Katherine sank back into slumber. A few minutes more and she was awakened again by the same cold hand on her face.
“What is it now?”
“The Jamaica ginger,” asked Carmen’s thin voice in a bewildered tone, “what shall I do with it? Shall I put it in the hot water bottle?”
Katherine’s feet suddenly struck the floor together, and with an explosive exclamation under her breath she sped over to Avernus and took matters in hand herself. She had tucked Carmen into her own bed in Bedlam, and she spent the remainder of the night over in Avernus, taking care of the Lone Wolf, snatching a few moments’ sleep in Carmen’s bed now and then when her patient felt easier. It was broad daylight before she finally settled into uninterrupted slumber.
Camp was more or less demoralized the next day. Miss Judy overslept and did not blow the rising bugle until nearly noon, so dinner took the place of breakfast and swimming hour came in the middle of the afternoon instead of in the morning.
After swimming hour Agony went up to Miss Amesbury’s balcony to return a book she had borrowed. Miss Amesbury was not there, so Agony, as she often did when she found her friend out, sat down to wait for her, passing the time by looking at some sketches tying on the table. Turing these over, Agony came upon a letter thrust in between the drawing sheets, at the sight of which her heart began to flutter wildly. The address on the envelope was in Mary Sylvester’s handwriting—there was no mistaking that firm, round hand; it was indelibly impressed upon Agony’s mind from seeing it on that other occasion. In a panic she realized that the danger of being discovered was even greater than she had thought, since Mary also wrote to Miss Amesbury. Was it not possible that Mary had mentioned the robin incident in this letter? It now seemed to Agony that Miss Amesbury’s manner had been different toward her in the last few days, on the trip. She seemed less friendly, less cordial. Several times Agony had looked up lately to find Miss Amesbury regarding her with a keen, grave scrutiny and a baffling expression on her face. To Agony’s tortured fancy these instances became magnified out of all proportion, and the disquieting conviction seized her that Miss Amesbury knew the truth. The thought nearly drove her mad. It tormented her until she realized that there was only one way in which she could still the tumult raging in her bosom, and that was by finding out for certain if Mary had really told.
With shaking fingers she slipped the letter out of the open envelope, and with cheeks aflame with shame at the thing she was doing, she deliberately read Miss Amesbury’s letter. It was much like the one Mary had written to Jo Severance, full of clever descriptions of the places she was seeing, and it made no mention either of the robin or of her. With fingers shaking still more at the relief she felt, she put the letter back into the envelope and replaced it between the sketches. Then, trembling from head to foot at the reaction from her panic, she turned her back upon the table and sat up against the railing, holding her head in her hands and looking down at the fair sunlit river with eyes that saw it not.