A waving of handkerchiefs on the platform, an answering wave from the car window, and Nyoda was gone. No. 46 had puffed in on time, made its usual five-minute stop, and puffed out on time. But what a difference its coming and departure had made to the Winnebagos! It was all over in such quick time that they hardly had time to draw breath.
They stood on the platform and watched the train out of sight and then turned and climbed up the steps to the street, silent for the most part, with only an occasional exclamation of “What will Nyoda do if Sherry dies?”
Then another swift drive through the silent streets, scarcely any lighter than they had been before, and they were back at Carver House, which suddenly seemed empty and dreary with Nyoda gone.
They sat down to the table and ate up the rest of the toast and drank the rest of the coffee; then the boys started back to their tent in the woods, and the Winnebagos, beginning to feel weak and shaky now that the excitement of getting Nyoda ready had passed, went slowly and sadly up the stairs and crept into bed.
Thoroughly worn out with the strenuous evening and the still more strenuous night that followed it, they finally fell asleep, while the sun rose unwelcomed over Carver Hill and the stair clock chimed half past six in vain.
IT NEVER RAINS—
Sahwah wakened with the sound of a bell ringing in her ears. The house was still asleep; the sun was pouring in brightly through the south window of the room. Sahwah wondered idly why the sun was shining in at that window; it always shone in the other window when she wakened in the morning. Then she remembered. It all seemed like a dream; the telegram, the hurried preparations for departure, the swift journey to the station with Nyoda and the return to Carver House without her. Sahwah was still piecing together the events of the night before when the shrill ring sounded through the house again. It was the front doorbell. Sahwah jumped up and threw on her bathrobe and, yawning widely, ran downstairs.
It was Agony; Agony with a face as pale as a ghost. “What’s the matter?” asked Sahwah in consternation, forgetting her own great news at the sight of Agony’s expression.
“It’s Veronica,” Agony burst out breathlessly.
“What’s the matter with Veronica?” asked Sahwah in alarm.
“She’s been arrested!”
Sahwah’s heart thumped queerly and then seemed to stand still at this climax of her forebodings. “What for?” she asked faintly.
Agony came in and sat down on the hall seat “There’s so much to tell, I think I’ll begin at the beginning,” she said, and Sahwah stood still with her eyes fastened on Agony’s face apprehensively.