The man’s face assumed an inscrutable expression as he turned the small member over and examined it with a critical look, even pushing up her sleeve a trifle to view the arm; but the slender wrist was fair and white and no flaw anywhere, except the slight discoloration previously referred to, where the unsightly blisters had been.
“Miss Minturn, it is less than three days since that accident occurred, and those burns are entirely healed! What did you do for them?” he demanded, in low, repressed tones.
“Nothing, except to know that ’God is an ever-present help in time of trouble.’”
“Do you mean to tell me that you applied no lotion or salve? that you did nothing but ‘demonstrate mentally,’ as you Scientists express it?”
“That was all, Dr. Stanley. I had no lotion or salve.”
“How long did you suffer from the pain? I suppose you shrink from being questioned thus by a doctor,” he interposed, as he observed her heightened color; “but please tell me—I want to know.”
“The burning sensation was all gone at the end of three-quarters of an hour, by the clock, though I confess the time seemed much longer than that,” she admitted, with a faint smile. “I was conscious that my hand was sore and very tender as long as I was awake; but in the morning that also was a belief of the past.”
“It is beyond me!” muttered the physician, with a puzzled brow. “But,” he added, frankly, “I am heartily glad you did not have to suffer many hours, as I felt sure you would, after seeing the condition of your hand that night. I went to your room with my sister, after attending to Dorothy, but, as you know, failed to find you. An hour later Miss Reynolds astounded me by telling me that you were in her room, asleep.”
“Yes, she kindly took me under the shelter of her wing.”
“Miss Minturn”—accusingly—“you ran away from me; you did not want me to find you;” but he smiled as he said it.
“It was far better for me, with our conflicting opinions. It would only have prolonged my suffering if you had found me and insisted upon dressing the burns, even though your motive was most kind,” Katherine gently explained.
“I am almost tempted to believe that, after what I have heard and seen,” he thoughtfully admitted.
“I hope you do not feel that I did not appreciate your kindness,” Katherine observed, a note of appeal in her voice. “I know that you would have done your best for me, in your way. And now, let me thank you again for the lovely Jacks. I have not seen such beauties for a long time. I hope you received my note of acknowledgment.”
“Yes, and wondered how you had managed to hold a pen, much more write your natural hand.”
For a moment Katherine wondered how he could know her “natural hand”; then she remembered that he had asked an exchange of cards from herself and her mother the day before they landed the previous fall. She had just given her last one away, so had been obliged to write her name and address on a blank card.