Although the night was long, she dreaded the coming of a new day. In some way she had to get the money to pay that bill, and where was it to come from? All the money, except a few dollars in the bank, had been withdrawn to pay for the car. It had been an expensive luxury, she was well aware, but John had set his mind upon it, and she had not the heart to oppose his wish. Hitherto the car had cost but little apart from the running expenses. In case anything did happen they had the one hundred dollars for immediate use. Now that was gone, and Mrs. Hampton had no idea how it was to be replaced. She must raise the amount some way, or else invent some plausible excuse as to what she had done with it. And the sum of sixty dollars was needed the next day, in the morning, too, so it could go to the city by the afternoon mail. After she had racked her brain in vain for some method of raising the money, she made up her mind that she must borrow it. The storekeeper would let her have it; she was certain. But how could she pay it back?
She thought of all these things as the night dragged by. Her wide sleepless eyes were still staring into space as the faint dawn of a new day came stealing gently into the room, and the birds outside the window began their early morning chorus. She arose, dressed herself, and attended to her household duties. There was also the work at the barn to be done, the cows to be milked, turned out to pasture, and the horses to be fed. Very rarely was she called upon to do such work, as John had always attended to this himself, and she wondered why he had not mentioned it that afternoon. He seemed, to have forgotten all about it. The business which took him to the quarry must be of special importance, she mused. If it was anyone else than John she would feel sure that he was in love.
About the middle of the forenoon she went to the store, and surprised the storekeeper by asking him to lend her sixty-five dollars for one month. He was quite willing to accede to her request, for she was a good customer, and always paid cash for whatever she bought. He looked at her curiously, nevertheless, after he had counted out the bills, and then made out a money order payable at St. John. He had known Mrs. Hampton for many years, and had never known her to borrow money before. Everyone supposed that she had a large bank account.
“You must have some security for this,” she told him. “I shall give you a note.”
“Not at all, Mrs. Hampton,” the storekeeper protested. “Your word is all the note I need. I wish the same could be said of others. By the way, John seems very busy these days. He went by here like a whirlwind last night. Nothing wrong, I hope.”
“No, nothing so far as I know. John is a fast driver, anyway.”