Inside the room he saw that she had laid the candle upon the piano, and was bending over a drawer, trying again to fit a key. He stood in the doorway, a tiny figure, very, very cold, all his soul in his silent appeal for some help. His Friend must come. He was somewhere there in the house. “Come! Help me!” The candle suddenly flared into a finger of light that flung the room into vision. Mrs. Carter, startled, raised herself, and at that same moment Henry gave a cry, a weak little trembling sound.
She turned and saw the boy; as their eyes met he felt the Terror rushing upon him. He flung a last desperate appeal for help, staring at her as though his eyes would never let her go, and she, finding him so unexpectedly, could only gape. In their silent gaze at one another, in the glassy stare of Mrs. Carter and the trembling, flickering one of Henry there was more than any ordinary challenge could have conveyed. Mrs. Carter must have felt at the first immediate confrontation of the strange little figure that her feet were on the very edge of some most desperate precipice. The long room and the passages beyond must have quivered. At that very first moment, with some stir, some hinted approach, Henry called, with the desperate summoning of all his ghostly world, upon his gods. They came....
In her eyes he saw suddenly something else than vague terror. He saw recognition. He felt himself a rushing, heartening comfort; he knew that his Friend had somehow come, that he was no longer alone.
But Mrs. Carter’s eyes were staring beyond him, over him, into the black passage. Her eyes seemed to grow as though the terror in them was pushing them out beyond their lids; her breath, came in sharp, tearing gasps. The keys with a clang dropped from her hand.
“Oh, God! Oh, God!” she whispered. He did not turn his head to grasp what it was that she saw in the passage. The terror had been transferred from himself to her.
The colour in her cheeks went out, leaving her as though her face were suddenly shadowed by some overhanging shape.
Her eyes never moved nor faltered from the dark into whose heart she gazed. Then, there was a strangled, gasping cry, and she sank down, first onto her knees, then in a white faint, her eyes still staring, lay huddled on the floor.
Henry felt his Friend’s hand on his shoulder.
Meanwhile, down in the kitchen, the fire had sunk into grey ashes, and Mrs. Slater was lying back in her chair, her head back, snoring thickly; an empty glass had tumbled across the table, and a few drops from it had dribbled over on to the tablecloth.