Her position was not an easy one, and wheeling the lounge to the fire Morris brought a pillow from his sleeping room adjoining, and taking Katy in his arms laid her where she would at least be more comfortable than in the chair. Wrapping his shawl about her and turning down the gas so as to shield her eyes, he left her alone, while he went to Mrs. Hull, puzzling her brain to know who the lady was, brought there that stormy night, and talking so long and earnestly with the doctor. The driver boy was gone, and thinking it possible that their visitor might be wanting supper, the thoughtful woman had put the kettle on the stove, where it was sending forth volumes of steam just as Morris appeared. If he went to New York with Katy he must trust Mrs. Hull with his reasons for going, and as from past experience he believed she could be trusted, he frankly told her that Mrs. Wilford Cameron was in the library; that circumstances rendered it desirable for her to return to New York as soon as possible; that as she could not go alone he must of course go with her, and he expected Mrs. Hull not only to help him off, but also to keep the fact of Katy’s having been there a secret from every one.
“Some trouble with that high-headed husband of hers; I always mistrusted him,” was Mrs. Hull’s mental conclusion, as she nodded assent to what Morris had said, asking if he proposed taking the early morning train which passed at four o’clock, and who did he expect would drive his cutter back, as the boys would not be home before broad daylight.
Here was a dilemma of which Morris had not thought, but Mrs. Hull’s woman’s wits came to his aid, suggesting that he “leave his horse at the tavern in West Silverton and she would send John after it as soon as he returned.”
This arranged, Mrs. Hull next asked if Katy would not have some supper before her long ride.
“A cup of tea and a slice of toast was all she would require,” Morris said, and he felt many doubts about her touching that.
She was sleeping when he returned to her, but when the tea was ready, she roused up enough to say she did not want it.
“Make her drink it if you ever expect to get her to New York,” Mrs. Hull suggested, alarmed at the redness of Katy’s face, and the brightness of her eyes.
“You must drink it,” Morris said. “It will make you stronger for the ride. We are going very soon, you know—going to New York,” and he shook her shoulder gently as he tried to make her comprehend.
When he said she must, Katy lifted up her head, doing whatever he bade her do, and seeming more natural for the exertion and the food she took.
“Let me rest now for a little while,” she said, and lying back upon her pillow she slept for an hour, while Morris knelt beside her, counting her rapid pulse, marking the progress of the fever and praying earnestly that she might be able to reach New York, and that no serious consequences would result from his taking her there that night.