The doctor, whom she had known from her earliest infancy, was bending over her, and she smiled her recognition of him, though with a dawning uneasiness. Vague shapes were floating in her brain that troubled and perplexed her.
“What happened?” she murmured uneasily.
He laid his hand upon her forehead.
“Nothing much,” he told her gently. “Lie still like a good girl and go to sleep. There is nothing whatever for you to worry about. You’ll be better in the morning.”
But the shapes were obstinate, and would not be expelled. They were, moreover, beginning to take definite form.
“Wasn’t there an accident?” she said restlessly. “I wish you would tell me.”
“Well, I will,” the doctor answered, “if you will keep quiet and not vex yourself. There was a bit of an accident. The carriage was overturned. But no one was hurt but you, and you will soon be yourself again if you do as you’re told.”
“But how am I hurt?” questioned Nan, moving her head on the pillow with a dizzy feeling of weakness. “Ah!” with a sudden frown of pain. “It—it’s my arm.”
“Yes,” the doctor said. “It’s your arm. It went through the carriage window. I have had to strap it up pretty tightly. You will try to put up with it, and on no account must it be moved.”
She looked at him with startled eyes.
“Is it very badly cut, then?”
“Yes, a fragment of glass pierced the main artery. But I have checked the bleeding—it was a providential thing that I was at hand to do it—and if you keep absolutely still, it won’t burst out again. I am telling you this because it is necessary for you to know what a serious matter it is. Any exertion might bring it on again, and then I can’t say what would happen. You have lost a good deal of blood as it is, and you can’t afford to lose any more. But if you behave like a sensible girl, and lie quiet for a few days, you will soon be none the worse for the adventure.”
“For a few days!” Nan’s eyes widened. “Then—then I shan’t be able to go with—with—” She faltered, and broke off.
He answered her with very kindly sympathy.
“Poor little woman! It’s hard lines, but I am afraid there is no help for it. You will have to postpone your honeymoon for a little while.”
“Have you—have you—told—him?” Nan whispered anxiously.
“Yes, he knows all about it,” the doctor said. “You shall see him presently. But I want you to rest now. You have had a nasty shock, and I should like you to sleep it off. Just drink this, and shut your eyes.”
Nan obeyed him meekly. She was feeling very weak and tired. And, after a little, she fell asleep, blissfully unconscious of the fact that her husband was seated close to her on the other side of the bed, silent and watchful, and immobile as a statue.
She did not wake till late on the following morning, and then it was to find her sister Mona only in attendance.