They rushed to the window to see if any boat was passing which they could signal. Not a sign of anything. Whoever had constructed this tower had considered a great many things. Built in the middle of an extensive estate and hidden on three sides by tall trees, it was not visible from the road at all. The barred window in the tower could only be seen from the lake side, so that if some one should wander through the grounds the appearance of the house itself would excite no suspicion. At some distance on each side of the tower a long rocky pier extended far out into the water. It was not a landing pier, for the rocks were piled unevenly on each other. These rocks changed the current of the water and made boating in the vicinity dangerous, so that launches and sailboats gave the place a wide berth. Then, on the outside of the barred window, clearing it by about two feet, there was an ornamental wooden trellis on which vines grew, which effectually screened the barred window from detection on the lake side.
All these excellent points of construction were borne in on the girls as they circled the room again and again looking for some way of escape. Discouraged and heartsick, they finally sat down on the bed and faced each other When the woman brought their dinner they made a further attempt to get from her the meaning of their being held there, but in vain. To all their written questions she simply wrote,
“I can tell you nothing.”
The afternoon dragged slowly by, the girls getting more dejected all the time.
“I believe this violet color is affecting me already,” said Nyoda. “I never felt so depressed and melancholy.”
“It’s the same way with me,” said Gladys.
“If there was only one bright spot to relieve the monotony,” said Nyoda, “it wouldn’t be so bad.”
“How about our middy ties?” asked Gladys. “They’re bright red and ought to inspire courage.” She took the ties from her little satchel and spread them out over a chair.
“That’s better,” said Nyoda. “I feel more cheerful already.” After staring intently at the flaming square of silk for a while her mental activity began to revive and she commenced to turn over in her mind plans for their escape. Acting on this latest impulse, she wrote a letter addressed to a friend of hers and sealed and stamped it. When the deaf-mute brought their supper she drew a diamond ring from her finger, laid it beside the letter and wrote on a piece of paper,
“The ring is yours if you will mail this letter.”
The woman shook her head. Nyoda drew off another ring, a handsome ruby surrounded by seed pearls and tiny diamonds. The woman gazed steadfastly at it, and Nyoda thought she saw a longing look in her eyes. She turned the ring so the stone sparkled in the light. The woman’s lips parted and her hand crept toward the letter. Nyoda turned the ring in the light once more. By the look in the woman’s face she knew that she had gained her point. In another moment she would accept the bribe. Just then the throbbing sound of a motor was heard on the drive. The woman started violently, jerked her hand back and sent the elevator down in haste. With a gesture of despair Nyoda threw the letter down on the dresser.