She went to the window and looked out through the bars at the sun rising over the water. There was the same old lake with which she had been familiar all her life, with the cliffs jutting out in points, one always a little farther out than the other, to form the great curve of the shore line. She must have passed this place dozens of times while riding in the lake boats. Here was a scene she had admired many times from the open shore, and now she was looking at it from behind bars, a prisoner. It was too grotesque to be true. She turned pensively toward the bed and noticed with a start that a tray containing breakfast for two stood on the shelf beside the elevator. And yet she had not heard a sound! Gladys was still asleep on the bed. As Nyoda stood looking down at her she woke up and stared around the room uncomprehendingly. She could not place herself at first. Then at the sight of the violet room the events of yesterday came back to her.
They ate breakfast with what appetite they could and then sat down close beside the elevator shaft to be sure and see the deaf-mute when she came, for it seemed impossible to detect her visit when they had their backs turned. While they waited they examined the iron grating for the door opening, but found none. There was apparently no break in the scroll-work anywhere, no hinge, no slide arrangement. “Did we come into the room through there, or did we only imagine it?” asked Nyoda, completely baffled. “Surely we didn’t come through that little grating that opens on top, did we? I declare, I’m getting so bewildered that if any one told us we did come in that way I wouldn’t dispute them.”
Almost while she was speaking the elevator cage shot rapidly and noiselessly into view and the deaf-mute opened the slide to take the tray. Instead of giving it to her, however, they gave her the note first. She took it and read it and then looked at the two girls in silence. “Maybe she would write something if you gave her a pencil,” suggested Gladys.
Nyoda handed the woman a pencil through the iron scroll-work. She wrote something on the bottom of the paper and handed it back to Nyoda. Nyoda took the piece of paper and read:
“There is no mistake about your being here.”
As she stood in open-mouthed astonishment the elevator sank from view.
“No mistake about our being here!” gasped Nyoda. Her knees failed her and she sank weakly to the floor. “What can that mean? Are we kidnapped? Do you suppose we are being held for ransom?”
“It’s too horrible,” said Gladys, passing her hand over her eyes. “Such things happen in novels, but not in real life.”
“And yet,” said Nyoda musingly, “if you read the newspapers, you see that stranger things happen in reality than in fiction.”
“If we’re being held for ransom,” said Gladys, “then mother and father will find out where I am.” She was more troubled about the worry her disappearance would cause her parents than about any evil which might befall herself.