“I believe her memory has returned,” Phil answered softly. “It is a miracle. We must be very careful. Any excitement or surprise might kill her. I wish the doctor were here.”
Some one stole across the room without a sound. The girls knew it must be Mrs. Curtis. Neither one of them stirred nor for the instant glanced at their friend; they were too intent on their patient. But they were grateful for her presence. She had heard Mollie’s peculiar remarks. She would know what they ought to do when Mollie began to talk again.
Mrs. Curtis came so close to the sick girl’s bed that Madge and Phil stepped back to let her have the nearest place. She leaned over and looked at Mollie as though she would never grow tired of gazing at her. Once her lips moved, but it was impossible to tell what she said. Then Mrs. Curtis’s strength seemed to give way. She dropped on her knees, with her arms resting on the edge of Mollie’s bed.
Ten minutes passed. No one moved or spoke in the tiny cabin chamber. Mollie slept peacefully. Mrs. Curtis did not stir. She was like a figure carved in stone. She was waiting for something to happen. Was it for the girl on the bed to speak again?
Madge and Phil scarcely dared to breathe. They did not understand the situation, but they felt themselves to be in the presence of a mystery. A drama was being enacted in the tiny room, and they were the only audience to it.
“Mother, where are you?” Mollie’s voice sounded clear and strong.
“I am here,” Mrs. Curtis replied softly, not stirring from her position by the bed.
“Why hasn’t Tom been here to see me? And why are Phyllis and Madge so good to me? I don’t understand.”
Mollie turned restlessly on her pillow. Her hair fell away from her forehead and revealed the jagged, ugly scar. Mrs. Curtis saw it. For the first time she gave an involuntary shudder of emotion. Mollie put up her hand to her head with the old, familiar gesture of pain.
“My head hurts,” she announced, as though she had not known of her injury before. “Have I been sick a long time? Somehow, you look so different.”
Mrs. Curtis nodded. “Yes, daughter, you have been ill a long, long time. But you will be well and happy when you wake up again. You are with Mother now.”
Mrs. Curtis gathered Mollie into her arms and the two girls stole out of the tiny cabin, closing the door behind them. The mother and daughter were alone.
“What has happened to you, Madge Morton? Why do you girls look so strangely at me?” demanded Tom Curtis as he caught sight of Madge’s face. He was leaning against the deck rail staring curiously at his friends. “Is Mollie worse?”
“Oh, no; she is not worse. She is well. That is, she can remember. She is—— Oh, I don’t know what I am saying,” cried Madge in confusion.
Miss Jenny Ann came out of the sitting room. Lillian and Eleanor also joined the little group on deck. Still Madge was silent.