At her remark Nyoda raised her head suddenly. She thought she saw a ray of light on the situation. “Gladys,” she said, “do you know what kind of people they give dull knives to? It’s insane people! This room was undoubtedly designed for some one afflicted in that way. That is why the window is barred, and there is no door, and why the room is done in lavender. Lavender has a soothing and depressing effect on people’s nerves and would probably keep an insane person from becoming violent. We got here through some awful mistake.”
Gladys shuddered violently. “How horrible!” she said. “I suppose that woman actually considers us insane. How long do you suppose they will keep us here?”
“Only until they find out their mistake,” answered Nyoda, “which I hope will be soon. I shall write a note and give it to the woman when she comes up again.”
Both their spirits revived when they arrived at this theory, and they returned to their supper with good appetites. “I wish I could cut this meat,” sighed Gladys. Then she brightened. “I have my Wohelo knife in my handbag,” she said, rising and going over to the bed where her coat lay. She stopped in disappointment when she opened the bag. The knife was not there. “I remember now,” she said; “I took it out just before we left home and must have forgotten to put it back in again, we left in such a hurry.”
“What will the girls think, anyway, when we fail to arrive at the Bates’s?” said Nyoda.
“They’ll probably telephone to town,” said Gladys, “and mother will know I didn’t get there and she will be frantic.” She lost all her appetite with a rush when this thought came to her.
They waited impatiently for the return of the woman with the tray. Nyoda wrote a note and had it ready for her. It read:
“There has been some mistake. We are not the persons you intended to keep here.”
But the woman did not come. Darkness fell outside the window and they lighted the lights in the room, but still there was no movement of the elevator. They spent the evening pacing up and down the room, discussing the mysterious situation in which they found themselves, until from sheer weariness they lay down on the bed. They did not undress and they left the lights burning, intending to watch for the return of the woman. They set the tray on the floor at some distance from the elevator.
“Can it be possible,” said Gladys, “that it was only this afternoon that we broke into our house? It seems years ago.” Nyoda lay staring at the elevator shaft, awaiting the return of the cage.
“This purple glare over everything hurts my eyes,” she said. She closed them a minute to get relief. When she opened them again there was a broad streak of light coming in through the window. The lights were out in the room and the tray had disappeared from the floor. Gladys lay sound asleep, her head pillowed on her arm. Nyoda started up and was on the point of rousing Gladys. “No, I’ll let her sleep,” she thought; “it’s a good thing she can.”