Sahwah was coming up the cellar stairs with a basket of clothes in her hand. Just as she passed the side entry door she heard someone fumbling with the knob on the outside. The knob turned and the door began to open softly. “Who’s there?” called Sahwah sharply, switching on the light in the entry and throwing wide the door. There stood Veronica, with her violin under her arm and her hat and coat on. She started back when she saw Sahwah and the two stood looking into each other’s eyes. “She hasn’t been home, she’s still got her violin,” was the thought that went through Sahwah’s mind.
“I thought you went home with a sick headache from the party,” she said in astonishment.
“So did the rest of them,” replied Veronica imperturbably.
Their eyes met and held for a second, and it seemed to Sahwah that Veronica looked haggard and haunted.
“Is everybody home?” asked Veronica presently.
“Yes,” replied Sahwah, “and, O Veronica—” and she told her the news.
“Oh, poor, poor Nyoda!” cried Veronica, and throwing off her hat and coat she thrust them with her violin into the closet under the stairs and then sped upstairs.
“She didn’t have a headache at all, she didn’t go home, she went somewhere else,” throbbed Sahwah’s weary brain. “And whatever she’s done, she’s scared to death about it,” it throbbed on. “Why did she come stealing in the back door that way?”
Worried and perplexed, but still loyal to her promise to say nothing to the others about Veronica, Sahwah went on sorting and carrying up the ironed clothes.
Upstairs Migwan was helping Nyoda get dressed for her journey. Nyoda was still in her George Washington suit, which she had concealed under a long cloak on the way home, and Migwan’s hands trembled so with excitement she could hardly take out the endless pins that they had put in with so much fun and laughter a few hours before.
“How did Sherry, happen to be on the ocean?” Nyoda asked wonderingly. “He was in France the last time I heard from him. Why would he be coming to America now?”
Migwan could not answer the question, she could only press her beloved Guardian’s hand tight in hers by way of sympathy and then fly back at the pins, which all seemed to be allied against them, for they buried their heads out of sight and thrust their points where Migwan’s shaking fingers caught and tore themselves upon them. The suit was off at last and Migwan tucked Nyoda into bed for an hour of rest while she pressed her dark blue silk traveling dress and sewed fresh collars and cuffs into her jacket.