A look of angry resistance swept across Edith’s pale face. There was a flash of defiance in her eyes.
“No, no! You must not touch him,” she exclaimed; “I will die before giving him up. My baby!”
And now, breaking down from her intense excitement, she bent over the child again, weeping and sobbing. Waiting until this paroxysm had expended itself, Mrs. Morton, who had not failed to notice that Andy never turned his eyes for an instant away from Edith, nor resisted her strained clasp or wild caresses, but lay passive against her with a look of rest and peace in his face, said,
“How shall we know that he is your baby?”
At this Edith drew herself up, the light on her countenance fading out. Then catching at the child’s arm, she pulled the loose sleeve that covered it above the elbow with hands that shook like aspens. Another cry of joy broke from her as she saw a small red mark standing out clear from the snowy skin. She kissed it over and over again, sobbing,
“My baby! Yes, thank God! my own long-lost baby!”
And still the child showed no excitement, but lay very quiet, looking at Edith whenever he could see her countenance, the peace and rest on his face as unchanging as if it were not really a living and mobile face, but one cut into this expression by the hands of an artist.
“How shall you know?” asked Edith, now remembering the question of Mrs. Morton. And she drew up her own sleeve and showed on one of her arms a mark as clearly defined and bright as that on the child’s arm.
No one sought to hinder Edith as she rose to her feet holding Andy, after she had wrapped the bed-clothes about him.
“Come!” she spoke to her friend, and moved away with her precious burden.
“You must go with us,” said Mrs. Morton to the physician.
They followed as Edith hurried down stairs, and entering the carriage after her, were driven away from the hospital.
ABOUT the same hour that Edith entered the boys’ ward of the children’s hospital, Mr. Dinneford met Granger face to face in the street. The latter tried to pass him, but Mr. Dinneford stopped, and taking his almost reluctant hand, said, as he grasped it tightly,
“George Granger!” in a voice that had in it a kind of helpless cry.
The young man did not answer, but stood looking at him in a surprised, uncertain way.
“George,” said Mr. Dinneford, his utterance broken, “we want you!”
“For what?” asked Granger, whose hand still lay in that of Mr. Dinneford. He had tried to withdraw it at first, but now let it remain.
“To help us find your child.”
“My child! What of my child?”