And so, at last, the indictments were dismissed against them both and their cases adjourned sine die.
THE PROLOGUE ENDS
“Your sister,” observed Dr. Bailey to Scott Seagrave, “must be constructed of India-rubber. There’s nothing whatever the matter with her spine or with her interior. The slight trace of concussion is disappearing; there’s no injury to the skull; nothing serious to apprehend. Her body will probably be black and blue for a week or two; she’ll doubtless prefer to remain in bed to-morrow and next day. And that is the worst news I have to tell you.”
He smiled at Kathleen and Duane, who stood together, listening.
“I told you so,” said Scott, intensely relieved. “Duane got scared and made me send that telegram. I fell out of a tree once, and my sister’s symptoms were exactly like mine.”
Kathleen stole silently from the room; Duane passed his arm through the doctor’s and walked with him to the big, double sleigh which was waiting. Scott followed with Dr. Goss.
“About this other matter,” said Dr. Bailey; “I can’t make it out, Duane. I saw Jack Dysart two days ago. He was very nervous, but physically sound. I can’t believe it was suicide.”
He unfolded the telegram which had come that morning directed to Duane.
“Mrs. Jack Dysart’s
husband died this morning. Am trying to
communicate with her. Wire if you know her whereabouts.”
It was signed with old Mr. Dysart’s name, but Dr. Bailey knew he could never have written the telegram or even have comprehended it.
The men stood grouped in the snow near the sleigh, waiting; and presently Rosalie came out on the terrace with Kathleen and Delancy Grandcourt. Her colour was very bad and there were heavy circles under her eyes, but she spoke with perfect self-possession, made her adieux quietly, kissed Kathleen twice, and suffered Grandcourt to help her into the sleigh.
Then Grandcourt got in beside her, the two doctors swung aboard in front, bells jingled, and they whirled away over the snow.
Kathleen, with Scott and Duane on either side of her, walked back to the house.
“Well,” said Scott, his voice betraying nervous reaction, “we’ll resume life where we left off when Geraldine did. Don’t tell her anything about Dysart yet. Suppose we go and cheer her up!”
Geraldine lay on the pillows, rather pallid under the dark masses of hair clustering around and framing her face. She unclosed her eyes when Kathleen opened the door for a preliminary survey, and the others filed solemnly in.
“Hello,” she said faintly, and smiled at Duane.
“How goes it, Sis?” asked her brother affectionately, shouldering Duane aside.
“A little sleepy, but all right. Why on earth did you send for Dr. Bailey? It was horribly expensive.”