“Well, if you won’t go away, come down in here, then,” said Agony. “Here, Micky, Micky,” she called coaxingly.
Micky, clumsy puppy that he was, made a wild leap into the ravine and landed upon the sharp point of a jagged stump, cutting a jagged gash in his shoulder. How he did howl! Agony expected every minute that the whole camp would come running to the spot to find out what the matter was. But fortunately the wind was blowing from the direction of Camp and the sound was carried the other way. Agony worked frantically to get the wound bound up and the poor puppy soothed into silence. At last he lay still, with his head in her lap, licking her hand with his moppy red tongue every few seconds to tell her how grateful he was.
Thus she sat until she heard the deep whistle of the returning steamer and the farewell song of the girls as they stood on the dock and waved goodbye to Edwin Langham. When she was sure that the boat must be out of sight she shoved Micky gently out of her lap and rose to climb out of her hiding place. Her feet were asleep from sitting so long in her cramped position and as she tried to get a foothold on the steep side of the ravine she slipped and fell headlong, striking her head on a stump and twisting her back. It was not until night that they found her, after her continued absence from camp had roused alarm, and searching parties had been made up to scour the woods. Tiny Armstrong, shouting her way through the woods, first heard a muffled bark and then a feeble answer to her call, coming from the direction of the ravine, and charging toward it like a fire engine she discovered the two under the elderberry bushes.
Agony was lifted gently out and laid on the ground to await the coming of an improvised stretcher.
“We hunted and hunted for you this afternoon,” said Jo Severance, bending over her with an anxious face. “The poet, Edwin Langham, was here, and he wanted especially to see you, and was dreadfully disappointed when we couldn’t find you. He left a book here for you.”
“Oh,” groaned Agony, and those hearing her thought that she must be in great physical pain.
“How did you happen to fall into that ravine?” asked Jo.
Agony was becoming light headed from the blow on her temple, and she answered in disjointed phrases.
“Didn’t fall in—went down—purpose. Micky—fell in—hurt shoulder—I bandaged it—fell trying—to—get—out.”
Her voice trailed off weakly toward the end.
“There, don’t talk,” said Dr. Grayson. “We understand all about it. The dog fell in and hurt himself and you went down after him and then fell in yourself. Being kind to dumb animals again. Noble little girl. We’re proud of you.”
Agony heard it all as in a dream, but could summon no voice to speak. She was so tired. After all, why not let them think that? It was the best way out. Otherwise they might wonder how she happened to be in the ravine—it would be hard for them to believe that she had fallen into it herself in broad daylight, and it might be embarrassing to answer questions. Let them believe that she had gone down after the dog. That settled the matter once for all.