At length the child, a lovely boy, lay asleep in Dorothy’s arms. The lovelier mother also slept. Polwarth was on his way to stop the work, and let the doctor know that its completion must be postponed for a few days, when he heard the voice of Lisbeth behind him, calling as she ran. He turned and met her, then turned again and ran, as fast as his little legs could carry him, to the doctor.
“Mr. Faber,” he cried, “there is a lady up there at the house, a friend of Miss Drake’s, taken suddenly ill. You are wanted as quickly as possible.”
Faber answered not a word, but went with hasty strides up the bank, and ran to the house. Polwarth followed as fast as he could, panting and wheezing. Lisbeth received the doctor at the door.
“Tell my man to saddle my horse, and be at the back door immediately,” he said to her.
Polwarth followed him up the stair to the landing, where Dorothy received Faber, and led him to Juliet’s room. The dwarf seated himself on the top of the stair, almost within sight of the door.
MY LADY’S CHAMBER.
When Faber entered, a dim, rosy light from drawn window-curtains filled the air; he could see little more than his way to the bed. Dorothy was in terror lest the discovery he must presently make, should unnerve the husband for what might be required of the doctor. But Juliet kept her face turned aside, and a word from the nurse let him know at once what was necessary. He turned to Dorothy, and said,
“I must send my man home to fetch me something;” then to the nurse, and said, “Go on as you are doing;” then once more to Dorothy, saying, “Come with me, Miss Drake: I want writing things.”
He led the way from the room, and Dorothy followed. But scarcely were they in the passage, when the little man rose and met them. Faber would have pushed past him, annoyed, but Polwarth held out a little phial to him.
“Perhaps that is what you want, sir,” he said.
The doctor caught it hastily, almost angrily, from his hand, looked at it, uncorked it, and put it to his nose.
“Thank you,” he said, “this is just what I wanted,” and returned instantly to the chamber.
The little man resumed his patient seat on the side, breathing heavily. Ten minutes of utter silence followed. Then Dorothy passed him with a note in her hand, and hurried down the stair. The next instant Polwarth heard the sound of Niger’s hoofs tearing up the slope behind the house.
“I have got some more medicines here, Miss Drake,” he said, when she reappeared on the stair.
As he spoke he brought out phial after phial, as if his pockets widened out below into the mysterious recesses of the earth to which as a gnome he belonged. Dorothy, however, told him it was not a medicine the doctor wanted now, but something else, she did not know what. Her face was dreadfully white, but as calm as an icefield. She went back into the room, and Polwarth sat down again.