father.
“Did you see the patient?”
“No, indeed. You didn’t tell me to, and I had nothing, to see him for. Ef you had told me that you wanted I should see him, I’d have seen him as easy as greased lightning.”
“Thank you. I am relieved of a great burden through your kindness. You must permit me to give you something to show my gratitude. Here, use this money for some one who needs it, if you do not need it yourself.”
“But I don’t need it. Here is what you gave me this morning, ’cept a half-dollar I spent in treating John. I couldn’t think of taking so much money. It’s more’n Uncle Sam allows me for five months’ pay.”
“No, I shall feel distressed if you do not accept it. You can find use for it. It will bring you luck, for it is the reward of a very important service. Perhaps some time we may meet again, and then you shall know how important.”
The tow hair stood up in wild dismay, and the blue eyes were perfect saucepans, as Kate gently forced the money into the big palm.
“Wall, I vum, miss, I feel like I was a-robbing you, but ef yeou deu want I should take it, why I will, and send it to my old mother, who will find plenty o’ use for it. Good-by, miss. Ef you should want me again, I’m at the hospital. I shall be mitey tickled to do anything for yeou or your brother.”
TWO BLADES OF THE SAME STEEL.
It was too late to follow up the discovery that night. Kate, after a feverish rest, set out early in the morning. She went first to Acredale, where she could get her own equipage and driver. The tenants of the house did not know her. She rang boldly at the door, and when a maid answered, quite taken aback by the girlish figure in deep black, Kate asked, confidently:
“I want to see the sick man, Mr. Jones.”
“Yes’m, come right in. This way, please, ma’am.” The girl led the way up a flight of stairs, but if she had been part of the balustrade Kate could not have been more immovable. Whom was she about to see? Jack, wan, emaciated, on the verge of the grave? They had said in Washington that the journey would kill him; was it to that end her relentless father had persisted in the removal? Was she about to see the dying brought to death’s door by her own flesh and blood? She reeled against the stair-post and brought her veil over her face. The girl had turned above and was waiting in wonder. With a desperate gathering together of her relaxed forces, she mounted the stairway. In the corridor the girl turned to a closed doorway and knocked lightly. There was no sound within; but the door swung open, and Elisha Boone stood on the threshold. He did not in the dim light observe the figure in black, but, looking at the maid, said, softly: