“I’m awfully sorry,” she began, but Stanley stopped her with a laugh, as he rolled her up tighter in another blanket.
“I’m the doctor here, now,” he said, “and you’ll have to mind. I guess if I carry you, we can get you home somehow. The sooner you’re in bed, the better.”
Mrs. Robbins and the girls were just coming along the road when they beheld the startling procession coming up from the river bank, Stanley carrying the blanketed figure and Billie bringing up the rear. Not the buoyant, carefree Billie they were accustomed to see, a dejected, rather limp-looking figure, with his eyes still full of horror.
“Why, mother,” Jean exclaimed, “some one’s been hurt.” But it seemed as though by some mysterious telepathy of love the news had already flashed on Mrs. Robbins’ mind, and she hurried down the road to meet them.
“She’s all right,” called Stanley, cheerily. “Just took a dip in the river, Mrs. Robbins. If you’ll go ahead, please, and get a bed ready, I’ll bring her up.”
Kit’s eyes were closed. He had told her to put her arms around his neck so that he could carry her easier up the hill. Just as they got to the veranda steps he said, under his breath:
“Are you all right, Kit?”
She nodded her head slowly, and opened her eyes.
“Thank you for getting me out,” she whispered, with a shyness absolutely new to the Kathleen of yore. “You don’t know how I felt when I found myself caught down there, and couldn’t get away. I thought that was just all.”
“Bring her up-stairs, Stanley,” called Jean. “Mother’s telephoning to Dr. Gallup, but I suppose the danger’s all past now. Kit, you big goose, what did you ever go in that boat alone for? The minute you’re left alone, you’re always up to something. Just like the day when she had you locked up in the corn-crib, Stanley.”
Stanley smiled, a curious reminiscent smile, as he laid his burden down on the white bed by the window.
Probably only Kit heard his answer, for Jean had sped after hot ginger tea, and Helen and Doris were filling hot-water bottles, but Kit heard and smiled as he said:
“God bless the corn-crib.”
KIT GIVES HER BLESSING
Probably the next three days were the longest Kit had ever spent in her life. Under Dr. Gallup’s orders, she remained in bed to get over the shock of her immersion.
“When I don’t feel shocked a bit,” she expostulated. “I don’t see why I can’t sit in a chair down on the veranda.”
“Yes, you just want to pose as an interesting invalid,” Jean laughed. She laid a rose-pink negligee jacket on the foot of the bed, with a little white lace boudoir cap, caught here and there with pink satin rosebuds. “Mother just took these out of the treasures of the past for you to dress up in, and Cousin Roxy sent down a stack of books for you to read. Stanley and Billie call about six times a day to inquire after you, and Madame Ormond has offered to come and sing for you. Ralph told us he heard she gets a thousand dollars a night in New York, so you can see how honored you are, Kit.”