“I woke up suddenly and thought I smelt burning; then I was sure I did, and I got out and opened my door and saw a bright light shining under Dan’s door.” Here Anna had the grace to blush, for she remembered another occasion when she had seen a light shining under a door, and had not flown in a frenzy of fear to save those inside. “I crept down the passage, and then I knew that the smell of burning was coming from Dan’s room. I knocked, but he didn’t answer, and the light grew so bright that I got frightened, and I rushed in and snatched the paper out of his hand, and beat out the flames.” Her face, which had been very flushed, was now deadly white. “I think I will go back to bed now,” she said faintly, “I am dreadfully tired.”
And dreadfully tired she was too, thoroughly exhausted and overcome. Kitty helped her to her room and tucked her in her bed, and as she was bending over her, Anna raised her usually restless eyes to her very pleadingly.
“Kitty, you must let me have my own way, or I shan’t feel that I’ve done anything towards—towards wiping out—you know what I mean.”
“I know,” said Kitty. “We won’t talk any more about it to-night. We will wait until to-morrow. Good-night, Anna,” and for the first time in her life she kissed Anna willingly.
MOKUS AND CARROTS.
Kitty heard Dan go downstairs the next morning just as she was finishing dressing, and her heart thumped painfully, for she knew he was going to confess. When confessions had to be made Dan always made them as quickly as possible so as to get them off his mind. Kitty hurriedly finished her dressing, and followed him with some vague idea in her mind of helping him.
But when they got down there was no one else about, and before they had seen any one to whom to confess, Mrs. Pike burst into the dining-room where they stood, miserably enough, waiting.
“Kitty, Dan, do either of you know where your father is? I want him to come to Anna. She is so unwell, and in some extraordinary way has burnt her hands dreadfully. Oh dear! oh dear! what troubles do come upon me. I suppose it was foolish of me to leave her last night to put herself to bed when she was so tired. I might have known she would tumble over the lamp, or do something equally careless. It was kind of you, Kitty, to attend to her burns for her, poor child, but you should have come and called me.” There were tears in Aunt Pike’s eyes as she turned to thank her niece. “You—she—Anna need not have been afraid. I did not know I was so harsh with her that she was afraid to—” and poor Aunt Pike broke off, quite overcome. The shock of finding Anna feverish and ill, and with her hands bandaged, had upset her greatly.
Dan, sincerely touched and conscience-stricken, stepped forward. “Aunt Pike,” he began, “I—”