There was an outcry that they must take her the flowers, of which their hands and arms were full; but Janet was resolute, though Babie was very near tears.
“To-morrow-to-morrow,” she said. “She must lie still now, or she won’t be able to do anything. Run away, Babie, they’ll be waiting tea for you. Allen’s there. He’ll take care of you.”
“I want to give Mother Carey those dear white flowers,” still entreated Babie.
“I’ll give them, my dear. They want you down there-Ellie and Esther.”
“I don’t want to play with Ellie and Essie,” sturdily declared Barbara. “They say it is telling falsehoods when one wants to play at anything.”
“They don’t understand pretending,” said Armine. “Do let us stay, Janet, we’ll not make one smallest little atom of noise, if Jock doesn’t stay.”
“You can’t,” said Janet, “for there’s nothing for you to eat, and nurse and Susan are as savage as Carribee islanders.”
This last argument was convincing. The children threw their flowers into Janet’s arms, gave their hands to Miss Ogilvie, and Babie between her two brothers, scampered off, while Miss Ogilvie uttered her griefs and regrets.
“My mother would like to see you,” said Janet; “indeed, I think it will do her good. She told me to bring you in.”
“Such a day of fatigue,” began Mary.
“That and all the rest of it,” said Janet moodily.
“Is she subject to headaches?”
“No, she never had one, till-” Janet broke off, for they had reached her mother’s door.
“Bring her in,” said a weary voice, and Mary found herself beside a low iron bed, where Carey, shaking off the handkerchief steeped in vinegar and water on her brow, and showing a tear-stained, swollen-eyed face, threw herself into her friend’s arms.
But she did not cry now, her tears all came when she was alone, and when Mary said something of being so sorry for her headache, she said, “Oh! it’s only with knocking one’s head against a mattress like mad people,” in such a matter-of-fact voice, that Mary for a moment wondered whether she had really knocked her head.
Mary doubted what to say, and wetted the kerchief afresh with the vinegar and water.
“Oh, Mary, I wish you were going to stay here.”
“I wish! I wish I could, my dear!”
“I think I could be good if you were here!” she sighed. “Oh, Mary, why do they say that troubles make one good?”
“They ought,” said Mary.
“They don’t,” said Carey. “They make me wicked!” and she hid her face in the pillow with a great gasp.
“My poor Carey!” said the gentle voice.
“Oh! I want to tell you all about it. Oh! Mary, we have been so happy!” and what a wail there was in the tone. “But I can’t talk,” she added faintly, “it makes me sick, and that’s all her doing too.”
“Don’t try,” said Mary tenderly. “We know where to find each other now, and you can write to me.”