“I can’t go until evening. We are to spend the day with some friends of ours, the Bartons. But I can take you down by moonlight. It’s a couple of hours’ ride. I suppose we shall have to tell Anne.”
“I hate to,” said Tommy.
“Oh, Anne is such a good little thing—and—and—she believes in me—Judy.”
“But if it is right for you to go, you shouldn’t care—”
“I don’t know whether it is right or not,” said Tommy, doggedly, “and what’s more, I don’t care, Judy. I am going and that’s the end of it.”
“Well!” Judy stood up, shivering. “It’s awfully cold out here, Tommy; you’d better come in.”
“Are you going to help me?” demanded Tommy. “I sha’n’t go in unless you are.”
“What will you do?”
“Tramp on. Guess I can manage for another day. I’ve only had a slice of bread and a tomato to-day.”
“Tommy Tolliver!” said Judy, shocked. “Why, you must be starved. I’ll go right in and get you something.”
“Are you going to help me to get away?” he insisted.
“I must think about it.”
“But you promised.”
“I am not sure that I exactly promised,” hesitated Judy.
“I am not.”
“Aw, you are—or you’d do it.”
That was touching Judy on a tender point. She was proud of her courage—none of her race had ever been cowards.
Besides, as she stood there with the wind and the waves beating their wild song into her ears, all the recklessness of her nature came uppermost. It would be glorious to sail down the bay. The water would be rough, and the wind would fill out the white sails of the little boat, and they would fly, fly, and the goal for Tommy would be freedom.
“I’ll do it,” she said, suddenly. “I’ll do it, Tommy. We Jamesons never break a promise, and I’m not afraid.”
They decided not to tell Anne.
“It would just worry her,” said Judy, decidedly, “and I can get some food and things out to you after Anne goes to bed, and you can sleep in the boat-house. We can start in the morning.”
It was a wild scheme, but before they had finished they felt quite uplifted. In their youth and inexperience, they imagined that Tommy’s last dash for liberty was positively heroic, and Judy went in, feeling like one dedicated to a cause.
She found Anne rubbing her eyes sleepily.
“Why, have you been out, Judy?” she gasped, wide awake. “You are all wet.”
“It’s fine on the porch,” said Judy, putting her soaked hair back from her face. “I—I was tired of the heat of the room, and—it was stifling. Let’s go to bed, Anne.”
“Aren’t you going to finish your book?” Anne asked, wondering, for Judy was something of a night-owl, and hated early hours.
Judy picked up “Sesame and Lilies,” which lay open on the couch, and shut it with a bang.