“You say it occurred up on the Ridge?”
“Yes, near the big pines—at the summit.”
“Why, how did she get down? There is no road.” He was gazing up at the pine-clad spur above them.
“I helped her down.” A little color flushed into his face.
“Ah! You supported her? She can walk on it?”
“Ur—no. I brought her down. I had to bring her. She could not walk—not a step.”
“Oh! ah! I see. I’ll hurry on and see how she is.”
As he rode off he gave a grunt.
“Humph!” It might have meant any one of several things. Perhaps, what it did mean was that “Youth is the same the world over, and here is a chance for this boy to make a fool of himself and he will probably do it, as I did.” As the Doctor jogged on over the rocky road, his brow was knit in deep reflection; but his thoughts were far away among other pines on the Piscataqua. That boy’s face had turned the dial back nearly forty years.
MRS. YORKE FINDS A GENTLEMAN
When Mrs. Yorke arrived at the hotel, Dr. Balsam was nowhere to be found. She was just sending off a messenger to despatch a telegram to the nearest city for a surgeon, when she saw the Doctor coming up the hill toward the hotel at a rapid pace.
He tied his horse, and, with his saddle-pockets over his arm, came striding up the walk. There was something reassuring in the quick, firm step with which he came toward her. She had not given him credit for so much energy.
Mrs. Yorke led the way toward her rooms, giving a somewhat highly colored description of the accident, the Doctor following without a word, taking off his gloves as he walked. They reached the door, and Mrs. Yorke flung it open with a flurry.
“Here he is at last, my poor child!” she exclaimed.
The sight of Alice lying on a lounge quite effaced Mrs. Yorke from the Doctor’s mind. The next second he had taken the girl’s hand, and holding it with a touch that would not have crumpled a butterfly’s wings, he was taking a flitting gauge of her pulse. Mrs. Yorke continued to talk volubly, but the Doctor took no heed of her.
“A little rest with fixation, madam, is all that is necessary,” he said quietly, at length, when he had made an examination. “But it must be rest, entire rest of limb and body—and mind,” he added after a pause. “Will you ask Mrs. Gates to send me a kettle of hot water as soon as possible?”
Mrs. Yorke had never been so completely ignored by any physician. She tossed her head, but she went to get the water.
“So my young man Keith found you and brought you down the Ridge?” said the Doctor presently to the girl.
“Yes; how do you know?” she asked, her blue eyes wide open with surprise.
“Never mind; I may tell you next time I come, if you get well quickly,” he said smiling.